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Omnichannel marketing with QR codes and beacons

24th Aug 2017
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Your website, mobile app, brick and mortar store, and social media pages aren’t separate entities. They combine together to create an overall experience for your customers. To make sure that experience is positive and consistent, you can use omnichannel marketing.

Specifically, there are two powerful omnichannel marketing tools that savvy entrepreneurs should be considering. These are QR codes and beacons. Keep reading to learn how each of these technologies works, and how you can implement them to enhance CX.

QR Codes

QR codes are everywhere. You’ve probably seen them printed on flyers, on the back of your favorite energy drink, on restaurant menus, magazine ads, even in museums. They’re popular, because they are effective. They provide an easy path for customers who are interacting with your brand offline to interact with your brand online.

QR codes can also be used to bring audience members from your social media pages to your website. For example, Snapchat allows users to create custom snap codes with links to their  websites. Scanning a QR code can also call a phone number, send an email, even download contact detail to a customer’s phone.

Placing QR Codes

There aren’t many limits on where you can place a QR code. You can embed them in social media posts, place them on your website, and certainly place print versions of them just about anywhere. Of course, doing so would be overkill and probably not very effective. Instead, using QR codes should be part of a strong omnichannel marketing strategy.

QR Codes And Events

One way to use QR codes is in a marketing chain related to an upcoming event. For example a department store that is promoting a music festival may have festival organizers include a QR code on flyers and tickets. Then, when scanned the QR code leads to a micropage dedicated to the relationship between the store and the event, with lots of relevant content. The micropage can then provide incentive to visitors to visit the store and get a discount if they bring in a ticket stub.

Creating Engagement In-Store And Elsewhere That is Customer Driven

Dwimmer, a high-end tie seller has implemented QR codes in a way that creates and continues customer engagement before and after the sale. It begins when someone is browsing through the ties in store. They can scan the code on the tie, and access videos, information about the making of the tie, as well as content about the company itself.

After the purchase, the customer has the opportunity to scan the code again and register the tie along with their information. This gives them access to an exclusive portal. There they receive styling advice from other consumers, discounts, and other content.

In the future, the brand plans to establish relationships with venues, bars, and other locations. This means that wearers may be able to access special offers and content. Because customers can choose to scan the codes or not, they are only contacted when they request it.


Many retailers are installing small beacons throughout their stores. These beacons emit a special kind of bluetooth signal that are picked up by mobile devices. When that happens, a specially curated message can be directly pushed out to that device.

For example, a customer browsing near the pasta and pasta sauces in the grocery store might receive a message offering them a digital coupon on a box of dried pasta or jar of sauce. They might receive a similar offer on frozen garlic bread. The retailer might opt not to use the beacon for sales purposes at all. Instead, they might send a link to pasta recipes.

Creating Engagement In Store And Online at Once

In addition to creating engagement in the store, beacons can drive interaction back to their apps. This is important as 77% of users don’t use an app again three days after installing it. By using beacons, marketing teams can reinvigorate use of these apps thus bringing new life to that channel.

Brands are clearly excited about beacons. More than ½ of the top 100 brands are using beacons in their stores. In fact, drugstore giant Rite Aid rolled out beacon technology to over 4500 stores across the United states in 2106. Along with Rite Aid, department stores, electronics stores, even museums and zoos have adopted beacon technology as a way to engage with customers.

Challenges to Using Beacons

While beacons can get consumers to begin using apps they have been ignoring, it can be challenging to get customers to install those apps in the first place. Considering that the majority of shoppers at stores like Kohl’s are over 35 that can be challenging. Brick and mortar stores may be faced with educating consumers about the technology involved in these apps and beacons as well as convincing them of the value of using this technology.

When used correctly, beacons and QR codes can be a powerful part of a company’s omnichannel marketing strategy. They can create engagement online, in store, on social media, and while customers are out and about. As long as brands follow a few rules of good practice and are aware of any challenges they may face adopting these technologies, they can use both to interact with customers and potential customers.

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