Merchants are integrating QR codes into their marketing strategies at a far greater rate this year than last, finds a [download page] Multichannel Merchant survey released in June 2012. Fully 47% of respondents this year said they are using QR codes, a dramatic increase from just 8% a year ago. A further 15% aren’t yet using QR codes as part of their marketing strategies but are considering doing so. All told, 38% are not using QR codes and aren’t considering them, down significantly from 72% last year.
Merchants aren’t the only ones making greater use of QR codes: a recent report from ScanLife found that consumer QR code scans were up 157% year-over-year in Q1 2012.
Most Use QR Codes in Print Catalogs
While last year, merchants were divided on the best use of QR codes, this year, a clear hierarchy has emerged. 63.2% are using them in their print catalogs, while 47.4% are using them in postcards and/or other non-catalog mail pieces. About 2 in 5 merchants are using them as part of their marketing collateral (signs, bags, etc.), with 15.8% saying they have found other uses.
Last year, 35% were using QR codes in each of the specific ways identified, with 15% finding other uses.
Merchants Increasingly Target Shopping Cart Abandoners
Further data from the “MCM Outlook 2012-2013” report reveals that adoption of QR codes isn’t the only marketing strategy that is capturing the attention of a greater amount of merchants. This year, just 38.3% said they are not marketing to people who have abandoned carts, marking a significant drop from 60.9% of merchants last year who were ignoring these potential customers. Indeed, this year, merchants rated this strategy as much more valuable to their online efforts than they did last year.
Aside from email reminders, the most common ways of marketing to shopping cart abandoners this year are by special offers via email (37.4%) and remarketing ads on other websites (29.9%). The latter in particular has become more popular, almost tripling from 11.3% of merchants a year ago.
- 38% of merchants are using live chat on their sites this year, up from 17% last year.
- The most popular rich media techniques used by merchants are video (64.3%), alternative views (45.5%), and zoom (42%).
- 52.7% are now using some element of mobile commerce, double the 25.9% from last year. The most common mobile commerce strategies are a mobile commerce site (29.5%), mobile applications (16.1%), mobile search ads (15.2%), and acceptance of mobile payments (15.2%).
- 45.9% of merchants, including 44.3% of B2C sellers, are not selling in marketplaces. 41.3% of the overall respondents are selling in Amazon, and 23.9% in Ebay.
- 65% of merchants’ sites include a trustmark of approval from a third-party company, relatively unchanged from 63% last year.
- The most common site search functions offered are the ability to refine results (70.5%) and thumbnail images with results (54.7%).
- PayPal is the most popular type of alternative payment option provided (50.9%). The proportion not providing an alternative option has dropped from 53.8% in 2011 to 35.5% this year.
About the Data: The Multichannel Merchant data is based on an online survey fielded between April 19 and May 21, 2012. When the survey closed on May 21, there were 952 respondents. Of those, 654 (69%) indicated
that their company was an online merchant, retailer, manufacturer, publisher/media or a wholesale distributor. Those active respondents formed the basis of the survey results.