Yesterday was Black Friday and like everyone in America I opened up my email to discover my inbox littered with advertisements from every retailer I had ever patroned. And like most people these days, I was viewing said emails on my phone.
I’m not a big shopper so I began simply deleting all of the advertisements, but one caught my eye; an ad for the video game ‘Battlefield 4’ at 50% off. This was a deal I could not turn down, and so I began the purchasing process on my Iphone.
What occurred next was the perfect example of why you MUST make sure your website is mobile optimized.
The landing site was clearly not mobile optimized but I was still able to add the game to my shopping cart, click the proper game console, and then hit the ‘proceed to check out’ button with only moderate trouble (though certainly enough that a small percentage of people would have given up at this point).
This is where things got difficult though. I began entering in my credit card info, but the way the interface was organized it caused me to miss a bunch of information since the input components were hidden and unless you knew they were there you weren’t going to find them. So I filled in what I saw and then hit submit.
Error messages pop up, telling me I missed some information. I go back and try again, realizing I missed a column of inputs that I would have found if I scrolled right, but was never aware of because of the way it was organized. I hit submit again.
Error message again. I go back to realize there was a single input field even further right on the screen that I had not noticed. At this point I am starting to get very frustrated. I hit submit again.
This time I succeeded. Only took me 30 minutes, no biggie. Next though, it asked for shipping info. This time I was at least more careful to note that some information might be far off the original on-screen content so I scrolled as far right as I could and was able to make sure I filled out every input field there was. Success.
I then advanced to the next stage, choosing my preferred shipping and confirming the purchase. Of course the screen is again confusing and hard to understand but with a bit of playing around I am able to get the drop-down menu for the shipping and eventually hit submit to confirm my purchase.
“Error. You timed out, please try again.” What?! You have got to be f-ing kidding?!? I was ready to lose it at this point. Clearly I was not about to go start this whole 45 minute process again. So instead I said “screw your game and screw this damn interface, I refuse to attempt this again and I refuse to buy your game,” and a sale was lost right then.
This is why you NEED to have a mobile optimized website that is easy to use, quick, and clean. Otherwise there is a 100% chance you will be losing out on sales in the exact way I just described. There is no excuse this far into the 21st century to not be mobile optimized.
If you like making your customers happy (or at least prefer not to piss them off), and if you like more sales to less sales, then make a mobile site. You can use our platform to do so.
I stumbled upon a poster for a new TV show titled Sovereign Living put on by sovereignliving.tv, a small upstart TV channel just trying to get their feet off the ground. The show appeals to a small niche in the market, mostly some of the more unknown breeds of libertarians, though unknown only to those not in such circles. The show follows a young family as they begin to live a “natural” life of self sufficiency, community, and volunteership as a way to fight back against the system, as opposed to fighting back politically as they have in the past.
What I noticed right away from their poster, and perhaps not surprisingly since it is a libertarian channel, is the three large QR codes that are the focus of the poster. Clearly the creator has a goal with this poster, and scanning the QR codes is that goal.
Since this is a new channel, and they apparently only had the resources to make episodes 1-3, they are now looking to raise new monies in order to support the channel and to complete episodes 4-6, in addition to marketing and administrative costs.
In order to help drive these donations they made the focus of their poster a way to easily allow people to give. They did this through using the QR codes.
There are three QR codes on the poster, one of which directs the consumer to the first episode of the reality show, letting newcomers to the show see what it is all about, and hopefully gaining their interest. This alone is a great way to use the QR code. It provides the consumer with the product at the moment they see the poster, when their interest will likely be highest.
The other two codes on the poster let you donate to the cause. The reason for two QR codes is that they take traditional donations using FRN’s (Federal Reserve Notes), as well as the more modern type of donation using Bitcoins (of course a libertarian channel would take Bitcoins, how could they not?). This also lets people make donations at the moment their interest is highest.
Each QR code is labeled with the site you are directed to, and below the codes is a paragraph explaining what your donation will be going to support. A great way to drive donations.
For anyone using posters or any other print advertising, you should learn from this. Including a QR code on said material and connecting it to relevant information and/or connecting to a portal to make purchases or donations or whatever, is going to drastically increase the productivity of your physical advertising. But ONLY if it is done right and the connected media is appropriate for what the consumer might want or is looking for at that moment they see your advertisement.
If a low budget TV channel like sovereignliving.TV can be ahead of the curve and use QR code (properly) than there is no excuse for any other company or group out there today. Just make sure you are using a platform that will help to ensure you are doing everything correctly.
I was at my office today when I noticed the new water bubbler that has been installed in our kitchen. The water bubbler was from One Source Water, it looked very sleek in all black mirror like material, and the water came out smooth and fast, a beautiful machine for sure. Then I noticed what stuck on this sexy black outer shell was a sticker with the contact info for the company and next to the contact info a QR code. Obviously I was intrigued—clearly not because of the non-existent call to action— and had to scan the code. Not shockingly the code made it to the Qfuse blog about how NOT to use QR codes.
Obviously the first problem here is the lack of a call to action. Who would possibly desire to scan this code on a water bubbler with no explanation as to what benefit they would receive? No one, of course. The only reason I scanned the code is because I write about QR code on this blog. My guess is I was one of only a handful of people to ever scan the code, the others likely being some other nerds who work for a similarly tech-related company and also have the One Source Water bubbler in their office. There is a 100% chance they were as disappointed as I once they scanned the code.
The next issue I have with the code, and the biggest issue, is that when you scan the code you end up at an error page. Seriously? Why bother using a QR code if you aren’t going to connect it to anything? This sort of thing is infuriating. It gives QR codes a bad name and helps convince the people that do scan your code to never scan another code after this. As terrible as it is, at least have it connect back to your company website. Anything is better than an error page.
Lastly, and unfortunately the most common problem I see with QR codes, is that they direct the user to a desktop website rather than a mobile optimized site. You know the person has to be on their mobile device if they are scanning the code, so why would you make them go to a non-mobile website? Are you trying to ensure them a miserable experience? Because it sure seems that way.
This is example by One Source Water is a perfect illustration of how not to use QR codes and how they really can be just a huge waste, and in the meantime hurting QR codes for everyone else. In this case the QR code provides no value, it is poorly done, and not even really functional. Either it should never have been used or it should have been used with a clear purpose in mind. Sticking useless QR codes on everything only ruins QR codes for the people who use them correctly.
For anyone out there considering using QR codes for whatever purpose they deem appropriate, please do not do what One Source Water did here, make sure your code serves an end for yourself and/or your consumer, make sure it functions as it should, and make sure people know what the reason for its existence is. Do these things and your QR code campaign is sure to do well. Otherwise I’ll be the only one scanning your code and it’s a good chance you end up being written about on this blog.
The Holiday season is fast approaching, and that means people are starting to prepare for their parties and get-togethers, as well as sending out invitations, Christmas cards and family updates. For those looking to add an element of interactivity to these holiday communications, the use of a simple QR code will go a long way.
Here are but a few of the ways that you can use QR codes to bring your holiday cards to life this season:
Let’s say you are sending out invitations for your Holiday party. Traditionally each invitee would have to call you personally and let you know if they were planning on attending or not. They might also call for directions or some other logistical concern. But much of this is unnecessary if you give people the right tools.
By placing a QR code on your invitations you can easily send invitees to a landing page where they can RSVP right there through a simple form. Directions and mapping can be accessed at a touch via Google Maps and GPS, and click-to-call and click-to-email features make it easy for folks to connect with the party planner when necessary. You can also link to your event’s Facebook page for the party so invitees can connect and make plans in advance.
Offering these interactive tools can make things more efficient and enjoyable for your guests.
What to share with your Holiday Invitation’s QR Code:
Instant RSVP – let people fill out a simple contact form to accept/decline the invite
Mapping – make it easy for people to get turn-by-turn directions via GPS
Contacts – make it easy for folks to call, email or message you at a touch
Get Social – let people share your invitation on social media channels, or join the conversation on your Facebook event page
Christmas Cards, New Year’s Greetings, and Family Updates
Let’s say you aren’t planning for a party, but instead are looking to send out a Christmas card, family update, or new year’s greeting. Traditionally you might send out a single photo with a short Holiday greeting. But what if on this card you placed a QR code as well?
This code could let you customize your card with individual video greetings for each recipient, or simply have a single video greeting for all cards, making it much more personal and fun. The QR code might also direct your friends and family to other family photos, or stories of the happenings of the past year. This is sure to make your Christmas card stand out, and add a little extra magic for your recipients.
What to share with your Holiday Card’s QR Code:
Video Greeting – personalize your card with a special message
Photos – share family memories,
Updates – share additional text content that won’t fit on your card
Whether your holiday cards are for greetings or invitations, business or pleasure, using QR codes makes it possible to interact with your recipients in new ways by combining old traditions with new technologies.
Our team has worked hard to create a new video showcasing our QR Code analytics capabilities and we’re excited to say it’s ready to go! QR Code analytics, NFC Tag tracking, and mobile landing page analytics can be managed under our mobile marketing platform.
Here’s a transcript of the video.
Come check out Qfuse – a full-featured mobile engagement platform that makes it easy to reach your target audiences with QR codes, NFC tags, custom mobile websites and future mobile marketing technologies.
Whether you use QR Codes on product packaging, magazine and newspaper ads, or have a stand-alone Qfuse mobile site, our powerful QR Code analytics tool easily track which geographic regions new sales leads are coming from, the detailed actions visitors are taking on your mobile site, and who’s engaging with your social media channels.
By diving into time-of-day, day-of-week, and location-based NFC and QR Code analytics, you’ll know exactly where your mobile customers are coming from and when they’re interacting with your brand. Use this real-world actionable data to drive future marketing campaigns and grow your business.
When you use Qfuse mobile sites, you can track how visitors arrive through their smartphones – whether using QR Codes, NFC Tags, social sites, or paid traffic, who’s clicking the one-touch click-to-call buttons on your Qfuse mobile site, and how many visitors are turning into qualified sales leads through our easy-to-use contact forms.
Create custom-branded PDF reports using the exact dates you need to easily inform clients and other team members of your mobile marketing success.
Need great insights into your mobile customers? Get started with a free Qfuse account today!