Look familiar? You may not have paid them much attention, or known what they were, but these funny-looking symbols are the latest thing designed to improve your shopping experience.
They’re called QR scan codes (for Quick Response), and they are the 21st century answer to the traditional bar code. But while the bar code is designed for the seller – to improve efficiency in pricing and inventory – the QR is all for YOU, baby!
All you need is a smartphone with a camera, and an app that costs little to nothing to download. When you’re out shopping and you see the QR code on the label or on the display, turn on the app, point your camera and…that’s it. You are taken to a website that tells you all about the product.
There was a fun little article in the New York Times this week about shoppers in the Home Depot and Lowe’s using QR codes to learn how to select and care for trees for their yards. Which is funny because that is exactly how I used mine!
Another time I was heading downtown for a day of activities. I had one of those local weekly entertainment magazines, but wasn’t thrilled about carrying it around all day. Then I saw the QR code at the top of the “What’s Happening” section. I zapped it, and now I had the entire listing stored in my phone.
So check out the article, and look around the next time you are out. I bet you start noticing these things everywhere! Have you already tried QR codes? Tell us about it!