How can SMBs jump on the contactless marketing bandwagon and start targeting consumers with new habits? Read this complete guide
Last Updated:  June 9, 2020
Visa’s recent research puts the spotlight on contactless. Contactless use has surged during Covid-19.
And for obvious reasons.
With the virus spreading through touch and remaining on surfaces for more than 72 hours, it would be a surprise if contactless payments didn’t surge given the hygiene issues at stake.
The world is going to fear Covid-19 and the potential of any other pandemic disrupting their lives for a long time from now. As a result, the bitter lessons learnt during this period are going to stay.
Why are contactless marketing methods gaining steam?
A. Falling costs with the technology
A QR code short for Quick Response code is back in vogue. Starting in 2017, smartphones had the ability to scan QR codes natively which made the technology cheaper and led to wider acceptance. Case in point, restaurants using it for QR Code menus.
B. Much better compared to traditional adverts
QR codes and contactless marketing methods are much less intrusive compared to traditional advertising methods.
As such, there are several benefits to small businesses. Let’s see how a small business can leverage contactless marketing and achieve growth.
How to leverage contactless marketing: Guide for SMBs
There are several ways you can leverage contactless marketing to grow your business both online and offline. You can use contactless marketing methods to send people to landing pages, generate leads for your webinars, sell more of a product, and increase footfall to retail stores.
#1. To deliver augmented reality experiences
You might feel that only people of a certain age visit museums. Sukiennice Museum in Poland turned the concept on its head by tying stories of intrigue and war into each of their paintings.
The museum brought reenactors to dramatize the stories behind the paintings. These stories could be accessed via QR codes stuck to each painting and visitors could see the inside details behind each painting. Talk about bringing new life to old paintings, QR codes served as the rallying point that told the history and background of paintings in stunning detail. This created a lot of interest in them.
This brought a whole new level to delivering contactless experiences and marketing an entity that is old-fashioned.
This is a perfect example of relevant QR marketing.
There are several ways to use contactless marketing:
#2. Send geo-targeted messages
Mobile use has grown. So has the use of QR codes.
Add QR codes to posters, flyers, brochures, etc. to create geo-targeted discount codes that people can use when visiting nearby restaurants or malls. You can post these posters in the vicinity of locations of that particular restaurant.
Most people access QR codes from their phones. A report from Scanbury shows that there were 4.3 QR code scans per person in 2015 up from 4% in 2014.
Video too is rising in popularity and QR codes are providing a new way for people to engage with video.
QR codes can be used to link out to a video from a point that’s not necessarily digital. QR codes can be placed on posters, on food stamps on resumes, and so on. These videos can be around your products strengthening the relationship you’re trying to build.
Don’t let anyone tell you that direct mail is dead. The data and marketing association says that email generates $12 for every $1 in spending. Using QR codes you can give a smartphone user the link to a personalized URL on your website. This improves conversions and you can attach a dollar value to the revenue generated by each customer. Tracking is way easier.
In 2011, Tesco placed adverts for its stores at subway stations. These adverts all had QR codes that led the visitor to an online ordering page.
The ads resulted in increased online shopping as customers had to wait for their metros and scanned those codes while they waited.
QR codes can help you generate personalized URLs to people who you send direct mailers to. With this, they can visit microsites individually tailored to their tastes. Just make sure the landing pages you send people to load fast.
We all know how powerful personalization can be.
#3. Improve conversions
With contactless marketing, you see the uptick in conversions almost immediately. You target people who are near you and send relevant campaigns based on their proximity. The results are for all to see.
Want to improve retail sales?
Here’s what you can do.
Reviews are known to improve conversions. They impact your CTR and sales. Regular reviews show the quality and consistency of the product.
To encourage reviews, design posters that let people scan and review their locations. Display ideas like ticket booths, table placements, and columns.
Reviews you get on third party sites have more impact on your bottomline than on-site reviews.
#4. Improve personalization
An example of contactless marketing that leverages personalization at scale is in the real estate industry.
Using easy-to-use tools, realtors and property managers can take photos and videos of their rentals and listings, and create online, 360 VR tours. This allows more people to view a listing at any time, without needing to travel to a property, set up a time that works with the realtor, or inconvenience any current tenants living in the unit.
#5. Deliver in-store navigation and product recommendations
Additionally, QR codes also encourage app downloads. With QR codes regular people have a great way to download your app and use it.
To improve sales, ask users to scan QR codes near product price tags.
You can use a mobile buy now option with QR codes allowing for self-checkout.
The opportunities to do this are through demo visits and in-store shopping.
This is great for improving customer engagement and improving the app experience in-store.
There are several advantages to doing this. For instance, in France IKEA allows customers to scan for their products via QR code and pay for them at checkout.
This improves engagement. The other benefit? Checkout lines are nearly non-existent.
Verizon got a 200% increase in sales with QR code marketing. Veriszon displayed codes in their store through which customers would be drawn in a promo to win a smartphone.
All customers had to do was scan the QR code and share it with their friends. If the friends bought a phone then the referrer would be given a free phone.
In the week when they ran the promo Verizon generated $35,000 in additional sales. The only investment? $1000.
What the future holds for contactless marketing
QR codes and contactless payments are redefining the way brands deliver messages to customers. The novelty and ease is something that people will always want more of. Also, as a pandemic ravages the world, contactless marketing is going to be the future as people prefer ways to pay without contact.