From branded online TV from Debenhams to iPhone apps and QR barcodes from Tesco, a number of digital initiatives launched by retailers in the past week have really shown the way these companies are thinking about the online world holistically and how it actually fits into peoples lives.
Today (27 October) Tesco is launching its first press advertising campaign that uses QR barcodes to give customers access to additional information via their smartphone and make it easier to shop.
The ad, to support the pre-order launch of computer game Call of Duty’s forthcoming Black Ops game, will feature a QR barcode reader that means readers can hold their smartphone over the ad and be directed to the page on Tesco.com to pre-order the game.
It might not sound much but it’s another example of Tesco using technology to make it easier for its customers to shop for the products they want.
If you’re an avid gamer, reading the paper and see the ad for Call of Duty, (affectionately called COD) it means you can pre-order the game there and then instead of forgetting and missing the opportunity.
By also adding a barcode reader to its iPhone app, Tesco is providing customers the same opportunity when they’re on the go, at a friend’s house or at home.
If you’re at a friend’s house drinking a particularly nice bottle of wine and they bought it from Tesco, you can scan it with the app there and then and it gets added to your shopping list so that next time you can buy it online and save yourself the trouble of remembering what it was called or finding the scrap of paper you scribbled the name down on.
Taken separately, these barcode initiatives and the planned introduction of online accounts for Clubcard will have small impacts on customers shopping experience, but as Tesco always says: “Every little helps”.
Debenham’s TV, while not the first of its kind, complements the department store’s development of an iPhone app to provide customers with advice and guidance that is relevant to their lives, whether their in stores, at home or on the move.
These are just a few examples of how retailers are using digital to help their brand’s connect with consumers more frequently, outside of their own stores as part of their daily lives.
And that is what digital is – a part of our lives.