Shoppable QR Codes: The Next Big Advertising Opportunity
Brands today are relying more on direct-to-customer interactions to sell their products on social media. TV advertisements are facing a lower engagement rate as viewers are using smartphones and tablets during commercials. NBCU and other brands are using shoppable QR Codes to engage viewers by letting them buy products by scanning QR Codes on the TV screen which links to the brands’ e-commerce website.
Yathish Kumar TK
Last Updated: March 31, 2021
There has been a 30% drop in TV usage amongst Millennials and Gen Xers as they are shifting towards streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
The ones who still watch regular TV are losing engagement during commercial breaks. They tend to be distracted with other forms of content on smartphones, tablets, and other devices, so they don’t remember the TV advertisements at all.
Brands have found an effective strategy in shoppable QR Codes—a solution for brands where viewers can buy products when they see them on their TV screens.
By scanning a QR Code presented on TV during pre-defined shoppable moments, viewers get access to an e-commerce website of the brands.
Shoppable QR Codes are effective because using a ‘second screen’ has become common amongst people as they are watching TV.
When was the last time you sat in front of a TV without your phone nearby?
This trend is common across all ages, with millennials of 18-24 age groups at the top with 79% second screen usage.
The regular TV advertisements do not have the same impact on consumers with constant distractions from mobile devices. Shoppable QR Codes stand out as a massive opportunity for brands to capitalize on the second screen phenomenon. Brands can connect various media platforms to television by creating a compelling message and call-to-action.
NBCU’s shoppable TV connects the living room TV programs to an engaging shopping experience through a smartphone.
The company used shoppable QR Codes to achieve this.
A QR Code on an ad will pop up on the bottom of the screen during relevant moments of a show. A viewer can point their smartphone cameras and scan these QR Codes and get a link to a brand’s e-commerce website, where viewers can buy products.
Brands like Walmart, Lacoste, and Zwift are already using these shoppable QR Codes for NBCU advertising. The shoppable ads are non-intrusive but engaging.
In some instances, NBCU explicitly lets viewers know about the QR Code ads. At other times it just shows up in the bottom-third of the screen.
During the French Open, NBCU broadcasted a shoppable QR Code of Lacoste.
During a game of Novak Djokovic playing, a shoppable QR Code popped up with him wearing Lacoste apparel as in the actual game. When viewers scanned the QR Code, it redirected them to the Lacoste e-commerce website where they could buy their desired product.
They used a shoppable QR Code in one of their episodes. Rick, one of the main protagonists, wore a funnel hat with a QR Code pasted on it.
The QR Code takes viewers to a Rick and Morty website, where they can buy the same funnel which Rick wore with a QR Code on it. The marketing strategy was part of the show’s Easter Eggs and a surprise element for viewers.
Brands are collaborating and investing more in shoppable ads through streaming services. Walmart owned streaming service Vudu recently announced that it would be launching new interactive shows with shoppable ads.
Vudu Chief Operating Officer said that these shoppable ads would feature products through a pop-up window. He added that they would be dynamic, changing based on viewer preferences.
Dynamic shoppable QR Codes can be a great resource if brands want to be innovative and change according to viewer preferences.
Why your next TV ad should feature a shoppable QR Code
A study showed that Television remains the most effective form of advertising compared to Facebook and YouTube. In an average second, TV commanded more attention with twice the active viewing of YouTube and 15 times that of Facebook.
Shoppable QR Codes have the ability to drive impulse purchases and drive more sales on e-commerce platforms.
These QR Codes can also help brands in top-funnel engagement and data acquisition through promotions and scans via a comprehensive QR Code platform.
It also provides valuable revenue streams for brands that are not able to engage customers through traditional ad formats.
With the evolution of shoppable QR Codes on TV, Over-The-Top(OTT) platforms like Netflix, Apple TV+, and Disney+ and consumer brands can leverage shoppable QR Codes to maximize engagement and ROI.