Providing a more interwoven shopping experience for the modern customer

As Associate Account Director at Marketing Werks, Peter Strum had become increasingly aware of the transformation that smartphones were bringing about in retail. Although e-commerce was on the rise, customers weren’t showing an either/or preference while choosing between physical in-store shopping and other online methods. They didn’t shop exclusively in-store—and the same applied to online shopping too.

For Peter, it was during the attempt to find the area in between that QR Codes seemed like the ideal physical-to-digital engagement medium. Online sales are more likely to happen via the mobile device—precisely 3X more likely—and given that smartphones had native QR Code scanning capabilities built into the camera app, it made all the more sense to include QR Codes in their experiential marketing efforts.

“We’re trying to evolve our approach in how we communicate to our audience. By bridging the gap between online and offline shopping we’re able to create a more interconnected experience for shoppers.”

Marketing Werks has leveraged QR Codes primarily as a physical-to-digital portal at touchpoints like in-store signages and demo stalls inside retail stores.

“We’re placing QR Codes on in-store signages to drive more connectivity through the mobile device. This is important because e-commerce sales via smartphones are seeing an exponential rise. It also drives more synergy between our marketing efforts, helps us reach end-users better, and thereby increase sales for our clients.”

Using Uniqode (formerly Beaconstac) for creating immersive shopper experiences

Peter tracks performance indicators like engagement rates, return on ad spend, and click-through-rates in addition to accurately mapping sales lifts to different in-store executions. As the person responsible for Marketing Werks' shopper marketing initiatives, Uniqode’s (formerly Beaconstac) QR Code solution seemed like the perfect fit—both for delivering engaging experiences as well as for tracking campaign outcomes.

They’ve been able to deploy QR Codes easily and efficiently for in-store campaigns and expanding customer reach for clients. Sam’s Club, Clorox, and Stop&Shop are three clients for whom Marketing Werks has leveraged Uniqode’s (formerly Beaconstac) QR Code solution to drive engagement.

Creating a purely ‘digital’ Sam’s Club sampling corner with QR Codes

For Sam’s Club, the membership-only wholesale retail chain owned by Walmart, Peter included QR Codes for both in-store events as well as signages. A primary use-case has been a purely digital, no-contact sampling experience that does not require any demo personnel to be present.

Unlike traditional sampling campaigns found in most retail stores, Sam’s Club’s Taste and Tips nationwide demo program included stalls for products that were in the ‘non-demoable’ category. Also, given the circumstances of the COVID pandemic, the program was expanded to cater to customers who wished to digitally experience a product demo without any contact, even if a physical product demo was possible.

To cover both scenarios, Peter’s plan was to run digitally focused in-store demonstrations with Uniqode’s (formerly Beaconstac) QR Codes as their physical-to-digital portal of choice. The idea was to overcome the challenges of not being able to show how a product tastes or feels like physically—and provide some semblance of the same in a digital form. This was done through live video demos where ‘virtual’ stall workers provide a walkthrough of the product and also cover some of its little known use-cases. This was more engaging than pre-recorded video content, and seemed more like an actual, in-person demo as well.

Deploying QR Codes for Clorox’s ‘bleach’ awareness campaign

Marketing Werks has also leveraged QR Codes as an engagement tool for Clorox’s bleach education program during the height of the COVID pandemic.

Given that sanitizer and disinfectant shelves were getting cleared rapidly due to hoarding, Clorox wanted to reach customers through an awareness campaign about how bleach, when diluted, can be used as a DIY disinfectant.

Peter deployed QR Codes that linked to awareness content both in-store as well as online. Uniqode’s (formerly Beaconstac) QR Codes were strategically placed on in-store signages near bleach shelves and empty disinfectant shelves to drive customers to buy more Clorox products.

Apart from the awareness campaign, Marketing Werks has also deployed Uniqode (formerly Beaconstac) QR Codes as gateways to in-ad coupons that customers can avail digitally. It was in this campaign that Clorox garnered the most engagement through the QR Code channel—on flyer material—either shipped directly to customers or placed at the entrance of stores.

Stop & Shop’s campaign: QR Codes as a portal to an omnichannel retail experience

Another instance where Peter has effectively utilized QR Codes was a campaign for the retailing giant Stop & Shop. The campaign objective was oriented towards driving more traffic to Stop & Shop—both online and offline—by reaching out to a new customer segment.

In this particular case, the targeted audience comprised travelers on their way to vacation destinations in the Hamptons. Since people had to ferry to get to the island and would be spending time onboard, Peter sent out an on-site team to hand out flyers that had QR Codes on them. People could scan the QR Code, directly place their orders online and have it delivered, or even place their order online and pick up the items in-store.

According to Peter, QR Codes were the ideal physical-to-digital channel for facilitating an omnichannel experience for the audience they were targeting:

“Shopping for groceries is the last thing that vacationers want to think about. We wanted to exploit this fact by providing a seamless and convenient shopping experience for travelers onboard the ferry. With QR Codes becoming a popular physical-to-digital channel, they could simply scan with their smartphone and have different omnichannel shopping options in a matter of seconds.”

Seeing better engagement numbers with Uniqode (formerly Beaconstac) QR Codes

Across all their clients who have utilized the QR Code channel for varying use-cases and campaigns, Marketing Werks has received over 190,000+ scans in around 500 locations in the U.S. And amongst these scans, they have been able to reach nearly 75,000+ unique users through the shopper marketing initiatives outlined above.

Peter’s team has also been able to attribute sales lifts and other KPIs that they track like return on ad spend, click through rates, and engagement rates more accurately to specific in-store signages and executions. This was previously a big challenge:

“It was difficult for us to link any sales lift that we saw with our clients to any particular in-store experience that we provide at the retail level. Now, with QR Codes, we can communicate more clearly to our clients and basically say that X% increase in sales can be mapped to a specific campaign.”

Having seen the kind of traffic and engagement that Uniqode (formerly Beaconstac) has helped their clients unlock, Marketing Werks is planning on expanding their usage of QR Codes and exploring more features that the Uniqode (formerly Beaconstac) platform has to offer.

Multiple users with designated access, bulk QR Code creation and uploads, Uniqode (formerly Beaconstac) API for directly creating analytics dashboards, integrations for automating workflows are all on their QR Code agenda for the future.

75,000+
users reached

500+
cities with scans

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INDUSTRY

Marketing & Advertising

LOCATION

Chicago, Illinois

COMPANY SIZE

Large enterprise

OUTCOME

190,000+
scans
75,000+
users reached
500+
cities with scans
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“The Uniqode (formerly Beaconstac) platform is extremely user-friendly to the design-challenged like myself. I can create mock landing page designs or put together any other marketing material quickly on the fly.”

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PETER STRUM

ACCOUNT DIRECTOR AT MARKETING WERKS

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