In layman terms, Quick Response (QR) codes are the world’s modern intake of barcodes. They contain a tremendous amount of heterogeneous information in comparison to the limited uniform data of traditional scannable codes. In the past decade, the application of QR codes has pervaded various industries, including adoption for use in multifarious operations and processes like marketing, invoicing, money transferring, improving footfall, internet redirecting, etc.
It is even estimated that by 2022, approximately 5.2 billion discount codes will be generated using QR code technology. Discount code generation is just one application of QR codes in the eCommerce industry. In this blog, we aim to update you on many more after discussing the various benefits of using these codes in brief.
Benefits of Using QR Codes for the eCommerce Industry
Speed: Despite containing more data than barcodes, QR codes can be scanned more quickly. This is simply because of their two-dimensional design, which makes them scannable 360-degree.
Low Error Rate: The error rate in QR code scanning is merely 3-7%. Even when the product packaging is damaged or the QR code has been tampered with, it still works. Thus, providing high reliability to both customers and business owners.
Secure: Transactions completed via QR codes are secure as they do not require customers to share any personal info, including their name, email addresses, or card details with the eCommerce merchant.
Printable: The heterogeneous data stored in QR codes is also printable. Meaning, with the help of a printed QR code, even a poster can provide access to digital data like URL, email address, phone number, or geolocation.
Personalizable: In contrast to barcodes, QR codes can be personalized to match your branding and truly represent your eCommerce store. QR codes can be generated in various engaging designs and colors, and can even showcase your brand’s logo.
Trackable: QR codes are also trackable. eCommerce businesses can monitor their various metrics, including the total number of scans, location of scan, time of the scan, a device used to scan, and more.
Best Applications of QR codes in the eCommerce Industry
Employing the aforementioned benefits of QR codes, several practices emerged in the eCommerce industry. You can find the most impressive and potential ones below:
1. Enable Shopping via Print Ads
Digital advertisements, including search engine ads and social media ads, are clickable. They can redirect users directly to the product shopping page or get them signed up for an upcoming launch. However, this isn’t the case with offline print ads, including those you see on newspapers and billboards. Fortunately, QR codes can make print ads scannable and redirect viewers to your online store and various other web pages. They can pretty much replicate the function of website CTAs and help you increase sales.
2. Collect Product Reviews
eCommerce customers often do not upload a product review. However, these reviews are an important trust factor, especially on eCommerce sites where a wide majority of visitors buy products after browsing product reviews. With QR codes, eCommerce business owners can place product review URLs on product packaging and encourage customers to upload a review. For this, customers won’t be required to visit your eCommerce store but can simply scan the product and upload their experience.
3. Inventory Management
In eCommerce warehouses, dynamic QR codes are used to register inventory with high accuracy and perform error-free storage operations. These dynamic QR codes are updated over the regular QR codes and contain a URL. This URL stores the entire information instead of the QR code, making it possible to change the information on the code even after printing and distributing. For inventory management, these types of QR codes are the most useful for relocating operations.
4. Shipment Management
QR code labels on product packaging can be scanned at various checkpoints throughout the transit process to enable order tracking for customers, ensure safe delivery by efficiently reporting lost products, and automating data entry. United States Postal Service (USPS), which hugely depends on QR codes for safe and secure product shipments estimates that only 1% of their shipments are lost.
Large eCommerce chains with offline branches are successfully using QR codes for navigation purposes. As QR codes can store Geolocations, they can be loaded on mobile navigation apps, like Google Maps to reach out to the various physical stores of the eCommerce retail store. This assists in enhancing the customer experience by offering a physical location close to the customer to handle disputes and concerns.
6. Video Marketing
Videos are the most captivating and memorizable media format for marketing. They also make your products appear more engaging. With the help of QR codes, eCommerce brands can put scannable videos on their product packaging, billboards, offline stores, and other marketing collateral. These videos will play once a user scans the QR code and provide the brand more exposure.
7. Increasing Mobile App Downloads
eCommerce companies wanting to promote their mobile app can use QR codes to redirect visitors to their respective mobile app marketplaces. QR codes can provide this desktop-to-mobile redirection with similar ease of transferring payment. The major benefits of this use case are that customers won’t need to browse your application on the app marketplace and a single QR code can be used to redirect both Android and iOS users.
8. Enable Contactless Delivery
Restrictions imposed during the pandemic required eCommerce businesses to execute contractless deliveries. Considered as a safe and reliable means of accepting deliveries, the trend of contactless deliveries is expected to continue. The application of QR codes for performing contactless delivery guarantees social distancing to the customers and eliminates paperwork, directly uploading delivery acceptance on the cloud server.
9. Social Sharing
Along with social media sharing buttons, QR codes for sharing a product can also be integrated on a product page. A major benefit of doing so is that it won’t require your visitors to sign up for their social media accounts on desktop systems. They can directly scan the code and the sharing page will load on the social media apps installed on their phones. Moreover, as the majority of traffic on social media sites contributes to smartphone users, enabling social media sharing via desktop-to-smartphone is an impressive social media marketing strategy for eCommerce stores.
10. Reduce Expenses on Publishing Product Manuals
Guides and manuals are printed in a huge quantity for every product. eCommerce companies handling the manufacturing of their products can instead use QR codes to share eco-friendly paperless manuals. This will help the eCommerce companies reduce printing costs. The QR codes containing the links to the manuals can be placed on product packaging and provide customers with a soft copy that they can access at any time with no fear of losing or misplacing the manual.
How to Generate a QR Code?
There are several QR code generators on the internet. However, instead of using them, it is better advised to integrate a QR Code generator API on your eCommerce website. Below are some reliable options that you can try:
1. Scanova: Scanova is a QR code generator that is used to generate codes for both print and web. It can generate codes in numerous styles, including various colors and symbols, logos, and more. You can also set the transparency of the code and save your static or dynamic QR in PNG, JPG, SVG, and various other image formats.
2. QR Code Studio: QR Code Studio is capable of generating transparent QR codes in various colors and styles. It comes with a 14-days free trial and has a centralized dashboard to track and monitor all your QR codes. Like Scanova, QR Code Studio also supports various image formats including PNG, PDF, and EPS. Some of its other features include bulk import and list editing.
3. BeaconStac: BeaconStac can generate QR codes in various styles and formats. You can use it to generate both static and dynamic QR codes. eCommerce businesses can also create QR codes with their brand logo using BeaconStac. Lastly, BeaconStac is capable of generating QR codes in bulk quantities.
QR codes tie up the speed and convenience that modern consumers expect from an eCommerce store. Adding the eco-friendliness and digital capabilities that QR codes bring to the table, they deserve the consideration of numerous businesses in the eCommerce industry. The implementation of QR codes is not only quick but also economic. Furthermore, they are an element of surprise that garner customer attention, who find satisfaction in scanning the codes just to find out their contents.