Thursday, January 08, 2009

QR codes use in marketing Japan

QR codes use in marketing Japan

The use of QR codes in Japan a case study

By Peter Hanami

QR codes, these allow a person with a mobile phone to take a picture of the code and be taken directly to the stores website without typing a URL address. Many businesses in Japan have quickly picked up and adopted the technology. This can be seen for a number of reasons. 1. Japanese customers like variety so a new feature or angle will get their attention,

2. Japanese customers like convenience (quick, simple, effortless, do without talking and practical) so anything that offers convenience will be quickly adopted used and built into their repertoire of consuming skills and knowledge.

QR codes are an important part of Japanese Marketing that allow Japanese customers to access websites quickly and directly by mobile phone. For example: when you commute by train in Japan, many advertisers on trains include QR codes on their in train ads and a commuter who is standing in the train can easily scan the code on the ad with their mobile phone and be taken directly to the advertisers website without typing in a URL. It is quick, simple and convenient. If you have ever commuted in Tokyo on the subway you will know that even unfolding a newspaper to read in peak hour is an amazing skill that requires dexterity & patience. Trains are so crowded you can't even fall over if you wanted to. A quick scan of the advertisement next to you can keep you engaged and help you pass away the long commuting time by taking you away to another place. Quickly & effortlessly.

McDonalds Japan was quick to put QR codes on the wrappers of products including hamburgers.

Video: QR codes on McDonald's hamburgers in Japan.

McDonalds uses QR codes to allow consumers to find out about nutrition information of their products. For example: the calories, fat, etc. Each product has a unique QR code that provides specific information on each product. Consumers in Japan just take a photo of the code on the product and the code takes them to a mobile website that allows them to learn more about the product. Very nifty!

Not only large businesses are using QR codes but also small business. Below is an example from a local free magazine that Tokyo shoppers can find in their letter box that shows local retailers alerting them to new products & specials. Readers of the magazine are drawn to scan a QR code for a retailer to learn more. Technology is changing the face of local business in Japan.

Video: Local free magazine - Local businesses promote their services using Quick Response codes.

A typical pizza flyer in Japan is an excursion of choice, variety and colour. Exotic toppings, innovative mixtures of ingredients, two main sizes (25cm and 36cm) and a plethora of base choices (four on a typical Domino's Pizza flyer). Japanese customers can order their pizza with Domino's in three ways, 1. Online and get a 5% discount or 2. Order from their mobile phone using a QR code on the flyer and 3. by telephone. Unfortunately in a big city like Tokyo, there are no time guarantees, with close to 6000 people per square kilometre. If you love pizza you may drool at the choices and amazing variety Japanese customers have. 

Video: Qr codes on Pizza Flyers in Japan

According to a survey conducted by GMO Japan Market Intelligence in 2012, 96% of Japanese consumers were aware of QR codes, followed closely by South Korea (95%) and China (92%). Other interesting insights include how customers use QR codes. It found that most consumers scanned a code to receive a digital coupon and to receive information about a product. When it came to QR codes and advertisements, the survey found that consumers scanned QR codes they found on websites 62% whereas 28% of consumers scanned codes for outdoor advertising. Source: Mobile Commerce Press.

QR codes are now found in a wide variety of places and formats. Consumers are widely aware of them, use them and rely on them to gain a coupon or to get more information.

Have you considered a QR code for marketing your product or service?

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