5 Must-Have Features for an Engaging Virtual Store Experience with QR Codes
There has been exponential growth in the usage of QR Codes in the last few years. This increase can be attributed to smartphone users, as they are the potential customers of e-retail brands.
Due to this high adoption rate, more and more retail stores are leveraging QR Codes to enhance the virtual store experience. Retail giants like Walmart, Tesco, and Target have incorporated QR Codes to create a simple yet accessible experience for shoppers.
It is high time small-scale retail stores also tap into this opportunity to grow their customer base. Using any of the best QR Code generators available out there, even you can create an engaging virtual store experience for your customers.
This article will explain the must-have features that retail stores should consider for creating an unparalleled virtual store experience with QR Codes.
5 Notable Features of QR Codes in Virtual Stores to Stand Out
Below are some significant features of virtual store QR Codes that retail stores must follow:
1. Directing customers to the store website by placing QR Codes on packaging
Strategic use of QR Codes can help in customer retention. With QR Codes, retail stores can convert one-time customers to repeat customers and increase cross-selling opportunities by directing them to specific web pages.
Suppose a new customer purchases an item from your virtual store. A great way to convert them into a repeat customer is by adding the QR Code to your store’s website on the package. That way, when they receive the product physically, they might be curious to scan the QR Code, which directs them to your virtual store’s homepage or a specific product page.
This can be a great cross-selling strategy as well. For instance, if the shopper orders a bracelet from your store and you place the QR Code for a product page where items like necklaces or earrings are listed, there is a high possibility of conversion.
Amazon's SmileCode initiative is viral in the US. Amazon adds QR Codes to special coupons and discounts on product packages that encourage shoppers to purchase again. To access this QR Code, users must scan it through the Amazon shopping app’s live camera.
2. Offering special discounts for individual customers by placing QR Codes on walls, window displays
There are many such brick-and-mortar stores that recently transitioned to a virtual store. However, the challenge these businesses often face is that their loyal customers are way too habituated to the offline experience, making it difficult to direct them to the virtual store.
QR Codes can work as an intermediary here. Consider adding the QR Code to a special discount on your offline store's window displays or walls. As soon as a physical store customer scans it, the QR Code will direct them to the discount page specifically available for virtual store customers. This strategy will give them a nudge to check out the online store.
Fashion retailer H&M initiated an Innovative Voice Mirror campaign in New York. Through this campaign, H&M encouraged customers to take selfies with the mirror. Once the shopper scanned the QR Code on the mirror, it directed them to download a virtual magazine cover featuring the same selfie.
3. Adding QR Codes to similar items on “out of stock” products
Suppose a user searches for an item that is currently “out of stock” in your store. However, online retailers often have several similar products listed with slight color, print, or brand variations. Hence, instead of completely missing out on a customer, virtual stores can place a “View similar items” CTA on the product “out of stock” pages.
However, when a customer doesn’t like similar items or your store doesn’t have similar items to showcase, using a custom QR Code generator is the best option. You can add a QR Code to the “out of stock” product pages so that whenever a shopper scans it, they will be invited to submit their contact details. The purpose here is to send an automated notification to the customer whenever the product is back in stock.
4. Offering cardless/cashless payment options by automating payment with QR Codes
Based on the latest survey claims that 68% of millennials and 71% of Gen-Z shoppers prefer cashless payment options. In the post-Covid era, most customers are habituated to the touchless, digital payment getaways.
One of the great ways to channel cardless/cashless payment is through QR Codes. Brick-and-mortar stores can encourage customers to go cashless by placing QR Codes in the checkout corners. That way, customers can avoid the hassle of carrying cash or standing in long queues.
US-based supermarket Walmart deployed QR Codes for payments back in 2015. Walmart has launched its own payment app called Walmart Pay. Shoppers can scan QR Codes through this app and pay for their purchased items without extra charges.
Once a user downloads the Walmart Pay app, it asks them to integrate their credit/debit cards into the app. That way, when the user scans a Walmart QR Code, it auto-debits the billed amount.
5. Encouraging customers to provide reviews by placing QR Codes on price tags or packaging
Product reviews play a pivotal role for e-retailers. According to GlobalNewswire, 95% of online shoppers go through reviews before purchasing a product.
Selling quality products is not always enough. Virtual stores require validation from their customers through reviews and ratings. QR Codes in stores can be a great way to encourage more shoppers to post their reviews.
There are various ways to do this.
Brands can place QR Codes on product packaging, price tags, or user manuals. Customers will be directed to the product review page when they scan this QR Code.
Notice how Samsung adds QR Codes to the packaging to motivate the customer to post an online review.
QR Codes can bridge the gap between online users and e-retailers. Using QR Codes can help virtual stores acquire and retain more customers. Building a loyal customer base is the cornerstone of any online store, and QR Codes help with that.
As the first step, virtual stores must understand the appropriate use of QR Codes and figure out how to leverage them. We have highlighted some top ways to make the most of QR Codes in virtual stores. However, the strategies can vary from store to store based on their offerings.
The idea behind deploying QR Codes is to create a seamless and hassle-free online purchase and post-purchase experience for shoppers.