2013 is bringing new features to the Qfuse platform. With our most recent release (R3.2, February 14, 2013) we implemented some exciting changes to our pricing model and system functionality — and we want our users to be aware of it…
1. The ability to upload and add images directly into textboxes and submenus using the WYSIWYG editor
This was one of the most highly-requested features from our customers. You spoke and we listened! We have completely upgraded our What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) editor. With this upgrade, we have added a new button for adding/uploading images directly into your content:
Add images directly into your content or sub menus; resize, and/or align them how you so choose.
2. Add a vCard to your landing pages (i.e. allow others to download your profile to their mobile contacts)
For those who use and love QR Codes, one of the most requested features in the business world is the ability to link from a QR Code to a vCard — so that the person scanning can add your contact information directly into their mobile contacts. For a number of reasons this has always been difficult to do, especially for the Apple iPhone. But never fear! Using the new vCard element within Qfuse you can now add all your contact information and share it with those who scan your codes. Great for using on QR Code-enabled Business Cards!
3. The ability to add codes to your account anytime (and new pricing changes to simplify our packages)
Qfuse has recently gone through a drastic overhaul of its pricing tiers and packages. We have made it both easier and less expensive to attain just the features and the number of codes/sites required to meet your exact needs. While on the Qfuse Dashboard, you’ll see in the upper-right hand corner the text “+ Add More.” Use this link to add additional codes/sites to your account in seconds.
You Can Now Add More Sites to your Account at Any Time!
Lastly – our pricing has been reduced significantly. So whether you are a casual or professional user of QR Codes or NFC technology, you can now pay as low as $10 per code/site and receive all available features.
And as always, if you require more than 50 codes/sites, you can take advantage of our Partners/Enterprise Package for significant discounts. This is perfect if you are in the I/T or web industry and desire to RESELL the Qfuse platform to your existing customers. Click here to learn more about our Partners’ program.
Google has launched a campaign for 2013 with the hopes to educate many marketers and advertisers about the importance of mobile and mobile marketing, focusing on how valuable it can be to a company if it is used correctly.
Growth in Mobile Usage
Smartphone ownership is the United States currently stands at roughly 44% and continues to grow rapidly. This increase in smartphone penetration has lead to a mobile search increase of 5x over the past two years. These two numbers alone indicate the massive new market that has appeared over the recent past, and also helps to shed light on the markets companies must shift resources into if they wish to keep up with their competition and remain profitable.
This increase in mobile search usage means the most important thing for a company to do is ensure they have a mobile optimized website. This mobile site must be easy to use, functional and must give the customer exactly what they want when they visit your site. The key is to dramatically simplify the site from your desktop site. In fact as Google has found, 57% of users say they will not recommend a business if they have a poorly designed mobile site, and 40% of mobile users have gone to a competitor after a bad experience on a mobile site.
Mobile is Local
Roughly 1/3 of all mobile searches are of local intent; that is, the customer is looking for some sort of local information like store location, directions, a phone number etc. In fact 94% of all mobile users have indicated that they have searched for local information. Of those 94% who have searched 70% called a business after searching, 66% visited in person and 90% of these users acted on this information within 24 hours.
Knowing that many of these searches are local, and figuring out what else customers might be looking for, it is important that you use your well designed mobile site and mobile marketing to give the consumer what they want and provide additional value. For example Walgreens delivers what their customers want by putting a store locator on their mobile site, as well as the ability to make prescription refills online, allowing mobile shopping, and even providing coupons right on their smartphone.
Mobile Website Analytics
Many marketers may already be using mobile to some degree, but Google has found that many of these marketers and advertisers are not using, or not fully taking advantage of, their mobile analytics. It is vitally important that the mobile data is collected and analyzed as this will help lead to a much more efficient mobile marketing effort. The data should be able to tell you how well your mobile site/app is working and if it is providing the necessary value your customers require, or how and where visitors are using your mobile site, or how many sales leads it’s generating, or if its ease of use, or lack thereof, might be hindering sales in some way. Continue to watch the data and make changes as often as needed to improve customer experience.
When it comes to mobile advertising Google points out that mobile “is the most imbalanced medium” in regards to “ad spending versus time spent, at 1% compared to 23%.” This indicates a huge gap that advertisers must close. One way to efficiently advertise on mobile phones is to create mobile search ads that will pop up when someone is searching for your product. For example if someone were to search “Bogs boots, Boston MA”, make sure you have an ad in place that will pop up after the search to direct the customer to your website for Bogs boots or related products, or if you are a competitor of Bogs boots make sure your ad will come up in the same search to try and take business away from them.
Quite often customers will be in a store and see a product and then go online to see if they can find it cheaper somewhere else. For this reason you want to make sure your ads are geared to this type of search and indicate some added value that you may provide in order to get that person to purchase said product on your site or in your store.
Hair club for men is a good example of the benefits of mobile advertising, seeing a “return on investment of 30:1 from their Google mobile search ads.” Hairclub for men found that their mobile advertisements were getting a conversion rate of 17% rather than their desktop conversion rate of 9%, a good indication to any company that perhaps their resources should be realigned.
Connecting the Physical World to the Digital World
Google, in addition to other marketing tools, also advises using things like QR codes to help connect your physical media with your mobile media and provide additional value and interest in your ads by using the QR codes to give your customers free products, downloads or coupons. This helps people to interact with your brand, drive interest and provide value, all which should help increase sales.
Return on investment however does not come just from increase mobile orders. Google emphasizes that the full benefit of mobile can only be truly calculated when you find a way to monetize each phone call to your store, each app download or each online store locator search, as many of these such things lead to sales at your physical store and not just on your mobile store.
Mobile is huge and it will only get bigger, but Google, and everyone at Qfuse, think that the time to fully jump in is now. Mobile done right will only ensure you keep in front of the competition, keep your customers happy and drive sales. 2013 is the year of mobile and it’s time for everyone to get on the bandwagon.
There is hardly an industry or market that could not benefit from, or find a way to use QR codes to either provide added value to the consumer or drive sales in some way. The restaurant business is no exception.
There appears to be a movement afoot to have an interest in our food, its history, its nutritional value, and how it was grown or raised. This is in part due to GMO’s, carbon footprints, and a heightened awareness of obesity risks among other things. With this new interest of millions of consumers, it appears as though restaurants might be able to capitalize on this interest and in addition provide added value to their consumers.
What a restaurant might do, and indeed some have been doing, is include QR codes on their menu’s with the intention of including information on the nutritional value, facts about the farm the beef they are about to consume came from, or whether the vegetables were grown organically or not. They can learn about the breweries their beer was brewed in, or find out where their coffee beans came from, or any other relevant information a consumer might be interested in.
By providing this added value to consumers, and assuming the food you are serving them isn’t coming from a slaughter house with a history of mad cow disease, your restaurant should experience various benefits including increased customer loyalty and hopefully increased traffic. Though obviously this particular QR code use might be of more value in some towns and cities than others.
No matter your industry, it is worth brainstorming ideas of how you might use QR codes to connect your customers with information, coupon, or deals. Think about your currently offline or traditional media and how it might be connected to mobile media in an interesting useful way for consumers. Do this the right way and watch your business grow.
The marketing and advertising market is changing. As more and more people transition to mobile for most of their media (roughly 50% of Americans now own a smartphone), traditional media, you would suspect, would be on its way out the door. This however is not the case.
What marketers and advertisers are doing, if they are ahead of the curve, is finding ways to connect their mobile and traditional media. One of the most widely used ways of connecting such media is using QR codes. The QR codes allow marketers to connect the consumer to their brand. From here it becomes vitally important that the mobile landing page the consumer is taken to contains interesting and engaging content. Assuming this is the case, marketers should ensure easy access from this information to all social media, as consumers are far more likely to share the interesting content on their various social networks. This in turn helps grow the brand and ensures a larger audience.
Other ways marketers are connecting their mobile media to their traditional media is Bluetooth. This form of media allows marketers to push ads to the consumer when they enter certain physical areas, as long as the consumer has their Bluetooth set to “discoverable.” This allows the marketer to target the consumer when they are primed for visiting a store and pass along discounts, coupons or other information to draw the interest of a consumer.
Another less used technology to connect offline and online media is the NFC chip. A number of phones on the market currently have the technology, though it still remains a minority. This NFC technology allows consumers to simply touch their phone to an ad or product and be directed to what is hopefully engaging mobile content. With the ultimate goal being to get the consumer to act in some desirable way, whether it is making a purchase online, in a store, or simply sharing the brand with friends on social media.
Consumers currently spend a large chunk of their time on their mobile devices and it only continues to increase. This growth makes it incredibly important for marketers to focus on out-of-home advertising and providing engaging content that connects to their traditional media. Only by doing this can you have a truly successful marketing campaign in today’s mobile world.
Companies, particularly large ones, often times lack the ability to think outside the box, be creative and adapt to changing conditions, technologies and problems that may arise. One large company in Korea, Emart, with 141 stores across the country has shown that they will not let themselves be placed inside any box. Instead they found a creative way to solve a large problem across their many stores.
Emart was experiencing a large decrease in sales during lunch time hours and was looking for a way to increase sales to a level on par with the rest of the day. So what Emart did was think outside of the box. They needed to find a way to drive sales but only at lunch time hours. Whatever the solution they came up with also needed to have the additional benefit of generating interest and engaging consumers. What they came up with was an ingenious and creative solution that certainly fit the bill for what they were looking to do.
What Emart did was decide to use a QR Code posted outside their store. This was not just any old QR Code though; instead the code was a 3D QR code that could only be scanned when the sun was hitting the Code at the proper angle, that proper angle being between 12 PM and 1PM.
This incredibly creative use of a QR Code obviously had the effect of increasing interest and causing a buzz, and in fact Emart found their way into many media outlets over the months following their campaign.
Upon scanning the QR Code during the right hours, the potential customer would be sent to a mobile landing page where special daily offers would appear, including coupons for up to $12. The customer could then shop right on their smart phone and make purchases from the Emart App. The purchases made would then be shipped directly to the customer’s home.
The end results were that customers received greater convenience, and Emart’s lunchtime sales increased by 25% with customers using over 12,000 QR Code prompted coupons, and an increase in membership of 58% from the prior month.
This is just one more example of how a company can use QR codes to enhance the customers experience and drive sales at the same time. The important thing to realize is just how much better things can be by thinking outside the box and not getting stuck in the tyranny of the status quo.