May 17, 2012, 3:30 PM

Toying around with QR codes

Toys ‘R’ Us shows how QR codes should be done.

Lead Photo

Scanbuy, which offers the free bar code scanner app ScanLife, reported this week that scans through ScanLife in Q1 2012 jumped 160% to 13 million compared with 5 million in Q1 2011. The vast majority of these scans were of two-dimensional Quick Response (QR) codes; users scan conventional one-dimensional bar codes through the app as well. And this is just scans through ScanLife. There are many free bar code scanner apps out there.

Toys ‘R’ Us just announced a new QR code marketing campaign for the summer, and it shows one of the best ways QR codes can be used by retailers.

To provide customers with an engaging in-store experience and allow them to see summer backyard toys in action, more than 20 large outdoor items feature QR codes on their corresponding in-store signs. The QR codes enable customers to visualize how the toy would work and look in their own backyards.

Let’s say you think your tots would love an island getaway. Toys ‘R’ Us offers the Tropical Island Resort with Umbrella. The picture on the box gives you an idea of what it looks like, but the QR code on the sign goes a step further. Scan it with your 2-D bar code reader app and you’re linked to a video of the item completely set up with kids at play in water. You can’t ask for a better selling tool for such a product. The QR code brings the product to life, and you can look at the tykes playing in the water and easily imagine your own kids having tons of fun.

Outdoor items featuring QR codes include trampolines, pools, sandboxes, slides, clubhouses and picnic tables.

If you’re a store retailer, take a look at what you are selling and see where QR codes can come in handy. QR codes are a wonderful m-commerce technology that can do things even your best sales associate cannot. And as the numbers show, an increasing number of consumers are falling for the charms of QR codes.

QR codes are cheap and easy. You can’t lose.

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