Commentary

Surge In QR Codes In Mobile Retail

Finally living up to years of hype, QR codes are becoming central to mobile marketing strategies.

That’s according to fresh estimates from Juniper Research, which predicts that the number of QR coupons redeemed via mobile will reach 5.3 billion by 2022.

By contrast, coded coupons redeemed via mobile in 2017 approached about 1.3 billion, by Juniper’s count.

What's more, Juniper forecasts that over 1 billion mobile devices will access coupons through QR codes by 2022.

The surge is being driven by in-built QR functionality on smartphones. In particular, Apple recently decided to include QR reader-functionality as part of the camera application on new iPhones.

“Apple’s addition of QR code reading facilities directly addresses a major barrier for use in Western markets,” Juniper Research Analyst Lauren Foye notes in the new report.

“The lack of an in-built reader had been a hindrance, with consumers needing to download a separate QR code scanner app,” according to Foye.

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Foye and her colleagues believe that retailers are set to take advantage of an increasingly receptive audience for QR codes.

Target, for example, recently announced a QR code-based payments system to scan offers directly to their device-stored payment cards, which can then be scanned at checkout for instant payment.

Meanwhile, Juniper expects mobile-enabled loyalty cards to double from 2 billion in 2017 to nearly 4 billion by 2022.

This growth will be driven by what Foye and her team call the digitalization of offers, alongside newer, innovative technologies being applied by retailers.

Foye found that chatbots and voice assistants as major driving factors in delivering consumer loyalty, with these programs aiding in delivering recommended offers and incentives, as well as addressing customer queries.

Adding a word of caution, however, Foye and her team say that consumers have less and less patience for misunderstood queries, and incorrectly recorded information.

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