In today’s multi-channel commerce environment, it’s critical for brands to have an omnichannel marketing strategy.
Brands need to continuously innovate their marketing and deliver a consistent and personalized experience across all channels to convert customers, while also trying to retain existing ones and drive loyalty at the same time. Not to mention the complicated relationship that brands have with customer data amidst privacy concerns and the need for increased transparency.
If this sounds challenging…it is. But many brands are turning to a powerful (and timeless) piece of technology that helps bridge the physical and digital worlds: QR codes.
In this article, we’ll explore the many different ways you can use QR codes at every stage of the sales funnel to enhance the customer experience and strengthen your omnichannel marketing strategy.
An Overview of Omnichannel Marketing
Omnichannel marketing, as Marketing Evolution defines it, is “the seamless integration of branding, messaging, and online and offline touchpoints as consumers move down the sales funnel, enabling a more impactful customer experience.”
Here’s an example of a brand’s omnichannel marketing strategy (inspired by Shopify):
1. A customer comes across a TV ad for a brand that sells sparkling water, and visits the website for more information.
2. A welcome message prompts the customer to spin a wheel to get a discount. The customer enters their email address to claim the discount but ultimately leaves the website without buying anything.
3. The customer receives an email a few hours later reminding them to claim the discount and receives targeted ads on Instagram.
4. This recaptures the customer’s attention, and they decide to engage with one of the brand’s shoppable posts.
5. However, they’re still not convinced to make a purchase. The brand sees that the customer is located in Boston and emails them to try out new flavors in a nearby store.
6. The customer decides to try it out and finally makes a purchase.
7. The customer receives a thank you email and regular shipping updates until the product is delivered.
8. A few weeks later, the customer almost finishes their supply and receives a timely reminder via SMS to reorder, leave a review, and explore the new product line.
9. The brand continues to engage with this customer through periodic emails, ads, and text messages.
For clear reasons, an experience like this is more effective than single-channel marketing at converting customers. We’ll take a closer look at how QR codes can enable an even more seamless customer experience.
Pre-Purchase: Make your advertisements more accessible with QR codes
The customer journey begins with brand awareness and discovery. There are a wide range of places where shoppers can discover products, from social media platforms to posters on the subway to trade shows.
QR codes have become an expected feature in advertising for several reasons. They’re highly accessible—anyone who owns a smartphone with a built-in QR code reader can scan and customers are now used to scanning them regularly. They’re also the quickest way to connect with a brand digitally. Without having to type in a web address, you can reach an online destination within 2-3 seconds.
By placing QR codes on advertisements, brands can shorten the distance between shoppers and their online stores. Commuters can scan on the way to work or while watching TV during commercial breaks.
The impact created by adding a simple QR code shouldn’t be understated. For example, Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, launched a creative QR code campaign during this year’s Super Bowl commercials that drove over 20 million visits to their landing page in under one minute—the massive influx of traffic temporarily crashed their app.
Best Practices When Using QR Codes in Advertisements
Post-Purchase: Engage customers with personalized experiences across channels
Once customers make their purchase, it is up to the brand to connect via email and SMS and engage them in meaningful post-purchase experiences. To do this, brands need data to personalize messaging and content for each customer.
Just like how there are numerous channels for brand discovery, there are also many from which customers make their purchases. When customers purchase products from large retailers and traditional marketplaces like Amazon, brands have very little to no insight into who these customers are. They also have less control over their brand story and presentation. With nearly two million brands selling on Amazon alone, there is a significant gap in knowledge of how customers are engaging with brands on the world’s largest online retailer.
This is where brands gain immense value by integrating QR codes onto their actual products and packaging. The top use cases for brands using QR codes on their products are product registration, easy reorder, subscription and rewards program opt-in, exclusive content, and brand story. When paired with an enticing call-to-action, it’s an effective way to nudge customers to connect with the brand digitally, regardless of the sales channel they initially purchase through.
With dynamic QR Codes, like those from Brij, brands can collect customer data across channels and, more importantly, translate analytics into informed actions to deliver a seamless omnichannel experience. By keeping track of registration rates, brands are able to better target their marketing on different channels.
The bridge between the digital and physical worlds creates exciting opportunities for customer engagement. Brij leverages the universality and accessibility of QR codes to help brands strengthen their omnichannel marketing strategy in the most seamless way possible. With a simple scan of a QR code, customers have the ability to perform a wide range of actions, such as redeeming a discount, placing a reorder, searching for recipes, and contacting customer support. It’s essentially giving superpowers to a physical product.
When brands know more about their customers, they are better able to deliver a shopping experience that drowns out irrelevant information. This approach is good for brands and better for their customers.