Contactless Retail With QR Codes: 8 Popular Use Cases

You probably own a retail store. It could be to deal in apparels, groceries, electronic gadgets, or anything else. And you want to ensure a safe shopping experience for your customers.

Now ever since the pandemic has hit the globe, contactless experience has become paramount for customers. While they want to step out of their homes to go shopping, they want hygienic and contactless premises too.

And as a customer-centric business, you must take care of their desires. But the question is—how? Wouldn’t it require you to revamp your store? Or install expensive infrastructure?

Well, you don’t really need to do that. There’s one way you can make your retail store contactless without revamping it or investing a huge amount of money. How? With QR Codes.

QR Codes are advanced barcodes that can store a lot more information than traditional barcodes. In addition, they are easily scannable with a smartphone. 

Let’s now see how QR Codes can help make your retail store contactless.

QR Codes offer an experience of tomorrow—Contactless Retail. Your customers can scan the QR Code anywhere to reap its benefits. Thus, eliminates the need to visit the store itself. 

From online shopping to contactless payment, QR Codes got you all covered. In fact, it is projected that the global contactless payment market size will surpass US 4.68 trillion Dollars by 2027.

Thus, QR Codes are the key to unlocking your store’s golden days. Keep reading to know more about the contactless store with QR Codes.

A.How QR Codes offer a contactless retail experience

Wondering how QR Codes can shift the entire paradigm of your retail store. Don’t worry. Here is how:

1. Give coupons and discounts

It is common in business to give out coupons and discounts. They help attract customers and keep them coming back.

And a Coupon QR Code helps you do just that. It serves two benefits:

First, you don’t need to print the coupon codes and hand them out to customers. QR Codes help make the process contactless for you.

Second, customers will not have to carry the coupon or remember the code. Neither will they have to type the random characters in the code to avail the discount. When they scan it, they can simply click on the Redeem button to reap the benefits. It’s that simple. 

2. Give product details via shelves 

Simply putting the product on shelves is not enough. Customers often want to know its details such as features, benefits, price, and warranty.

And how do they get it? From the in-store staff, right? But you’d like to minimize this interaction to make your store contactless in the true sense. The second way is by printing the required details and putting them alongside the product.

However, the limited printing space may not allow you to add as much information as you need.

A Product QR Code can help you here. It allows you to add as many details including text, images, video, website, and even social sharing buttons to it. A QR Code occupies only a little space and can be added alongside the product on the shelf.

As customers scan it, they’ll be able to see all the encoded details in no time.

3. Manage inventory

You probably use barcodes for inventory management purposes. But here are their chief limitations:


a. They store limited information

b. You need dedicated hand-held scanners to scan the barcode

c. Barcodes do not get scanned once damaged (which is quite common during inventory handling)

d. You cannot edit them with new information once you’ve created them

However, QR Codes are way ahead of barcodes in eliminating all these problems.

QR Codes are replacing barcodes for inventory tracking. And to generate them, you can use a QR Code bulk generation service that allows you to create multiple QR Codes smoothly in no time.

4. Offer contactless payments

Customers often have to wait in queues to pay their bills. And the process of making the payment via card/cash makes it even longer.

But QR Codes save them from this pain. Not only for customers but QR Code payments are beneficial for the retailer too. How? You don’t need to invest in a cost-expensive setup to accept card payments. Simply put the QR Code at the check-out counter. Customers will be able to scan it to make the payment. 

In addition, you can make the process of payments contactless to ensure customer safety.

As mentioned above, the global contactless payments market is projected to cross $4.68 trillion by 2027. And QR Codes are surely going to contribute a great deal to it.

5. Gather feedback

You know how important it is for a business to get regular customer feedback. It helps to determine whether your customers are enjoying your services or not. Hence, it gives valuable insights into the areas of improvement.

But you don’t need to give them printed feedback forms. Simply create a QR Code to get customer feedback and put it near the check-out counter. Customers will be able to scan it and access the feedback form on their phones. 

In addition, you’ll get all the data digitally. No need to tediously curate the data to get insights from paper-based forms. 

6. Show menu card

Many retail outlets now have menu cards to give their customers a snapshot of the services offered. But here’s the problem—printed menu cards are breeding grounds for diseases. Hence, they can catalyze disease spread across various hands that touch them.

In addition, these menu cards get changed very frequently. That’s because you are always optimizing or adding new services. Thus, it creates the need to reprint the menu every time you make changes. 

But a Document QR Code can help eliminate both the challenges. Simply add the menu file/files to the QR Code and put the QR Code inside premises. Consumers can access the menu with a simple scan. No need for them to touch the paper-based menus anymore.

Also, a Document QR Code is dynamic in nature. That means you can edit the encoded content (menu files here) anytime you want. Thus, it eliminates the need to create or reprint the QR Code each time you want to make changes to the menu.

7. Drive web traffic or social media followers 

Do you have a website? It could be to evoke business awareness, give the latest discounts and deals, or even help customers order online. Then you’d want the customers to visit you online. And a Website URL QR Code can help you do that. Simply create one and place it inside your store premises. As customers scan it, they’ll be able to visit your website in no time.

Similarly, you can also get them to follow you on social media with a Social Media QR Code. As one scans it, she sees the buttons with links to all your social media accounts. She can then select her favorite one to follow you online.

8. Increase app downloads

Just like a website, if you have a mobile app for your business, you’d want people to download it.

Here, you can create an App Store QR Code and place it on your print promotions or inside the store. When scanned, it will redirect the end-users to your app on the relevant app store depending on their phone’s operating system. 

B. Example of some companies using QR Codes for contactless retail

Here are some companies leveraging QR Codes for their benefits:

1. Amazon

In 2016, Amazon launched Amazon Go, a retail store with the ‘most advanced shopping technology’ in the US. Amazon calls it a ‘Just Walk Out’ technology. Here, customers can simply enter the store by scanning a QR Code via the Amazon Go app. They can browse, pick, and take the products they want and then leave. The amount of the purchase is debited directly from the user’s Amazon account.

Here’s how it works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrmMk1Myrxc

2. Walmart

In 2013, Walmart and Procter & Gamble placed QR Codes at all the bus shelters in Toronto. The idea behind this was that people can use their time more productively by shopping while waiting for the bus. Scanning the QR Code took them to Walmart’s online shopping portal. Here, they could order groceries and other utilities while waiting for the bus.

3. Tesco

In 2011, Tesco used a big screen displaying a wide range of products. It had  a QR Code placed with each product. Customers could simply scan the QR Code next to the product they wanted to purchase. Doing this added the product to their virtual cart in the Tesco Homeplus app on their smartphone. The products were then delivered at their doorstep.

Tesco using QR Codes for selling products

4. Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren has introduced QR Codes for products to help customers verify product authenticity. It helped the company do the following:

  • Ensure product authenticity to customers
  • Allow them to see the product details
  • Give them styling tips

5. McDonald’s

In India, McDonald’s prints QR Codes on their bills to gather feedback from their customers. When scanned, it redirects them to a quick online feedback form. Customers can then scan it to quickly fill the form.

McDonalds Feedback QR Code

C. How to create a QR Code for contactless retail

Now you know why it makes sense to take advantage of QR Code for contactless retail. Next question is—how to create one?

1. Decide on the QR Code category 

Depending on what content you want your end-users to see, you’ll need to select the relevant QR Code category.

For example, if you want to provide coupons and discounts, you’d need a Coupon QR Code. On the other hand, if you want to increase your app’s downloads you’d create an App Store QR Code

Once you’ve decided on the QR Code category, head on to find a suitable QR Code generator. For your convenience, here is a detailed comparison chart of the best QR Code generators available online. You can go through this to find the best one for your use case.

2. Create a QR Code

Using Scanova for demo purpose, here’s how you can create a QR Code for contactless retail:

1. Go to Scanova

2. Select the relevant QR Code category

QR Code categories

3. Enter the content you want to encode and click Continue

4. On the page that loads, name the QR Code and click Create QR Code

5. Now, you’ll see the preview of the QR Code along with the Edit Design option

6. If you click on the Edit Design option, you’ll then see two design options to choose from—Custom Logo Design and Custom Background Design

Choose the design type

Custom logo design: It allows you to add your company’s logo and colors to the QR Code. A logo can be an image or a text.

Custom background design: It helps you place your QR Code on an image.

7. Once you’ve decided on the design or no design, click Download. A window will open prompting you to sign-up for a 14-day free trial. Once you’ve signed up, proceed to download the QR Code

Note that no credit card information is required for sign-up.

8. Now you’ll be asked to specify the QR Code image’s size and dimensions. Once you submit the details, click Export

Image size and dimensions

That’s it. Your QR Code will be downloaded and ready for use. It is always advisable to test scan the QR Code before putting it out for your customers.

That is all you need to know about how QR Codes can offer a contactless retail experience. You can now go-ahead to create a QR Code and build your business into an empire.


Boost your conversions by creating a QR Code

Get started with your first QR Code
CTA scanova blog