QR Codes in Retail: A Case Study

Quick Response, or "QR", codes have steadily gained popularity in recent years. Pure exposure can be credit for this, after all they seem to be popping up everywhere! Their success and recognizability seemed to happy pretty fast though, and that is due largely to their adoption by big box retail stores. QR codes in retail have a lot of potential. Customers can read reviews, watch videos, compare prices, see additional product information and more! Retail stores like Best Buy, Home Depot and Macy's are just a few of the chains which employ these barcodes in a bit way.

Case Study 1: Best Buy

If a customer walking into Best Buy doesn't know what a QR code is, they'll definitely know before leaving the store. Being a gadget and technology hub, Best Buy was quick to flood the store with barcodes. Nearly any big yellow price tag on their retail floor is emblazoned with a QR code that leads the user to more product information. Various large displays throughout the store have QR codes as well. Some lead to samples of songs, others to product demo videos. Users can even read reviews and see similar products for any price tag QR code they find. To make the experience even easier, Best Buy added a QR code reader right into their own app so that users don't need to download a third-party application to make use of all the extra features. At one point, they even displayed signs that let users scan a QR code that corresponded to their mood!

Case Study 2: Macy's

Big name story Macy's has taken QR codes to the next level with their "Macy's Backstage Pass". QR codes found inside Macy's stores are embedded inside of a red star, making them not only recognizable, but easy to identify as part of Macy's brand. Scanning these barcodes will present videos to the user from designers and celebrities discussing products and fashion. Reading the code has also been linked with sweepstakes, providing extra incentives for customers to get scanning. Macy's recognizes that not all users have smart phones, so those without a QR code reader can simply text a keyword found on the red star QR code to receive the same link that users get when scanning it. Clearly Macy's recognizes the benefits of QR codes in retail, and how to make them a part of your brand!

Case Study 3: The Home Depot

Hardware stores aren't exempt from the QR code craze. Handy men and home owners equipped with smart phones and QR code reader can scan any Martha Stewart brand item inside a Home Depot store to get additional product information, instructional videos, similar items and even project guides. Customers can even activate the QR codes outside of the stores by scanning Home Depot adds with QR codes. Doing so brings up additional information, but also shows a "Buy" button for purchasing items on the fly. It seems Home Depot has found a way to take impulse buying to the next level with QR codes in retail.