13 Creative Ways to Use QR Codes to Close Deals This Holiday Season

For consumers and brands alike, the approaching holiday season is uncharted territory—much like the rest of 2020.

Despite pandemic-related safety concerns, consumers say they plan to spend the same amount as last year on holiday shopping.

However, how they plan to shop is different than in past years.

  • Around 75% of consumers say they plan to shop online this year to avoid crowds
  • The majority of consumers who plan to do in-person shopping say they’re more likely to shop at businesses that have protocols in place to keep shoppers safe
  • Large in-person sales don’t appeal to this season’s shoppers, since they tend to draw crowds

This holiday season, help buyers shop the way they want to by offering contactless payments and low-touch shopping experiences. QR Codes can enable both, and add memorable “surprise and delight” elements that’ll make your holiday campaigns and promotions stand out.

Below, we’ll share 13 ways you can use QR Codes to boost your holiday sales.

1. Advertise early bird specials

Add a QR Code to your physical marketing materials to advertise early discounts and deals. This is a great strategy to generate buzz around your business before competitors put out their promotions, since you can attract buyers before they’ve committed to shopping elsewhere.

2. Save time, skip the line

Use QR Codes outside and throughout your store, as well as in physical advertisements, to let shoppers know you have in-store/curbside pickup. This holiday season, 47% of shoppers say they plan to buy online and make use of in-store and curbside pickup. Retailers that offer low-touch buying options will be better positioned to win the business of consumers who don’t want to risk in-store shopping.

3. Create a contactless shopping storefront

Take “window shopping” to a new level by creating a contactless shopping storefront or pop-up. To do this, add QR Codes to physical items displayed behind your storefront window. When a shopper sees something they like, they can scan it and be sent directly to the specific page in your app or on your website to purchase it. It’s easy, and it’s fun twist to your typical “window shopping.”

4. Generate excitement for upcoming deals

Research shows that people are more likely to spread out their holiday shopping this year to avoid crowds that large shopping events generate. Instead of one big “blowout” sale, try staggering your promotions throughout the holiday season. Use QR Codes to encourage shoppers to follow you on social media or subscribe to your email newsletter to be first to hear about your latest holiday promotions.

5. Drive loyalty with interactive packaging

Use QR Codes to drive customer loyalty by rewarding those who have already done business with you. Simply add a QR Code to your packaging or receipts that offer the buyer a special deal on their next purchase. For instance, you can have the code point to a 10% discount code, or to promo code that can be used to redeem a small gift with their next purchase.

6. Promote your social media channels

Want to boost your social media following? QR Codes are a great way to attract new followers. You can add QR Codes to your brand packaging and physical marketing material to send people directly to the channel of your choice. Give them an added incentive to follow your brand by hosting holiday contests, giveaways and special promotions on social.

7. Point buyers online when a product is sold out in stores

Add QR Codes to the back of product shelves. When a product sells out, customers can scan the code and be directed to your website or app to make the purchase online. This is a great way to improve the shopping experience for the plenty of holiday shoppers who will still be shopping in stores this season. It’s also an easy way to acquaint people with your website or app, if they’re not already familiar with it.

8. Make checkouts a touchless experience

Smartphone-wielding shoppers have grown familiar with scanning QR Codes throughout the pandemic to complete their transactions. This helps keep your customers safe since they can scan a code and be directed to a payment page where they can check out using their mobile device.

9. Point people to product reviews

Show everyone how much people are loving your products by using a QR Code to point in-store shoppers to your online reviews. This is a great way to win customers over on a product they’re on the fence about, while also seamlessly bridging your online and offline shopping experience.

10. Show off your rave Yelp reviews

Point to your business’s Yelp or Google reviews to show shoppers how much people love shopping with you. You can do this by placing a QR Code near your checkout counter, outside your storefront, on receipts and elsewhere. Want more reviews? Add a CTA asking shoppers to share their experience with your brand by posting a review.

11. Add a sales event to shoppers’ calendars

Have an upcoming sale you want shoppers to know about? Use a QR Code to prompt them to add the event to their online calendar. Simply take the URL pointing to the calendar event and use it to generate a QR Code, just as you would to create any other QR Code. Once a shopper has added your event to their calendar, they’ll be less likely to forget about it.

12. Share your location coordinates

Advertise a sale or promotion with a CTA pointing people to your business’s location. Shoppers will be able to transition from scanning your code to the Google Maps app, making it easy for them to follow the GPS directions to find you. This is especially helpful if you’re located somewhere that doesn’t get a lot of foot or vehicle traffic.

13. Promote your holiday menu

If your business sells food, point people to your holiday menu via QR Code. You can do this by adding a QR Code in your direct mail advertising as well as on counter signage. This gives you more room on your materials to add other important information, like deals and promotions, or your holiday hours.

Providing a safe buyer experience this holiday season will require creative low-touch solutions. QR Codes can be used to enable all kinds of interactive, socially distant experiences this year’s shoppers expect brands to provide.

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