QR Codes are everywhere! From grocery stores to the streets, from business cards to billboards, from marketing materials to people marketing themselves with tattoos, everyone is scanning! (or Everyone seems to be scanning)
What is a QR Code?
Originally developed in Japan, this 2D barcode is the Quick Response Code. The code gives smartphone users direct access to your products, services and information. The QR Code’s great storage capacity, as well as its fast readability, has made it a popular marketing tool all over the world.
The code is used as a shortcut to directly connect customers with websites or online resources by scanning your smartphone over the square design. It connects your mobile browser directly with the intended online location, without ever having to type a URL into a browser. Easy!
For example, if a person on the street walks by your pawn shop flyer, billboard, or any other advertisement and scans the QR Code on the ad, it could directly take them to a map to your location, your website or to pictures of items new to your inventory.
According to the Los Angeles Times, for the first time ever more Americans own smartphones than regular phones or feature phones. As we leap into 2014, a lot more people are “tech savvy,” as smart phones are a big part of our everyday lives, and what people want is a fast and easy life. All you need is to download the application on your smartphone and have a URL of the online location you want people to view.
The best part is that QR Codes are free!
Check out this easy video on How To Create QR Codes
Benefits of QR Codes in YOUR Business
Larger brands and businesses are using QR codes as a marketing tool for their products and services and to bring in more traffic to their websites. Small businesses such as pawnshops should not be an exception. Whether you are a large, multi-shop operation or a small, single store owner, integrating QR Codes into your marketing campaigns could give you a competitive advantage.
Devicemedia.ca states that QR Code scanning has increased by 1600% over the last year. Around 70% are between the ages of 25 to 55.
How QR Codes Can Be Used
- On Your Business Card – QR code on your business card allows your customers to instantly add your contact information to their phone, link them to your online portfolio/resume, or link them to websites of your choice.
- Coupon – Link direct shoppers to specific coupons and current deals in your shop.
- Product and Service –You can link the code to a new or existing product or service and its details.
- Social Media –Link directly to your social media accounts for more exposure of your shops inventory and to gain followers. (See Alex Cybul’s post on Using Social Media for Pawnshops .)
- Link to Video –Give customers instant access to advertising, training, and informational videos. Link a virtual tour video of your shop.
- Registration –Quickly register for an event, mailing list, appointment. Register for possible discounts in your pawn shop.
- Link to Google Places –Link your QR Code to your Google Places page of your pawn shop for customer reviews and testimonials.
How QR Codes Can Benefit You
- Save money –With QR Codes your business can save a lot of marketing money from reprints of advertising materials.
- Ad Space –You can give your customers a lot of information about you and your shop without requiring a large ad space.
- Instant & Direct Information –Being able to give instant and direct information on what you want viewed.
- Traffic to your website –You decide what action you want your customers to take and what online location to visit. Whether it be your inventory, social media accounts, testimonials, your shops website, or discounts for your pawn shop.
- Instant Subscribers –Add viewers as email subscribers of your monthly newsletter for your shop.
- Measurable – Actions triggered through QR Codes can be traced with web analytics or other tools for marketing campaign measurement. You can track to see whether your customers like spending more time on your shops inventory page, or the social media accounts, as well as how many people visit which site.
- Competitive Differentiation – Because QR Codes are taking off in the U.S., those who are among the first to employ them in their pawn shops, will set themselves apart as leaders in strategic marketing within the industry.
- Versatile –Quick Response Codes can be integrated with a wide range of marketing materials for just about any purpose, which includes direct mail, outdoor displays and print collateral.
For your customers, this is a way to keep them connected as they learn more about your pawn shop and what it has to offer. For you, QR Codes is a way to keep relationships strong, even after your customers walk out of your door, and improves the chances of them coming back to your shop.
If your shop is looking for new ways to target and engage your audience, to show off your inventory and what you stand for, QR Codes offer opportunity to combine online and offline media, while setting yourself apart from your competition in the process.
Here is a fun video on Where To Find QR Codes
Here are a few sites where you can generate your own QR codes for free.