E-commerce via the mobile phone is increasing. On a mobile phone, contrary to a PC, distance matters more and search costs are higher. The search costs represent the ease of surfing the internet, which is higher when surfing online on a PC. This is mainly due to the fact that a mobile phone has a smaller screen and therefore requires more scrolling down in finding the right result. (Ghose et al., 2012)
Another way of shopping via your mobile phone, instead of surfing, is with the use of the QR code. On places the company desires, a QR code of the product is depicted and customers can easily scan the code with their smartphone and buy the product. The use of this code enables stores to create a virtual shop where no physical products are needed. Creating a new strategy of mobile shopping. With scanning the QR code, customers can buy the scanned product on the linked site. The goal of using the QR code for daily shopping is to give customers the chance to buy for example their groceries everywhere at any time, making physical stores redundant.
The challenging part of the strategy is the fact it has to ensure that the shopping experience is highly convenient and easy to use. Customers must enter the information quickly because the target group is predominantly a customer on-the-go.
Would this strategy really boost mobile shopping, or is it just a smart marketing move to create more brand awareness?
It is a fact that using QR codes will increase customer awareness by at least 25%. So the QR code will most certainly increase brand awareness. It will also increase the ease of communication between customers and companies, and will most likely appeal innovative customers. Companies should use the appeal of innovative customers to promote new merchandise. So they QR code will have a positive effect on customer informedness and will be used for the promotion and increased availability of products. But will it make customers more willing to shop via their mobile phone?
Ghose, A., Goldfarb, A., and Han, S. (2013). How is the Mobile internet Different? Search costs and local activities,Information Systems Research, Articles in Advance, pp. 1-3