November 2 2018QR QR codes deep links
I was talking to a retailer about the use of QR Codes the other day and he asked a question I get often: Can't I just point the QR Code to my homepage?
My answer was: Of course you can, but you shouldn't. And here's why. Your website is great but it is targeted to your general audience. People do a search or come specifically to your website for any number of reasons. Your visitors may be new to your brand and checking you out. They may be looking to buy a specific product. They may be an existing customer looking for specific information about a product they purchased. Or maybe they are just looking for location or contact information to reach out to you directly. There are a myriad of possibilities for any given visitor at any given time and your website needs to meet all of their needs. The QR Code use case on the other hand, is different. It should be more targeted and by that I mean, when you put a QR Code on something you must have a clear understanding of why you want people to scan and make that very clear to them in order to get them to do so. Then, you need to be sure to deliver the experience they expect in terms of both content and format, otherwise they will drop you like a hot rock. The format issue is fairly simple. What you deliver needs to be mobile-first because you know people will be using a mobile phone or tablet to access your content and fast because no one wants to wait for content to load. This seems obvious but you might be surprised at the number of times I've had a poor QR Code scanning experience. For example, there is a fairly popular tourist attraction near me that has a billboard at the front of its location that highlights the other attractions in the area. Each listed attraction includes its own QR Code, which seems really cool. Unfortunately, when you scan the QR Code, you are delivered to the homepage of the attraction's website, which is not mobile-ready. You need to zoom in to read any of the content or even look at a picture and navigating around the site is very difficult. The experience is awful and really let's you down.
On the content front, if you want people to scan a product with the end goal of them buying it, you'll want to deliver "selling" content. In the retail environment, we often suggest starting with a personal "Why we love it" statement which is a brief text statement that explains the best attributes about the product. Next, a 1 minute or less video of your best sales pitch draws the customer in and provides additional context about the product. Then, you can add more detailed information about the product, which is most often in text and images. These situations are also a perfect opportunity to capture customer information. Offer customers an "on the spot" discount for purchasing in exchange for their name and mobile number/email address or the like. Delivering this kind of specific, "deep page" content directly from the product can be a huge boon for sales and the reputation of your business. The same can be said for customer service. Think about a QR Code on the side of a product box that reads "Scan for Customer Service" and then delivering someone who has purchased your product directly to assembly instructions in video and text formats. In addition, you could provide links to contact customer service directly from their devices, ask them to take a quick survey about their experience with their product and maybe even offer videos of the product in use to help customers get the most benefit from the product. In both of these cases, the benefits to your brand of delivering consumers directly to what they are looking for, especially when they've identified their interest, are huge. You may increase sales measurably, but you will also increase the possibility of increasing the lifetime value of your customers because you deliver a more meaningful, enjoyable and frictionless experience than they can get elsewhere.