Thanks to Google Android that comes with QR-code scanning ability, this once Japan-only barcode technology is now popularized in the western markets as well. I have been following the applications of the QR technology since coming to Japan, such as the QR-code coupon, ad-truck, and nutrition info of McDonalds meal. But now I can see some creative innovations from western companies as well. The following are two services that uses QR-code to track marketing campaign and bridge the gap between physical merchandise and digital world.
Pyow! from MailChimp
The idea of Pyow! service is that, storeowner can start a campaign of say 10% off coupon, but instead of printing out paper-based coupons, the storeowner can just email e-coupon with a QR-code to customers, which can later on be used at the storefront either by showing the code on a smartphone or paper print-out to the salesperson. The salesperson will then use the Pyow! iPhone app to scan the code, and get real-time coupon usage of the presented code.
Pyow! QR-code system is tightly integrated into MailChimp’s mail campaign. With this system, storeowner can effectively track the usage of the email campaign for physical merchandises.
QR Stories, a German startup, promises a more flexible utilization of QR-code and location-aware mobile devices. Usage: Storeowner creates social profiles on popular networks such as Facebook, Foursquare and Gowalla. Then go on generates QR-codes from QR Stories that link to different promotion features: link to social profiles, location check-in services, or information above your products and services. Every time a customer uses a QR-code, QR Stories will then track the usage and give you statistics.
Unfortunately I cannot get a beta testing account to try out the service, so the information above is simply based on their website.
Do you see some more interesting use of QR-code? Please let me know!