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JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Popularity of square barcodes that provide customers instant access to product information via their smart phones is skyrocketing, according to the National Retail Federation’s Stores publications. Called quick response (QR) codes, they have been used in Japan for about a decade. (Smartphone use has been popular in Japan for a longer a time than in the United States.)
Marketers and advertisers have recently been attaching QR codes to things such as billboards, business cards, invoices, flyers and T-shirts. Once a consumers scans a QR code with their phone, they receive dedicated video, audio, photos, product ratings, specifications, demos, consumer reviews and expert advice.
“If you can provide not only information but also more of an entertaining experience as you dial into that product information, then that will be more captivating to a consumer,” Don Eames, vice, general manager of retail stores for Brookstone, told NRF’s Stores.
Added Mark Lopez, digital director at Two West, a Kansas City-based branding company: “QR codes are just another way for brands to connect to and engage with their target audiences. “[Customers] are already interested in the product; it’s really how you extend that interest and how you engage the user with your brand in a new and different way.”