In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
It’s using 2-D bar codes to show sprinkler videos and more to smartphone owners.
Mister Landscaper Inc., which sells lawn and garden sprinklers, is bringing its products to life in the aisles of Lowe’s stores, linking the physical world to the online world with a wave of a smartphone. The consumer brand manufacturer and e-retailer is using two-dimensional bar codes printed on product packages to connect smartphone-toting shoppers to a mobile site with online videos and instruction guides that provide far more information than could ever be conveyed on a box.
The brand has launched the 2-D campaign, with mobile marketing firm and 2-D bar code specialist Augme Technologies Inc., in 1,000 Lowe’s stores in the Eastern United States. It is using on the package of its Micro Sprinkler Beginner’s Kit and on store displays and shelf stickers a type of 2-D bar code known as QR, or Quick Response. 1-D bar codes, like the Universal Product Code, or UPC, are horizontal lines of bars and can hold minimal data. 2-D bar codes are horizontal and vertical images that can contain far more information than a 1-D code.
To use a Mister Landscaper 2-D bar code, a consumer must own a smartphone and first download a 2-D bar code scanning app, such as those from NeoReader and ScanLife.
One hurdle to 2-D code adoption has been consumers not having a scanner app or even knowing what one is. Mister Landscaper is combating this by including next to QR codes on packages, “Need to download a 2-D Barcode Reader App for your mobile device? Text ‘2DCODE’ to 30333.” After texting, a consumer quickly receives a reply text that reads: “Welcome to Augme Mobile. Use the link below to download your 2-D code reader.” The link sends the consumer to a mobile web page where a number of scanners are recommended based on his mobile device.
If he doesn’t already have a scanner app, he downloads one. Then he opens the app, lines up the 2-D code on the screen, and hovers the phone over the code for a second while the app scans it and then automatically links the consumer to the Mister Landscaper mobile site.
The colorful site features five selections on the home page: Videos, Mobile Manual, Why Mister Landscaper, E-mail Sign-Up and Contact Us.
Mister Landscaper also features on packages and displays another way to get at the mobile content. Consumers can text “DRIP” to 30333; moments later they receive a reply text message with a hyperlink they can touch to be linked to the mobile site.
“We wanted to provide a helpful and convenient resource to our customers,” says Susan S. Thayer, president of Mister Landscaper. “How cool that customers looking at our products can now see them in action on their mobile device. We believe this is going to be a valuable selling tool for our company. ”