Prospecting: Canon U.S.A. Relies on 2-D Barcodes to Keep Consumers Shopping In-Store
In an effort to give consumers more information when they're shopping in-store, Canon U.S.A. has launched a mobile marketing program that centers around the mobile web and 2-D barcode technology.
Launched by Knotice, a provider of direct digital marketing software and services, Canon's program centers around labels containing Microsoft Tag 2-D barcodes that are placed on select Canon printers at leading retailers. Consumers or store associates then use a smartphone to scan a tag that launches a device-optimized mobile microsite. The microsite contains user-generated ratings and reviews, video product demonstrations, detailed product information, and more.
Rather than promote mobile web solutions that create competition based solely on price, Canon U.S.A. launched this 2-D barcode initiative to keep shoppers in-store by blending the research and purchase phases of the retail experience.
"Currently, between 90 percent and 95 percent of all consumer electronic/digital imaging (CE/DI) product purchases take place offline in a traditional brick-and-mortar storefront," says Michael Duffett, ink-jet printer marketing senior director, printer marketing, consumer imaging group at Canon U.S.A. "But customers are also telling us that they need more access to the wealth of information available online while they're shopping. By marrying the best of both the online and offline worlds for customers, we eliminate buyer confusion while ensuring a better fit between customer expectations and the benefits delivered by our Canon products."
While the program certainly keeps shoppers engaged, it's difficult to measure the direct impact it has on sales and whether it translates into new customers. So, why did Canon U.S.A. choose to implement it?
"This system gives us a window into the shopping experience in-store that's currently unavailable," Duffett says. "We can see what information shoppers are considering when making a buying decision. We're confident that if consumers have all of the facts, they will choose to purchase a Canon product because they'll understand the true nature of the value and quality Canon delivers in the CE/DI space."