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Simmons uses QR codes in JCPenney stores to simplify mattress shopping

Simmons Bedding Co. has rolled out an in-store QR tagging application to simplify the buying process for consumers as they shop for mattresses and bedding at JCPenney stores.

Beginning today, consumers can use Microsoft Tag technology for mattresses from Simmons’ new 2010 Beautyrest line, making the rollout the first of its kind at JCPenney retail stores nationwide. When consumers scan the QR tag for a Beautyrest mattress, they receive access to a 3D construction rendering of that particular Beautyrest model.

“In our category, consumer engagement happens within ‘the last five feet’ of the bed so how we communicate within that footprint is important,” said Tim Oakhill, executive vice president of marketing at Simmons. “For us, Tags serve to bring point-of-sale to life, educating and engaging the consumer at the point where purchase decisions are made, and engendering a more robust conversation between the retail sales associate and the consumer.

“Ensuring that consumers have a positive retail experience is a critical component to our overall marketing efforts,” he said. “We had to ensure that the consumer’s interaction with the Tag was easy, engaging and intuitive. For this reason, we opted to use Microsoft Tags.

“We felt like we could deliver a richer experience for the consumer while having more flexibility in programming and stronger analytics on the back-end. We also designed the illustrations and video specifically for the various smart phone platforms, so that a consumer had a more custom and seamless interaction with the content.”

QR tags
QR tags are small bar code-like visuals that may be scanned and read by smartphones, with the goal of making in-store signage more interactive for consumers.

Once scanned by a smartphone the QR tag makes additional information such as images and videos easily available to the user via their phone’s Web browser.

Tag users will have the option to play a Beautyrest video, which illustrates how the bed’s Super Pocketed Coil springs, BeautyFeel comfort and BeautyStyle aesthetics come together to offer motion separation, conformability, support and durability.

The video also features the brand’s signature bowling ball demonstration for additional emphasis on the Super Pocketed Coil springs’ motion separation benefits.

The benefit to consumers is added detail and improved data at the point-of-purchase, making mattress shopping more convenient.

Why mobile?
Studies based on buying trends of mattress shoppers found that purchase decisions are typically made in the retail store, making the in-store experience critical.

With the rollout of Simmons’ QR tags, JCPenney once again proves to be a retailer on the forefront of utilizing technology to aid the consumer’s shopping experience.

The technology venture between Simmons and JCPenney is one of the first of its kind nationwide, helping to set a precedent for America’s use of technology in the retail space.

“If you think about consumers today, their mobile phone is their world,” said Anna Kim-Williams, Seattle-based senior global media strategist of the Startup Business Group at Microsoft. “They use their phones for more than just making calls – they take pictures, access the Internet, organize their days and even conduct bank transactions.

“So using their phone to snap a Microsoft Tag is simple enough to do and provides a lot of value for the consumer,” she said. “We believe Tag is an interesting way to a very broad cross-section of consumers.

“The scenarios for Tag are essentially endless – you can connect to anything with a URL, dial a number for you, send text messages or exchange contact information.”

Final take
Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor of Mobile Marketerand Mobile Commerce Daily