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Starbucks flaunts Verismo products via QR code push

The company tapped ScanLife to help power the mobile initiative. Starbucks has relied on mobile bar codes in the past to drive user engagement and promote new products.

“QR codes have the advantage of being more recognizable to the mobile user versus augmented reality, which can be easily overlooked without a strong call-to-action,” said Mike Wehrs, president/CEO of ScanLife, New York.

Mobile bar codes
Starbucks is placing QR code calls-to-action throughout its stores.

In-store signage promotes its Verismo system. Additionally, Starbucks is offering to ship the product free to consumers when they scan the QR code and buy it.

When consumer scan the mobile bar code, they are redirected to the company’s mobile site where they can learn more about the product, see what others have to say and search for other Starbucks items to buy.

Furthermore, coffee lovers can sign up for the company’s newsletter to enjoy the latest offers and news. Consumers who sign-up receive a 10 percent coupon off of their next order.

The mobile site also features several social media tabs that let consumers connect with the brand on a deeper level.

For example, users can “Like” Starbucks’ Facebook page, follow the company on Twitter and browse videos on its official YouTube page.

Deeper engagement
QR codes have been a hot trend in the mobile space for a while now.

And, Starbucks has turned to the medium in the past to drive consumer awareness.

Earlier this year, Starbucks let coffee lovers find their favorite roast via a campaign that incorporated mobile bar codes.

The company promoted its coffee roast such as Blonde, Medium and Dark in its in-store locations. Starbucks also handed out bookmark fliers to consumers that not only include a coupon, but also featured a QR code (see story).

“As we round out 2012 and look to 2013, we anticipate more brands like Starbucks delivering unique, mobile-optimized experiences that provide value to the end user,” Mr. Wehrs said. “Starbucks’ use of QR codes provides a one-click access to a menu of options including product and purchase information, social media and customer service.

“When brands work with managed platforms like ScanLife’s, they are able to access several demographics of consumers scanning codes such as – time of day the code was scanned, gender of the person scanning and location of the scan,” he said.

“With these powerful analytics, brands are able to refine their marketing strategies to engage consumers with relevant and timely information that can lead to closing a sale.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York