When one of our clients approached us with the idea of building an entirely new customer engagement app for their grocery stores, we were very excited. Their project goal was a mobile application that would allow their customers to pay for groceries by scanning a QR code at the store’s register using just their smartphone. Sounds awesome, right? We definitely thought so.
Although a project like this does carry a number of challenges, we hoped to create the best customer engagement app experience possible for our grocery store client and their users. But QR codes can be used for so much more. Here are five useful ways to use QR codes in a cutting-edge grocery store app.
- Seamless payment at the register: Customers can pay for their groceries at checkout by simply scanning a QR code with their grocery app. We were able to accomplish this without upgrading the existing POS systems, and since this method uses the device’s camera instead of dedicated hardware (like Apple Pay or Google Pay), we are able to support a wider range of devices including older iPhones and Android phones without NFC chips.
- Personalized Coupon Integration: The store’s website already lets users order items ahead of time which means in many cases users will already have a saved payment method on file. This means that for this grocer, they were able to remove a frequent barrier to entry and get customers started on mobile payments with greater ease. Users get personalized coupons and deals if they have an account, but now those coupons will be integrated right into the mobile payment app. Customers won’t have to worry about whether or not they are getting all the possible savings when checking out.
- App Download Redirect: Since QR codes are going to be displayed in the checkout lanes, we had to consider that some customers might scan the code even if they don’t have the grocery store mobile payment app installed. We use this as an opportunity to inform the customer that they are able to pay with their smartphone. If the QR Code is scanned by a different scanner app, the customer will be taken to a web page where they can visit the App Store or Play Store to download the mobile payment app.
- Scan barcodes to add items to your shopping list: Users can also use their phone’s camera to scan the barcode on items they have already bought in order to add them to their shopping list. The mobile app can use the barcode to fetch images of the item and tell customers where it’s located. This can make finding exactly what you want at the store even easier. And if there are any savings for that item, it will automatically be applied to your account; a far faster option for customers that otherwise would have to type out the product’s name to find it.
- Streamline account signup: When this mobile app was first rolling out, all the existing members of the loyalty program had a card with a unique ID and a barcode. When those users signed up for an account on the mobile app, we didn’t want them to lose anything from their existing loyalty account. Instead of making the users type in a long number from the back of their loyalty card they could just scan their unique barcode from the app and automatically link their accounts.
And as a bonus, a word from this wise: Be cautious of small barcodes! Smartphone cameras have come a long way in the past few years, but they still aren’t as sensitive as the laser scanners at the register. If you have to hold your phone so close to the barcode that the camera can’t focus, you’re going to have a bad time.
Editor’s note: Curious to see our most recent case study for the fifth-largest supermarket chain in the U.S.? You can find it here!
Self-proclaimed Google Fanboy, Kyle is a Titanium and native Android developer who has been creating mobile applications for over 5 years. He is always on the lookout for new trends in the mobile space. Kyle is equally at home implementing a front-end UI as well as designing an application’s data architecture.