As we press forward into the future, mobile marketing is increasingly evolving. Billions of people all around the world own and use a cell phone on a daily basis. Among the evolution of mobile marketing, QR codes have recently come about. Now, for those of you who are unfamiliar with what these are let me explain. QR stands for “quick response” code where the code allows its contents to be decoded at high speed. QR codes were created by the Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994. Since then, they have emerged into the Japanese market and have become extremely popular. QR codes are still working their way into the U.S. market and are said to become more prevalent in the future.
Recently, popular designer and fashion icon Ralph Lauren has introduced QR codes into their print ads, mailers and store windows. When scanned with a mobile phone, the code directs the phone’s browser to a website where you can shop for RL products. For those of you that are impulse buyers this could be heaven on earth. You now have the opportunity to see an item of clothing in a store window, scan the QR code with your phone and purchase the item on the spot without even stepping into the store. Ralph Lauren hopes that QR codes will become mainstream sometime in the near future.
While researching this topic, I found that most people are extremely skeptical about purchasing items using QR codes. Although it has become extremely popular in Asia, Americans are much more hesitant to put stock in QR codes. Many people felt that since the amount of information they had heard about QR codes was minimal, they questioned the safety of it. Also, others were hesitant about impulse buying and having to potentially whip out their credit cards on a street corner to buy a sweater.
For those of you interested in testing out QR codes here is how you would go about doing that. First, download QR reader software on your phone. (All phones aren’t supported yet so visit m.ralphlauren.com to check if your phone is compatible to download the reader). Once you’ve downloaded the reader on your phone you can use it to scan any QR codes you see, i.e. the Rugby Ralph Lauren Store in Manhattan, New York. Your phone will then be directed to that item’s website and you can buy it right there on the spot.
Innovative, yet skeptical this technological advancement is definitely something to be excited about. Keep a lookout for QR codes as they work their way into the U.S. market. This breakthrough has taken the future of mobile phones to the new level. Ponder the thought, sometime in the near future, if this isn’t already the case, almost all of our personal and business transactions will have the capability to be taken care of over our mobile phones, thus, almost making it like a mini-computer. Oh the possibilities!