Invented in 1994, the QR code was originally made so that Toyota could track car parts in their manufacturing process. 28 years later, QR codes have become so much more. In particular, the COVID pandemic helped popularize the use of QR codes in businesses everywhere. Whether you’ve seen it being used by shoppers adding social media accounts or to view a digital menu, it’s an increasingly common tool that retailers can use to speed up service and improve customer experience. Here are 4 different ways QR codes can help retailers.
1. Attract more shoppers to your website
QR codes can look like a complicated barcode but they are actually an image of information. For example, you can store everything from phone numbers and documents to website addresses. But sharing websites and social media accounts is definitely the most common use for QR codes. By adding a QR code to any marketing materials or signage, you are giving shoppers the fastest way for them to access your website or social media accounts. Instead of typing addresses or searching for accounts, shoppers can simply scan the QR code with the camera on their phones and access your information in 1-click.
By making it easier for shoppers to get access to your online storefront and social feeds, you will attract more shoppers to your business. After all, being found online or having an online storefront will not only increase your online sales, it helps drive foot traffic back to your physical store as shoppers have an easy way to stay up-to-date on new product launches, special offers, etc.
2. Sell from your shopfront window
Another way QR codes help retailers sell is to make it easier for stores to sell things from their physical shopfront window. For example, adding QR codes next to products that are displayed in your shopfront window that link to each specific product in your online catalog. This gives shoppers an easy way to scan a product to find out more or even buy online, even when your store is closed. Doing this makes your storefront window more engaging and informative – both of which are important for good customer experience.
3. Get more social media followers
Many retailers today use QR codes to make it easier for shoppers to follow their social media accounts. Since QR codes are scanned as website links, shoppers can easily open your social media accounts with 1 click. Making it easier for people to find your accounts will increase the likelihood that they will follow you. Place these QR codes anywhere customers and business partners can see them (email signatures, profile pictures, in-store signs, counter stickers, etc.).
4. Give fast access to free WiFi
One of the best uses of QR codes is to give shoppers 1-click access to guest WiFi in the store. You can create a QR code that store visitors can scan to be automatically connected to your guest WiFi. This is a special type of QR code that automatically enters the network name and password into an iPhone or Android mobile phone. Shoppers love it as it means no more entering network names or long passwords. It is also better for your network security as you don’t need to disclosing the actual password.
If you want to encourage shoppers to browse, offering free guest WiFi is a great way to get shoppers to stay for a longer time in your store. It doesn’t cost you anything and it’s been shown that shoppers that stay longer in a store buy more things and spend more money.
Scroll down to learn how to create your own WiFi QR code.
How to create QR codes
QR codes are very simple to create. All you need is online QR code generator to make them. When using these platforms, creating your QR code is as simple as pasting the website address you would like customers to open. Then press the generate button, and congratulations you will have just made your first QR code!
A. Standard QR codes
For standard QR codes, we have three recommendations: QR Code Monkey, QR Code Generator and Canva. QR Code Monkey is a great free option. QR Code Generator offers a few more features and even has a premium membership. Canva is our favorite option of the three. Canva is already a very versatile and easy-to-use application for creating designs. Their QR code generator paired with their design tools can allow for some really creative uses of QR codes.
B. WiFi QR codes
The main difference when creating QR codes for WiFi sharing is that the code generator needs to support WiFi information. A good tool for this is QiFi.org which was built specifically for this.
All you need to do is enter the SSID (network name) and password for your guest WiFi network. You may also need to enter the Encryption type, so check your Wi-Fi settings if you don’t already know this. Once all of the information is entered, click Generate to produce the code.
Now you know some ways QR codes can help retailers. Time to start implementing this popular technology to your business. You can follow one of the tactics we mentioned, or get creative and try your own tactic. If you end up coming up with your own QR tactic, please feel free to share it below in the comments!
As the infamous Staples ad campaign once exclaimed, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”. No, they weren’t talking about Christmas time – they were talking about back-to-school season! It’s one of the most exciting times for retailers as shoppers are out and about looking for great savings as they or their kids are heading back-to-school. It’s always important to get prepared as soon as possible, so here’s how to prepare your retail store for back-to-school season.
What are people looking for this back-to-school season?
It’s no surprise that inflation is on the minds of most shoppers today. As the cost of living continues to soar, people are reviewing their budgets. In fact, over 75% of parents are shopping based on school provided lists and will be budget-aware. What does this mean for retailers? Well it’s an ideal time to use in-store displays to show off promotions and deals. Make sure your customers realize the savings they could gain from your deals. This will encourage impulse purchases.
Households surveyed revealed that average spending per student is expected to rise by 8%. Reaching around $661 of spend per student. This means retailers are going to have to work to earn their share of back-to-school budgets. Back-to-school sales aren’t growing as much as last year, but they are still growing regardless as life transitions back to normal after the pandemic.
Back-to-school tax holiday
Saving money is getting harder and harder, so state governments have decided to get involved this back-to-school season. For example, in the US, 18 different states are participating in tax holidays to help parents save on school supplies. Below is a list of the states participating. Learn more here.
States participating in a back-to-school tax holiday
If you are a retailer in one of these states, you should try to coordinate your store promotions with the tax holidays. This will ensure the best back-to-school excitement.
Students aren’t the only ones
You should keep in mind that students aren’t the only ones looking for great back-to-school deals. Teachers and school administrative staff are also in the market for supplies! Make sure you offer deals on the types of items they would also be looking for. Things like coffee mugs, tote bags, class room supplies, etc. You can also offer specific deals for teachers. Give them discounts for certain supplies unique to their needs.
Preparing for the masses
Since many businesses deal with large waves of customers during back-to-school season. You and your business need to be prepared for the rush. You will need to make sure that you are stocked up with inventory. Having a POS which can help you keep track of inventory is a huge help! You should also consider whether you need to place restrictions on certain products. This could mean limiting customers to certain quantities of items.
You will also want to consider whether your physical store can handle a large amount of foot traffic at once. Do you need to limit the number of customers inside the store? Do you need to readjust shelves / displays to accommodate customers? Can you handle large lineups of customers? If you’re dealing with a staffing shortage like many businesses everywhere, technology solutions such as self-checkout kiosks can help you speed up sales while keeping your labor costs down.
Make sure people know about your deals
There’s no point in preparing awesome back-to-school deals and promotions if no one knows you’re offering them. So you will need to advertise them. There are many ways to advertise your sales. For instance, you could send out flyers (a classic strategy), run paid social media or Google local inventory ads. Another great strategy for smaller local businesses is to find local Facebook groups or to boost on Facebook Marketplace which is popular for local search. You can easily share your back-to-school promotions on said groups.
Back-to-school season is an exciting time for many retailers. This year, to earn your share of the shoppers’ limited budget, you will need to be prepared. Plan in advance, offer great deals earlier, and make sure people know about your promotions in as many channels as possible. But also keep in mind how you’re helping to ease some of the financial burden for families facing times of struggles.
Simply showcasing your inventory online is another great way to drive customers to your store. This is a tactic that will be even more useful for back-to-school season. With TAKU you can easily have your inventory shown online. To learn more click on the banner below!
Independence day is just 3 weeks away! This year is sure to be an exciting one. Lockdowns are over and much more people will be looking to celebrate than the last two years. While everyone is out celebrating with a heart full of patriotism, it is the best time for retailers to take advantage. Learn how to boost your 4th of July sales by reading more.
Independence Day promotions
Promotions are a staple for any holiday. If you are in the retail game, chances are you already know this. But a little reminder never hurts anyone. To get ready for the fourth of July, consider some special promotions you could offer.
Ideally these promotions should involve Independence Day related merchandise. If you don’t have items that relate, or you can’t offer promotions on those items, don’t worry. People will appreciate a good promotion regardless. Your 4th of July promotion could be a simple BOGO (buy one get one) offer, slashed prices on certain items, or even bundling some products together.
Free food for the 4th of July
To get customers to come to your store, you could host a barbecue. After all BBQs are tradition on Independence Day. There’s a saying: “nothing is better than free food”, and we are confident your customers will agree. Offering free food is one of the best ways to get customers into your store. Since your store might be closed on the holiday, you could host the barbecue the day before or a couple days before Independence Day.
Social media tactics for Independence Day
As a business owner in this day & age – you should already know the importance of using social media for marketing. So take a look at some of our favorite tactics to use this Independence Day.
An exciting contest will always garner interest. Now you can easily leverage this idea to build interest in your business. Having a giveaway or a sweepstakes would be a great way to get customers to interact with your business. Get shoppers to follow, and repost your post to be entered in the contest. While you’re at it, you could advertise your barbecue on the post; kill two birds with one stone.
Paid ads to promote
Even though paid ads can be competitive, they also deliver results. They work even better when you target local audiences as there’ll be less competition. It also saves you money as you are more likely to reach your target audience. Now you could do organic social posts as well, but paid ones guarantee that they actually show up on people’s feeds. So use ads to promote your 4th of July sales and promotions.
4th of July pricing strategies
Life is getting expensive thanks to inflation, so consumers are always on the lookout for savings. So offering consumers great 4th of July sales is an awesome way to get them to purchase stuff. There are a couple of different pricing strategies you could use this Independence Day – here are some of our favorites.
Sales on national products
Independence Day is chalk full of patriotism, so take advantage of it! Offer discounts on merchandise in your store that are made domestically. Support the American economy in these tense times, and also drive up your own sales! If this is doable for you, we highly recommend this pricing strategy.
Loss leader pricing
For a more in-depth look at loss leader pricing, check out our blog post on this subject. But you can easily use loss leader pricing as a tactic to get more sales in your store. Once again you can use 4th of July related items in this, or just use other products. For example if you sell sparklers in your store, you could sell them at a loss while having lighters/matches being sold at a slight premium right next to the sparklers. As usual, be sure to try and keep these items deep inside your store. This way shoppers are forced to browse your other merchandise as they make their way towards those items.
Bulk purchase discounts
Offering cheaper prices when customers buy in bulk is an age-old pricing strategy. Use this classic strategy with a 4th of July promotion. It’s classic to have bonfires on Independence Day. So let’s say you are a hardware store, you could sell fire wood and offer discounts when consumers buy in bulk. Since shoppers will be looking to buy fire wood anyways, you can make sure they buy it from you with this discount. As an additional tip, you could sell your fire pits right next to the discounted wood. This type of bulk discount could be applied to other items like one-time cups (since people will be having barbecues and picnics). Like we already mentioned, make sure you are placing these discounted items in the back of your store so customers browse through your products.
There are so many different types of deals, promotions, and advertisements you could use to boost your 4th of July sales. We named some of our favorite tactics in this blog, but if you come up with other tactics – be sure to share them in the comments below! We are wishing you all a happy Independence Day this year.
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Canada Day this year is looking to be an exciting one. Now that lockdowns are over, people are looking forward to celebrating the holiday in large numbers. Holidays are always a great way to create some marketing buzz for your store. It is an ideal time as a retailer to boost your Canada Day store sales. Read more below to find out how.
Tips for boosting sales on Canada Day
There are many easy ways to increase Canada Day sales. Take a look at some of the best tips below.
Canada Day promotions
This first tactic will probably make you go “duh!”, but sometimes it’s worth it to point out the obvious. Prepare special promotions related to Canada Day. These promotions could include offering a free gift with purchase, or buy one get one (BOGO) free promos.
The promotions should ideally be for products related to Canada Day. However, it doesn’t HAVE to be only Canada Day related items. Find ways to get people in to your store with the idea of Canada Day. However if you have products that are popular for Canada Day, be sure to include them in some way for your promotion or event. This could be anything as simple as offering a holiday bundle, or simply discounted pricing for those items.
Hosting an event could be as simple as hosting a barbecue. Having a barbecue with free hot dogs is always a great way to get customers to drop by your store. Since most stores are closed on Canada Day, we would suggest hosting any promotional events the day before Canada Day – or the whole week before. Just make sure you are doing something exciting to get shoppers in to your store.
Social media marketing
If you have a business in 2022, then you already know how important it is to have social media as a marketing channel. Check out the social media tactics below to boost your Canada Day store sales.
Paid ads on social media can be pretty competitive, but they deliver results. You should be advertising your Canada Day promotions and events for the entire week before they happen. The reason to go with paid ads, is that it guarantees your message will appear on people’s feeds. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that organic social media posts will reach shoppers.
If you are a local business, make sure to target nearby locals with your ads. This way you aren’t spending money to reach consumers who aren’t likely to come into your shop anyways.
Social media contests
A good contest always gets people excited. Naturally, you’d want to use this excitement to boost your Canada Day sales. Make sure to advertise your other promotions when you promote your giveaway as contests are a great way to get people to share your posts. This tactic is a great 2-in-1 as you can both generate awareness for your brand, and communicate your promos to your audience.
With inflation on the rise, people are looking for the best deals. And the best way to get them is during holidays. And, of course, Canada Day is no exception. Here are some some tried and true tactics.
Volume based Canada Day sales
Giving discounts when people buy in volume is a classic pricing strategy. Why not add a little Canada Day flair to it? Sell items people are likely to buy around Canada Day with a volume discount. For example, if you are a grocery store you could offer discounts on hot dog/burger buns when people buy multiple units. It is likely that many people will be hosting barbecues on Canada Day, and will be looking to purchase these items. Offering a discount on a bulk amount will ensure that these buyers are purchasing from you. The same type of bulk discount could be offered on things such as decorations.
As always, with any in-store promotion, make sure that you put your discounts deeper into your store (ideally at the back), to encourage shoppers to walk your entire store.
Domestic product sales
To leverage the patriotic energy of Canada Day, you could offer discounts on merchandise that is made in Canada! Not only is this a great marketing tactic to drive up Canada Day store sales – but it also supports the Canadian economy. This is a great way to really engage in the patriotism related to Canada Day while also providing great deals for consumers.
Loss leader pricing
We have written a whole blog on loss leader pricing, what it is & how to use it. Not to overuse the barbecue example, but as a grocer you could sell condiments (mustard, ketchup, etc.) with loss leader pricing. Consumers will want to come buy the condiments from you for their barbecue, and will most likely pick up higher priced items for the event at the same time.
There is an abundance of promotions, marketing and pricing strategies you could use this year. It is important to start planning for Canada Day promotions in advance. Make sure people have time to actually notice your offers. And be sure to mix up some of these tactics together to boost your Canada Day store sales.
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The metaverse is a term you’ve most likely noticed being tossed around on the internet in the last year or so. Many predict that the metaverse is the future of the internet. At the moment it is used primarily for entertainment purposes. While the metaverse may seem like a gimmick right now, it will become so much more than that. In the long term, the metaverse has the potential to transform the shopping experience, and create a more engaging and immersive experience for consumers.
These digital worlds (where many will work and play) will be the next step in internet use. There have already been a number of concerts and events taking place in the digital space. While it’s still early days for the metaverse, retailers should get involved earlier, because the cost of entry is lower today.
During the early days of the internet, many businesses were quick to dismiss the idea of shoppers buying online. But the first businesses who started online stores ended up with a major advantage versus their competitors. So the question remains, how can retailers take advantage of the metaverse?
You can own a digital space for your business just like you can own a physical space for your brick and mortar store. A digital space allows you to interact with your customer and introduce them to your products.
When saying digital space you may be confusing it with an online website or ecommerce store. In this situation a digital space is a 3D environment on the metaverse where companies can actually create virtual stores. The virtual stores actually allow users to interact with product and see them in a 3D space. Whereas on an ecommerce store the consumer would only be able to see pictures and videos of the product.
The metaverse would allow you to create a new shopping experience for your customers. Forever 21 used the platform *Roblox to allow shoppers to create their own versions of digital Forever 21 stores. In these user-created stores, digital versions of existing merchandise were sold. The products were then actually delivered to the buyers’ real-life homes.
*For those unaware, Roblox is an online gaming platform which allows users to create their own virtual worlds/games. Similar to YouTube, where users create content for others to watch – in Roblox users create games for others to play.
Simply rehashing your existing store on the digital front will not be a successful way to deliver this new shopping experience. Sky Canaves, a senior analyst at Insider Intelligence says that there is no need to be stuck between 4 walls in the metaverse, she continues that metaverse shopping can be so much more experiential. Imagine shopping for a car and being able to drive the car around in the Italian countryside all from your home. This is the type of experience merchants will want to foster for their metaverse customers.
Merchandising’s new boundaries
Metaverse shopping will help push merchandising to new limits. Showcasing your products in the digital world will allow for new and exciting ways for customers to see your offerings. Similarly to the car example in the last paragraph, companies can allow consumers to test merchandise in the virtual world. Besides the virtual world, retailers can leverage the new technology associated with the metaverse to show off their merchandise. Back in 2017, Ikea introduced their app Ikea Placewhich allows customers to use their iPhone cameras to see what Ikea furniture would look like in their own homes before committing to a purchase. This use of AR (augmented reality) has become commonplace for many retailers.
The beauty of the metaverse is that unlike a traditional brick & mortar store, a retailer’s merchandising is not confined to the physical space available inside the store. Shopping on the metaverse allows retailers to showcase an unlimited amount of products in a limitless space. For example a hardware store could showcase every single type of cabinet, flooring tile, or whatever other product they have in a virtually infinitely sized warehouse. Furthermore searching for these products on a digital store will be much easier than a physical store. Users could hypothetically type in what they are searching for and have the product magically appear in front of them so they can inspect it before purchasing. For a better idea of what this could look like, check out companies’ early visions of metaverse shopping.
Besides building brand awareness, companies can hold other sorts of promotions in the metaverse. Brands can host special events in the metaverse such as classes, conferences, and workshops. For promoting the film ‘In the Heights’ Warner Brothers held a large block party on the Roblox platform. This made for an accessible way for consumers to partake in a promotional event.
Retailer can even start offering promotional exclusives on the metaverse. For example you could pair the sale of a shoe at a shoe store with a digital version of the shoe for an online game like Fortnite. In fact Nike has already filed patents to begin selling digital versions of their products.
A company who wants to succeed in the metaverse will be paying attention to the different ways big brands are interacting with it already. Take the lessons from the big players and see what you can change in your approach. We understand, the metaverse is still young and nothing is concrete yet. But by paying attention to what is going on in the digital space you may come up with the next big idea which will influence everyone else. There is some investment and technical know how needed to get involved in the digital world. Keep your ears open and your eyes peeled as the metaverse will continue to grow. The new digital front will provide a bunch of new opportunities. You don’t want to end up like the brands who dismissed the internet back in the 90s.
With TAKU Retail you can create an all inclusive and integrated omnichannel strategy that will get you ready to move your physical store to an online platform. Find out how TAKU Retail can help you achieve a seamless and successful omnichannel system for your business below!
If you’ve been keeping up with TAKU blogs we assume you are already offering Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store (BOPIS). If you aren’t, check out how TAKU can help you to easily offer BOPIS with 0 headaches! 85% of shoppers interviewed in this study have admitted to making extra in-store purchases when visiting to pick up their orders. It’s essential to be thinking about how retailers can get shoppers to add more to their store pick up orders since this is the best way to get the most out of your BOPIS offerings.
Let’s go over some strategies YOU can start using today to get more impulse purchases through in-store pick ups.
Start on the online front
Your first opportunity at getting customers to add more to their purchase during a BOPIS order is on the online front. Your customers are already ready to make a purchase when they go onto your website to make an order – this is the perfect time to strike! CNBC mentions that “once you’ve mentally committed to buying an item online, you know you’ll have to go through the required steps such as entering your information… so you may be more open to tossing additional stuff into your cart.” Here are two tactics you can use to upsell online.
The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a very real thing. Finder.com reported that more than half of consumers said they made an impulse purchase because of FOMO. Timed discounts are a perfect way to use this attitude to make more sales. When a consumer is making a pick up order on your website, you can upsell another item to them at a discount. Make sure this discount has a timer on it, so they have to make the decision quick or miss out on the offer forever.
You can upsell products on the checkout screen of your website with ease. You can recommend products that pair well with whatever the customer is buying and have them be easy to add to the customer’s cart right from the checkout screen.
Real-time stock quantities
Showing real-time stock levels for items on your website is a great way to get shoppers to add more to their store pick up order. Shoppers whose purchases are driven by stock availability would be excited to add more to their cart if they know those items are available and can be picked up all at once, in one visit.
On top of that, you can still appeal to a customer’s FOMO with this tactic. If the customer sees that an additional item only has 1 unit left in stock, they will be more likely to reserve the item online so that they do not miss out. Adding a tool such as TAKU’s built-in integration to Google to your own online store makes it easy for you to effortlessly showcase your available store products online.
In-store strategy to upsell
Another opportunity to increase additional sales of a pick up order is within the store itself. As BOPIS’ name suggests, your customers will have to come in-store to pick up their products. This provides another avenue to promote extra purchases. Here are some tactics that will get shoppers to add more to their pick up orders.
Transaction building with expert employees
A transaction building strategy will motivate consumers to add more to orders. For example let’s pretend you are an hardware store. If a customer comes into buy a bath tub for a washroom renovation they may realize there are some other products they will need. These can include things like caulking, shower heads, and maybe even a shower curtain rod. You can train your employees to bring these subjects up when the customer comes into pick up their order, this will ideally lead to more additions to their purchase. Having well-informed employees is a huge advantage for this strategy. Think about a time where an employee’s expertise in a store has helped you make the right purchase.
Price threshold discounts
Another simple way to get shoppers to add more to their store pick up order is to offer discounts based on their transaction price. Let’s say a customer is coming in to pick up a $180.00 order. You could tell them that if they make a $200.00 purchase they will get an additional 10% off. This will get them to look around your store for a $20 item so that they can get the discount. The urgency of the in-store offer is often enough to get them to purchase an extra item or two.
Promotions on receipts
If the customer has already made the pick up without adding anything to their purchase, you can make a last ditch effort through receipt marketing. You can leave messages on the receipts of transactions which communicate in-store promotions and discounts. This way the customer knows that next time they can take advantage of in-store promotions and add to their basket. Companies like Fobi offer products which can help you make the most out of receipt marketing.
Who doesn’t enjoy a good game? Using the reward system that games use can help your customers feel more enticed to make additional purchases. At the pick up center of your store you could add a spin-to-win wheel that will give customers special promotions with the purchase of an additional item. You could also try to upsell a specific item which will enter the customer into a raffle to win something exciting.
Don’t sleep on food
Have you ever been to a hardware store and saw their displays near the cash registers and wondered why? You know, those displays showcasing snacks like chips, candy and nuts. Well there’s a reason to include those items there. Even if you are not in an industry usually related to food, you can easily offer food items as small last minute purchases. When someone is coming in quickly to pick up an item, sometimes the convenience of having a drink or snack be easily grabbable is just what they need. Why would the customer drive to a gas station to buy a water bottle when they can easily grab one right at your store as they are picking up their order?
Make it easy to add more
In order to get the best results with any of these tips, you go to make it easy for the customer and employee. No one is going to want to add to their order if it is made a hassle. Your employees should be easily able to add additional items to the customer’s order with quickness. POS systems like TAKU make this as easy as possible.
TAKU can help your store manage BOPIS and curbside fulfillments efficiently. In addition to running all your in-store and online sales in one system, TAKU’s built-in free Google listings allow you to easily advertise your real stock availability to current customers. Want to get started? Click the button below for a free demo.