October 11, 2011, 11:17 AM

Mobile Commerce Forum Report: A wave of sales flows from 2-D bar codes on product packaging

O’Brien Watersports added a Microsoft Tag to the box of its top-selling raft.

Lead Photo

Pete Surrette

O’Brien Watersports, a manufacturer of water sports equipment like skis, wakeboards and rafts, this year tested how 2-D bar codes could help it sell more of its top-selling product through Dick’s Sporting Goods stores. It added Microsoft Tag  bar codes to the box of its Super Screamer raft, to end-cap displays placed at Dick’s Sporting Goods and to print ads for the Super Screamer, all of which connected consumers to a 20-second video that showed kids and adults on the raft being pulled by a speed boat. After it added the tags in June, sales of the raft at Dick’s stores increased 19.6% from the year prior, said Pete Surrette, vice president of sales and marketing for O’Brien Watersports at Internet Retailer’s Mobile Commerce Forum in Houston yesterday.

Sales of the raft increased an average of 10% for all other domestic retailers, Surrette said. “Dick’s doubled that rate for their sales of that product,” Surrette said.

Surrette said that the video consumers saw online via the bar code scan helped them understand what they’d get from buying the Super Screamer. “Our whole deal with the video is to show that they’re having fun and that’s what they can expect to do too,” he said.

With its early success using 2-D bar codes, the manufacturer is now adding videos and tags on more products to assist consumers with other product questions, Surrette said. For example, a 2-D bar code included on the product manual for a raft links to a video that shows the consumer how to properly inflate it. Another code links to a two-minute video that shows consumers how to attach boot bindings to a wakeboard. “We get a lot of questions where people won’t fully understand how to use the products they’ve bought, and this helps answer them,” he said.

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