New mobile augmented reality technology turns labels into links for retailers to connect up print and point-of-sale (PoS) advertising with digital content
Andrew Perry-Smith, managing director of Linkz IM
, is the first to admit the ability for consumers to scan merchandising or promotional materials with their mobile devices and access additional information has revolutionised point of sale (PoS) communications.
He said that allowing consumers to scan a product code or label and get access to additional digital content there and then can increase sales instore as well and reduce dependence on staff to give advice and supply additional information.
“The technologies that allow retailers to turn the product or shelf-edge labelling into direct response mechanisms allow consumers to buy, get more information, see videos or additional images, get recommendations, download vouchers, share, like, tweet, register and so on,” Smith told Retail Technology.
Creating interactive experiences
“Consumers both engage further with the content and brand, enhancing their experience of traditional advertising and are more likely to convert the registered interest into that all important sale.”
He highlighted the advantages of his company’s new augmented reality
(AR) app over the application of existing technology, the quick response
(QR) code. Despite 3 million UK consumers scanning a QR code during July 2012, Smith claimed adopters remained in a minority, with the codes having yet to demonstrate a widespread return on investment.
“For those consumers who ‘scanned,” the majority had a bad experience due to visiting a site not adequately optimised for mobile use,” he continued. “Demonstration of this is research carried out by Simpson Carpenter, which found that a fifth of those that have tried QR codes don’t expect they’ll use them again in the future, claiming they offered no advantages. So this, combined with the looking ugly, taking up often valuable space and the lack of security, means that they are now increasingly out of favour with both marketers and consumers.”
Ensuring content is optimised
Instead, Smith explained how Linkz IM works: through the appropriate app, a mobile camera can ‘see’ a digital image, invisible to the human eye, overlaid on the advert, image or even product label. The image is an encrypted 32-bit code, which when recognised, serves the content associated with that code back to the device.
“The real beauty of LinkzIDs is the creation of a mobile-optimised microsite for each code that is directly relevant to what has just been scanned and promises an intuitive, easy to use and effective way for the consumer to respond and/or get the additional information they want,” he added.
The mobile-optimised site
is a must-have in terms of providing consumers with the best experience possible, according to Smith, "as viewing a desktop site on a 4-inch screen can leave consumers frustrated, and underwhelmed, often resulting in loss of interest – and more importantly, loss of sale".
These failings provide the platform for a new solution to achieve those coveted tangible results, according to Smith. “Linkz is an easy to create, cost-effective solution that will put a secure direct response mechanism in the readers’ hands, all while offering them a positive user experience and helping retailers convert a registration of interest, into a hard sale,” concluded. “Furthermore, Linkz tracks all the data about what, where and when the interaction took place and how the user responded, creating detailed customer analysis for the retailer’s use.”