Retail ABCs

James Gray

October 31 2018

QR QR codes retail

I recently had a conversation with a local professional photographer about QR Codes and their applicability to the retail market. He has a bricks and mortar storefront and generally likes the idea of QR Codes, but didn’t think they could be of any use to him because he really doesn’t sell physical products or have a ton of customers coming through his store.

That got me thinking about the ABC (Always Be Closing) scene in Glengarry Glen Ross.

While Blake and the notion of ABC is somewhat repulsive in the movie's context, there is something in it that is relevant to bricks & mortar retailers, especially today. When competing against the 24/7, 365 capabilities and convenience of e-commerce retailers, bricks and mortar shops need to continually strive to make themselves meaningful and available to consumers. In the photographer’s case, he has a beautifully appointed store that is full of examples of his work. His storefront gives him great mindshare and credibility in town, but it also leaves many questions and possibly makes him miss many opportunities. Being a photographer, he’s often out on shoots and thus not in the store. Also, he’s next door to a popular upscale restaurant, where traffic is heaviest from 5:30PM – 9:30PM, which is after his closing time of 5:00PM. I’ve eaten in that restaurant on multiple occasions and have always found myself drawn to his window on my way in or out. His talent is clear from the images on display and I always think to myself that I should inquire about using him for a family photo shoot. But his store is always closed when I am there and I am busy. So invariably, I move on to other things and by the time I get back to the office or home, I forget to look up his number or website and never reach out to him. I am the definition of a lost lead. It was that true, personal story that allowed me to demonstrate to the photographer that he is actually the perfect candidate for QR Code usage. What would happen, I asked, if he placed a large QR Code in his window accompanied by the text “Learn More” or something similar? People might walk by, scan the code with their mobile device and be taken directly to content that provides more information about him. Maybe they could also be given the opportunity to enter their name and email if they wished to be contacted for an appointment. Or they might even be able to book an appointment directly. The options are endless, but they can all work and bring life to the storefront 24/7, 365.