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QR Codes - In or Out?

Discussion in 'Inventory Software Support & Best Practices' started by ppenton, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. ppenton

    ppenton Noob

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    QR Codes... has this been a hot topic lately. I was never completely sold on QR codes. I look at my entire family and only my sister and I figured out how to use them. My father, for example, has a smart phone and if you asked him to scan a QR code, it might take a couple of hours for him to figure it out (the need to download an app is their biggest drawback in my opinion). My mother - I don't think she owns a smart phone, so she's out.

    "But Phil, their old." Maybe they are. ;) But I'm a techie and so is my sister. We get it and we still don't use them, other than to say we gave it a try. If I look at my closest friends, they don't use them. They all have fancy smart phones and I bet only a few have the software installed. (Its probably because I told them how to do it).

    I have always said text messaging is for the masses. It may not be cool or flashy... but you know, even my father and mother can text.

    These articles put an interesting twist on the future of QR codes and NFC. Industry titan Google is stepping out of the QR Code game. I think that says something. Will they be the first of many? Most likely not, and QR Codes will stick around, but there may be better technology out there soon.

    Google Kills Off Those Little Square Codes You Scan With Your Phone (GOOG)

    Google Throws Its Weight Behind NFC - Tech Europe - WSJ

    Google Ends QR Code Initiative - PCWorld

    Guess we will see how it all works out. If you have any thoughts about QR Codes and their importance, please share them with me. I really want to like them ;)
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  2. Alex Snyder

    Alex Snyder Administrator Staff Member

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    I have Red Laser on my iPhone and every time I've scanned a QR code it has directed me to something that wasn't enticing to me (usually the company's home page). I can think of two instances, when I've scanned a QR code, that made sense:

    1. Best Buy price tag/product description in the store. The QR code puts you on the product's Bestbuy.com details page with many more specs than can actually fit on that little price card in the store. Not brilliant, but useful for impulse shoppers such as myself.

    2. At Texaco there was a QR code on the gas pump that said "scan me." I was bored while pumping gas, so I scanned it (by the way, aren't you not supposed to use cell phones near gas pumps?) and it put me on a "win such and such by filling out this form" page. I didn't fill out the form, but I bet it has some decent conversion.

    The other 95% of the time a QR code scan hasn't landed me on anything that got me excited about QR codes.

    On the other hand, we have discussed QR codes ad nauseam around the office. I'm sure you guys at HomeNet have as well. There are some interesting ideas for them, but how much do they really add to things.....I don't know. The jury is still out for me.
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  3. Ed Brooks

    Ed Brooks Sr. Refresher

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    I'm with you as far as not being sold on them. They really smell of fad to me. That said I'd love to be proved wrong on this one.

    But Alex, thanks so much for posting this. It gives me a great excuse to repost my favorite QR code video!

    [video=youtube;x9NEhxuJ6MQ]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9NEhxuJ6MQ[/video]
    "...are you Amish?" never fails to crack me up!
  4. FromPA

    FromPA Noob

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    There is a company who uses them to download your mobile app. on customers phones...eZWEB.

    FPA
  5. Jason

    Jason Getting Refreshed

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    I still think QR Codes have their place in our business, however it's just up to us to find a creative & engaging way to use them. There is a tool out there that just might have all the requisite components needed for an interactive QR code experience. It's called ShareSquare and I think it can be tailored to use.

    "ShareSquare is a platform for connecting offline audiences with the bands and brands they love, through immediate calls-to-action and rich engagement on the mobile web, with real-time analytics"

    It really is easy to use, and I put together this little nonsensical demo in about 10 minutes. Anyone want to give it a scan?

    [​IMG]

    How would you use something like this?
  6. Shawn Morse

    Shawn Morse Getting Refreshed

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    Ed
    Thank you for sharing that video,,,I don't care who you are that is funny!
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  7. davidmoon

    davidmoon Sr. Refresher

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    The only practical use I've seen for QR codes has been in real estate ... maybe. Seems like a fad, with limited niche adoption.
  8. Billfred

    Billfred Jr. Refresher

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    Down here, I've only seen one real estate sign with a QR code on it.

    We put signs up in our waiting areas with a QR code for our Facebook page (on the mobile site, natch). That was February 15. Total scans since (according to our bit.ly analytics)? 15. Take out the testing clicks, and we're probably around a dozen in nearly two months. Might be our customer base, might be our area, might be the message...but those are what I've seen.
  9. CliffC

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    I think some of the best value in these codes is their ability to convey a lot of information without the user having to type a lot of keys.

    Wouldn't it be useful to print one somewhere on a repair order or coupon that links to that customers next service interval? It could take them to a place where they adjust and confirm on the DMS -then save in their own calendar with an alarm all at once?

    ???
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  10. davidmoon

    davidmoon Sr. Refresher

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    I could see them for redeeming coupons on receipts. Or perhaps direct mail gimmicks--but then again, it's just one more action to call to.
  11. JoePistell

    JoePistell Super Moderator

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    Ed, that's one of my all time favorites, that you posted months earlier (and I couldn't find it)! BookMarked it!!!

    I've liked QR codes about as much as FB for car dealers :-P and that video nails it to perfection!

    So many of my ideas have failed, that I've got a saying to keep my enthusiasm in check

    "Just because it's a good idea, doesn't mean it'll work"
    ..--Uncle Joe Life Lesson #988 circa 1984
  12. Ryan Leslie

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    The Dealer Specialties team is printing them on Window Stickers, others may be doing it too, I honestly do not know. Is this a good strategy to try to engage an afterhours shopper? maybe...

    If I'm lurking on a lot after hours to see if you actually have the vehicle in stock and see a QR code on a window sticker that gives me additional information that was otherwise unavailable I might be impressed enough to request a callback the next day. If it is just niche, entice me to use the QR code and make me feel better, smarter, whatever appeals to the niche user for knowing what it was and I might be impressed enough to engage. Either way, if your sales team is replaced by QR codes on a window sticker that may be a problem, but that is just my 2 cents.
    [​IMG]
    These stats from emarketer are interesting if nothing else.

    [​IMG]
  13. JoePistell

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    they left out...

    Which Smart phone users:

    Didn't know what we were tailing about
    ================================================== 98.04%
    Needed help finding it and/or adding it
    ===1%
    Those that already hard it and know how to use it
    =0.06%
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011
  14. CliffC

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    So, for every 1634 Smart phone users, one should get it. Seems like you can only go up from there.
  15. Ed Brooks

    Ed Brooks Sr. Refresher

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    The good news on QR Codes is that you can experiment with them at no cost. Sites like bit.ly convert any URL to a QR Code for free. Even better, they allow you to track every time the code is scanned. I wouldn't spend any time, energy or money on this at this point in time, but you don't have to. A QR Code can be generated for free in seconds.

    So put 'em on your window stickers, in your print ads, on the back of your business card - it hurts nothing. View it as an experiment and see how many scans (clicks) you generate.

    But remember that your customer will be using a mobile device and make sure the content that the code directs to makes sense for mobile - your mobile site for instance - or better yet the VDP for the specific vehicle on your mobile site. Flash content (that doesn't play on an iPhone) on your normal website would be a FAIL.
  16. kevinfrye

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    In - but with a different perspective...

    We use QR codes in 2 primary ways. We have them on our Window stickers, and while few shoppers may scan them, they are very useful for our sales reps on the lot. Our sales reps carry smart phones, and they can scan a window sticker QR code and share the latest price, show the full CarFax history report with the shopper on the spot, and more. The other way we use QR codes is on our ads, which is an indicator to a shopper that we are "mobile-friendly".

    Of note, I have attended some networking groups where the big talk is about the codes that Microsoft is using - and which you have likely seen in a lot of the big magazines (best recent example is the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, which told you to scan the code for behind the scenes video...)
  17. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner Founder Staff Member

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    I like it Kevin. Get your sales people involved and allow them to use QR codes as a tool for engaging the consumer. Plus I'm sure it would make it a conversation piece and the customer will forever remember that "sales guy at abcmotors show me what a QR code was". The conversation could continue, allowing the sales person to build more rapport.

    For me, the jury is still our on QR. There's no standard for QR. Lots of code generators and lots of different readers = compatibility issues = frustration.

    Kevin - you're referring to MS Tag. Microsoft has done a great job in getting this in the hands of some big players. The Tag is a smoother code and process. BUT it's MS.

    Then of course now Google is supporting NFC. So what could happen there?

    Too many options quickly fragmenting a technology that is far from being mainstream yet. Could cause confusion and never take off. Or a winner would prevail and one becomes a standard. Or they all succeed and there some build a universal reader.

    I agree with Ed. Right now it's cheap - free mostly. Take advantage. It's new and engaging (for the ones that actually use it). About the only thing it takes up is a little initial time and some open real estate.
  18. davidmoon

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    It's like anything--test, test, test to determine if there's value.
  19. Ed Brooks

    Ed Brooks Sr. Refresher

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    How not to use QR Codes:
    Vinsanity.jpg
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  20. Ed Brooks

    Ed Brooks Sr. Refresher

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    Don't bother looking for that comment on Facebook - it didn't last long! :lol:

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