Expert's Opinion

Got a Sale? Show Me Your QR Code

By Ayesha Mathews-Wadhwa, PixInk Design | November 21, 2011

Looking for women consumers? Interactive scavenger hunts are creating fun brand experiences and scoring serious sales.

Faigy embarked on a scavenger hunt with a smartphone, answering questions at every stop. Her boyfriend, Google software engineer Ari Gilder and an engagement ring, met her at the end. Women consumers are also getting proposals from brands with QR codes and interactive scavenger hunts. They’re offers women can’t refuse.

QR codes are must-have accessories for brands hoping to romance consumers. They “…were as omnipresent as chunky black booties” at New York Fashion Week wrote Stephanie Rosenbloom in The New York Times, “Want More Information? Just Scan Me." The mission is to present "bring 'em back" brand experiences across multiple platforms. The sight of consumers pointing smartphones at QR codes may puzzle Luddites but the square-shaped pixel boxes can transport smartphone owners almost anywhere.

Brands are also adding interactivity to scavenger hunts: taking consumers on excursions in stores and around shopping districts for deals and, ultimately, conversions. These fun brand experiences can lead to serious sales numbers.

Sephora To Go satisfies consumers’ love of beauty by allowing them to shop on the go and locate nearby stores. The commerce-enabled app is also a store-within-a-store, enabling Beauty Insiders to research products and score deals while inside Sephora.

Women consumers are scavenging for health and beauty products on Twitter. They are finding prizes in the Endless Beauty Scavenger Hunt. In 140 characters or less, contestants answer quizzes to win sponsored prizes such as nail polish. The women play to win. So do the brands.
Some QR codes and scavenger hunts double as backstage passes. Macy’s recently transformed its red star logo into a backstage pass, which invites consumers to receive beauty secrets from Bobbi Brown, a chance to win a $500 shopping Macy’s spree, and more. Macy’s star Martha Stewart might say, “It’s a good thing.”
Companies agree. Despite the economy, social commerce is bumping conversion rates from 10% to 15% and sales from 8% to 28% according to Reevoo. Behind many of those sales are the 92% of women consumers who share brand evangelism. Smart brands are capitalizing on this fervor to keep the consumer-brand relationship vibrant after initial conversion.

Companies are designing multi-platform brand experiences that stay on consumers’ minds. They’re keeping the spark in the consumer-brand relationship with scavenger hunts and QR codes. Consumers are sharing news of this engagement with their social circles. It’s a proposal Ari and Faigy can be proud of.

About the Author
Ayesha Mathews-Wadhwa is Founder Creative Director of PixInk Design, a San Francisco-based design microagency serving a macro niche: businesses marketing to women, who drive 83% of purchase decisions. She nurtures emerging brands and strengthens iconic ones through powerful design, insight and a deep understanding of the female shopper. Ayesha's experience includes working on brands such as Apple, Facebook, Oracle, Cat Footwear, Riverbed, Camel, Sephora and Picaboo amongst many others.

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