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Using QR Codes to Catch In-Store Sales

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Best BuyI was doing last minute Christmas shopping and was standing in the check-out line at Best Buy that wrapped almost half way around the store; an absolute nightmare for sure.  While standing in line for a good 30 minutes can never really have a silver lining, it did place me in the DVD section for a few minutes where I discovered a great example of how QR codes can help prevent lost in-store sales.   You should all be happy that my misery has brought you this wonderful blog post.

If you are a retail store like a Best Buy, you can often lose in-store sales to issues like low inventory, poor selection of product, and “showcasing” (when people use your store as a place to view product which they will then go purchase online).

Preventing these lost sales can mean a huge boost in sales and profits, but the question is how this is possible.  You probably were not expecting it, but the remedy has something to do with QR codes.

If you look at the photo I took (right) of the Best Buy shelving, you will notice that there is a QR code with a great call-to-action stating “Can’t find the title you are looking for?  Scan the QR code…”, it then goes on to inform the consumer that they will get free shipping on their online orders (there are also other QR codes with different calls-to-action, some which can be scanned to help find gift ideas).

What Best Buy has attempted to do here is catch those possible lost sales from those potential reasons I mentioned above.

First, if Best Buy is low on inventory the consumer, without the help of store staff, is prompted to order whatever it is they are looking for online through the code.  Second, if the DVD or CD is not sold at the store the consumer has access to greater titles on the Best Buy website, which they will now know due to the call-to-action, and can act immediately through scanning the QR code.  Third, for the consumer who is ‘showcasing’, if they find the item they are wishing to now purchase online, they may re-think their purchase since they now see Best Buy is offering them free shipping on their online purchase by scanning the QR code.

No, QR codes will not stop all lost sales, but putting this sort of inexpensive option in-store to help at least prevent some of these is an obvious potential remedy.  Just make sure your call-to-action is big enough to be seen, and clearly states why the QR code is there.

The internet age for many physical retail stores may seem like the enemy, but you can lessen the threat, and even use it to your advantage if you just adapt to it and use your creativity.  Best Buy is a perfect example of this.