Proximity Marketing is a topic which has been widely discussed in a series of posts on this blog, and the development of the Digital Signage platform Web Signage is permeated by this concept in all of its aspects and interfaces. As professionals working in this sector, our job is to communicate with clients, think up new solutions, experiment and invent day after day. Brainstorming, scenarios, simulations are the bread and butter of any creative mind! Ideas – often the best ones – come from random and unexpected events of our everyday lives.
QR Marketing – how it all started
For example, the idea that led to integrating a QR marketing solution into Web Signage came from a night of Cuban salsa in Stuttgart (Germany). Let’s go back in time: It was a summer rain-free night (summer = hot weather = sun is an equation which doesn’t normally work in Germany). It was the perfect chance to wash and hang some clothes in the back garden, which I did with three pairs of jeans of a famous Italian brand. Do you know those jeans which seem to have been made specially for you? The ones you love more than anything and would wear until the end of time? Those are the kind of jeans I’m talking about! Fast forward to later on that evening: I’m going home accompanied by a beautiful girl, whom we’ll name Svetlana. I’m sure you’ll agree that when opportunities arise, it’s kind of inappropriate to say “Sorry love, I have to collect my clothes”… especially if she’s called Svetlana! Ubi maior, minor cessat! (Which, for all you Latin-phobes out there, means “when there is something more important to do you, leave aside the less important things.”) In the morning, when the maior was over, it was time to focus on the minor: collecting my clothes. And then, to my horror, I discovered that my three pairs of jeans were missing! To get robbed this way in Germany feels like a double insult, especially if you come from Sicily.
A new purchase
Besides my economic, moral and emotional trauma, there was the problem of finding some new jeans that would fit to perfection like those that were stolen. Svetlana, being a style guru, suggested what she thought would be my ideal pair of jeans, which also had excellent value for money: H&M Denim series, Slim model, size 32-34. Veni, vidi, emit! (I came, I saw, I bought!) I went to the till, paid, and the sales assistant gave me a €5 coupon (an elegant cash card-sized coupon) to be spent within a week. The purpose of this is clear: incentivise my return, make customers loyal to you and create new purchase opportunities.
The coupon presents several problems:
- My wallet contains paper money, private and company credit cards, my driving licence, health insurance card, loyalty card, business card, etc. It was bursting at the seams!
- As you can see from the picture, the coupon is made of quality material which means it’s not cheap – 1,000 cards cost about 25 cents each. To spend less than 10 cent each, you’d need to order at least 15,000 cards!.
- The coupon has a validity date printed on the back. Once it expires, unused cards will have to be destroyed, which entails an economic waste as well as an environmental damage (time of decomposition: a thousand years). Not to mention the waste of resources and production pollution…
- Loyalty cards, vouchers and coupons are also potential time bombs for the well-being of a couple. Have you ever experienced the look of contempt on your partner’s face when you guiltily tell him/her that you have forgotten your loyalty card/voucher/coupon at home?
A lost purchase
The cherry on top: the week that the coupon was valid, I happened to have a H&M store nearby. I had a quick think and remembered leaving the coupon in my car, which at that moment was parked in my private parking space at home. In short: I didn’t go back to the store (despite my best intentions) and H&M lost some extra turnover. More than likely, this very same story has happened to many other customers (not the part about Svetlana and the jeans theft…).
A turnover that wouldn’t have been lost if…
The double-display cash register had had a Digital Signage solution with an integrated QR marketing code. In this specific case, this would have happened:
- the marketing division operator could have simply created a QR code with a coupon, valid for a certain period of time, set budget limitation and issued the criteria. Cost for creating the campaign: none. Cost of support: a big fat nothing. Cost of the disposal of unused vouchers: nada. Environmental impact: zero zilch.
- The client scans and archives the code using his/her smartphone (which, unlike a paper coupon, we always carry on us)
- The client goes back to the store and redeems his coupon.
- The system records the use of the coupon in real time and the administrator can get brief detailed reports as to date and place of purchase and use on a dashboard, where it will be possible to scan other data and study trends and conversion rates over time. To understand how this solution works, open the cash register simulation above and click on the QR code
It was all thanks to Svetlana
So, if one day you will have all of your loyalty cards stored on a smartphone app, your vouchers will be managed through coupons obtained with dynamic QR Codes displayed on a Digital Signage display; if by following this interaction, after your purchase, you’ll be able to receive notifications of sales in advance, possibly when close to a store, remember: it was all thanks to Svetlana.