B9 Augmented Reality Merchandising


Part of a series of Top 10 Closing the Sale Mobile Marketing Strategies

There are many different forms of Augmented Reality Merchandising including the use of QR codes, virtual reality and kiosks.

QR Code Merchandising

Best Buy has implemented an aggressive QR Code Merchandising strategy by placing codes on shelves throughout its stores. Scanning the code enables customers to access detailed product information as well as a side-by-side feature and price comparisons of multiple products such as smartphones, computers or printers. This merchandising approach should assist customers in the decision-making process, especially when there may not be a store associate readily available or the customer prefers self‑service.[i]

Cadillac ran ads in Fortune magazine that included a QR code, pointing people to a mobile site with photos and videos of its latest XTS model. Using GPS, prospects were then directed to the nearest Cadillac dealer. Cadillac strongly believes that it can reach its target audience of upscale educated prospects through a smartphone and tablet marketing strategy.[ii] As you can see in this example, merchandising is not just restricted to the showroom floor.

Home Depot uses QR codes in its stores to link customers to project guides, as well as How To videos and information about pertinent accessories for cross-selling. They also have links to videos from designers such as Martha Stewart who discusses kitchen designs. These strategies are intended to move customers through the sales cycle.

Clothing retailer Express has implemented a broad range of QR code strategies. Codes in‑store and on store windows encourage registrations for its loyalty program. QR codes on hardcopy mailers provide video content and encourage product purchases. Express also provides an equivalent SMS text option to extend its campaigns to feature phone users.[iii]

figure 48

Figure 48: McDonald’s Hamburger Wrapper QR Code Marketing

This QR code can be found on a McDonald’s hamburger wrapper in Japan. A QR code on a fast food wrapper could address a number of very different merchandising objectives: link to nutritional information, automatically send you a discount coupon for a dessert purchase or enter you into a contest to instantly win a prize.[iv]

QR Code Merchandising Best Practices

  •       Be creative.
  •       Place your QR codes where your target audience is likely to see and scan them.
  •       Place your QR codes where people are resting, waiting or lining up – rather than where people are rushing by.
  •       Determine how QR code merchandising can best be used to convince people to buy.
  •       Use analytics to track the success of each code and adjust your execution strategy accordingly.
qr tagheurWatch the Video: Magazine QR Code Merchandising – TAGHeuer: Brief demonstration of a TAGHeuer watch QR code campaign in Glamour magazine – an innovative merchandising approach.[v] <goo.gl/zaYZk> (Duration: three minutes)
QR LEGOWatch the Video: QR Code Merchandising – Lego: QR codes can be placed on any product package to bring it to life – a video can be used to demonstrate or highlight the product’s capabilities as in this Lego Star Wars video example.[vi] <goo.gl/kBaaj> (Duration: 30 seconds)

Virtual Reality Merchandising

A number of companies have experimented with Virtual Reality Merchandising. L’Oreal has created an augmented reality app which enables consumers to virtually try on its Maybelline nail polish. Using this app, consumers can determine which shades look the best without having to physically try them. They simply upload a photo of their hand and choose from 40 different nail polish colours. The selected images can then be uploaded to friends via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or e‑mail, capitalizing on social media word of mouth.[vii]

QR HEINZWatch the Video: Augmented Reality Merchandising – Heinz: This mobile phone app enables you to view a virtual recipe book directly on top of the grocery item you are considering buying – in this case, a bottle of Heinz Ketchup. Furthermore, why stop there, when you can link to a video of a master chef who can show you how to use that ingredient to make something wonderful.[viii] <goo.gl/IBUic> (Duration: two minutes)
QR RETAILERSWatch the Video: Augmented Reality Merchandising – Retailers: Augmented virtual reality worlds can bring the store’s retail clothing change room into your home.[ix] <goo.gl/tywBE> (Duration: one minute)
QR ADSWatch the Video: Augmented Reality Ads: This video claims that augmented reality ads have increased visits to a New Zealand zoo by 32 percent.[x] <goo.gl/sgCzx> (Duration: one minute)
QR ADS LINDAWatch the Video: Augmented Reality Ads – Linda: This video demonstrates how a magazine reader can view augmented reality ads with Layar and link to items in the ad to instantly purchase them.[xi] <goo.gl/huHrI> (Duration: two minutes)

Kiosk Merchandising

QR LEGO 2LOGO LEGOWow!      Watch the Video: In‑Store Augmented Reality Kiosk Merchandising – Lego: Lego’s Digital Box is an in‑store augmented reality kiosk system that enables you to see in 3D what the Lego set in that box looks like before you buy it.[xiii] <goo.gl/PRFx> (Duration: one minute)

Challenge Questions

Augmented Merchandising Strategies: Does an augmented merchandising strategy make sense for your organization, and if so, how could you implement it? Could you utilize QR codes, virtual reality and/or kiosks to achieve your business and marketing objectives?


[i] Chantal Tode. “What is the best in-store mobile shopping strategy?” Mobile Commerce Daily. June 22, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/2012/06/22/mobile-in-store-shopping-showrooming-is-just-the-beginning.

[ii] Lauren Johnson. “Cadillac taps print to showcase new car model QR codes, calls-to-action.” Mobile Marketer. June 28, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/software-technology/13198.html.

[iii] Lauren Johnson. “Express takes bigger plunge into mobile with QR codes, SMS.” Mobile Commerce Daily. June 27, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/2012/06/27/express-furthers-mobile-commerce-stride-with-qr-codes-sms.

[iv] Sarah White. “McDonald’s tags food with high-tech nutrition information.” Calorie Counter (CalorieLab). September 15, 2006. December 18, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://calorielab.com/news/2006/09/15/mcdonalds-tags-food-with-high-tech-nutrition-information/.

[v] “Maria Sharapova QR Code Scan in Glamour Magazine.” YouTube. Uploaded by TappinQRCodefun on November 8, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/zaYZk or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-_YtbaIUZo.

[vi] “2012 LEGO Star Wars Xwing vs. TIE fighter.” YouTube. Uploaded by HKTOYSRUS on December 16, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/kBaaj or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kh2LJH7JSM.

[vii] Lauren Johnson. “Maybelline pushes augmented reality, image recognition via print campaign.” Mobile Marketer. June 22, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/software-technology/13158.html.

[viii] “Heinz Tomato Ketchup recipe book in augmented reality by Blippar.” YouTube. Uploaded by blippar1 on December 9, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/IBUic or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbplSdh0lGU.

[ix] “Augmented Reality Online Shopping.” YouTube. Uploaded by MetaioAR on August 2, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/tywBE or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhjuZMEJ4-U.

[x] “World’s first mobile augmented reality Ad.” YouTube. Uploaded by aac74 on December 16, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/sgCzx or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsZTbIjLHNA.

[xi] “Layar – LINDA. Magazine with Layar Vision.” YouTube. Uploaded by Layarmobile on November 15, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUFdZsXK6fA&feature=player_embedded. http://goo.gl/huHrI.

[xii] “Lego Toys.” Toy Crazy. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.toycrazy.com.au/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=6_12.

[xiii] “LEGO DIGITAL BOX – augmented reality kiosk system.” YouTube. Uploaded by metaioAR on December 9, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/PRFx or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUuVvY4c4-A.

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One thought on “B9 Augmented Reality Merchandising

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