QR codes are helping retailers target engaged shoppers

They may not be begging for your attention anymore, but QR codes are still around, and some retailers are finding new ways to take advantage of them.

The once ubiquitous barcodes are no longer being used just to direct consumers to purchase pages and websites. Chains like TGI Fridays have experimented with using them as a way to speed up mobile payments, while third party payment services and banks are lining up in anticipation of China lifting a ban on using the codes for mobile payments.

Closer to home for many American retailers, a Nielsen report earlier this year found that people still like using QR codes, suggesting their utility as a source of shopper data hasn't run out yet. According to Scanbuy, the mobile engagement solutions provider behind the ScanLife app, the company still processes around 8 million scans each month, and the likes of Sephora, Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Tiger Direct are using the data gathered from those scans to better target deals.  

Earlier this year Scanbuy, announced updates to the ScanLife app that allowed users to opt in to receive promotional messages personalized just for them based on items they have scanned, and helped brands and advertisers target specifically consumers who have scanned their products.

"MTargeting gives marketers access to millions of consumers that have already expressed a high level of interest in related products and services," said David Javitch, VP of product at Scanbuy. "This level of personalization is seeing three to 10 times the average click-through rates that one would expect from typical mobile advertising inventory, so we're really looking forward to rolling this out to our premium partners."

Brands like Sephora, Walmart and Tiger Direct have used the data gathered from those QR codes to their advantage. For retailers, the tech is most useful for event marketing. Walmart pushed clothing offers to shoppers during the back-to-school season, and Tiger Direct promoted electronics leading up to Father's Day.

Whether it's mobile payments or better targeting, QR codes are still alive and kicking and may yet make the jump to marketing essential.

For more:
-See this Scanbuy press release
-See this Mobile Marketer story
-See this Mobile Commerce News story

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