The Green Sheet Online Edition
December 26, 2011 • Issue 11:12:02
QR codes - the new call to action
Quick response (QR) codes are showing up everywhere, although they aren't necessarily new. You find them in magazines and on business cards, storefront windows, product labeling and displays, billboards, and catalogs.
Consumers with camera phones equipped with the correct reader application simply scan the image of the QR code to display text, a web page, v-card (virtual, or electronic, business card), contact details, video and much more.
Merchant level salespeople (MLSs) are always looking for new ways to help merchants increase business. QR codes are an excellent tool for engaging potential and existing customers. Savvy businesses print QR codes directly onto POS receipts.
Many POS terminals, printers, card terminals and cash registers now offer the ability to print graphics on every receipt.
This low-cost tool makes it possible for businesses to market to their customers every time they make purchases. Adding QR codes is an effective way to reward current customers and encourage repeat business.
From receipt to call to action
When used correctly, QR codes offer a strong call to action. When printed on a receipt, the customized code can link to:
- Loyalty programs
- New products
Technological advances have made it easier than ever to add custom content to POS receipts. We spoke with POS terminal manufacturer Ingenico to get its opinion on integrating QR codes into receipts.
"POS terminals have advanced vastly since the early days of the single-purpose, printer-less devices that were long considered the mainstay of electronic authorizations," said Gregory Boardman, Senior Vice President of Product and Development at Ingenico.
Thermal speed demons
Today's POS terminals incorporate thermal printers capable of speeds of 18 lines per second, including graphics, according to Boardman.
This simplifies printing bar codes, logos, coupons, and QR codes that can be scanned using a smart phone to create a more intimate experience between merchants and cardholders. Boardman noted that QR codes can even be used to redeem discounts on customers' return visits.
"It's all about finding new ways to tap into popular technology trends to drive increased customer loyalty and to deliver relevant and timely messages and offers" to the merchant's customer base, Boardman said.
Smart phones and more robust bar codes create a mechanism to provide consumers with a more diverse payments experience.
The receipt plays an important role, because it is one of the few items that can influence customers' actions once they leave the store, he added.
Following are a few technical tips to ensure success with QR code scanning:
- Test your QR codes with multiple readers and devices
- Use a site like www.bitly.com to shorten links and create clean codes
- Make codes at least one inch by one inch in size to ensure proper scanning
Finding ways to stand out from the competition is the key to success in a highly competitive marketplace. QR codes can be a great way for any ISO or MLS to add value for merchants.
Stephen Enfield founded POS Supply Solutions in 1999 and has over two decades of experience in the POS industry, working with large multinationals as well as small business accounts. Stephen is an innovative, entrepreneurial professional with an unwavering focus on customer satisfaction and a down-to-earth approach. For more information, visit www.possupply.com, or contact Stephen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-431-5800.
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