Cracking the code

Those funny little squares that look like Rorschach tests (QR codes) have been struggling to find a purpose for while. They have a lot to offer—they can immediately connect shoppers with information from their smartphones as they’re in the aisle making purchase decisions—but shoppers just generally look at them a bit quizzically. I’ve had neighbors, friends and family members who know I write about the grocery industry ask me what these codes mean. My explanation generally elicits a tepid “oh, that’s nice,” response and to my knowledge none have followed up by actually downloading an app to their phone to be able to click on a QR code to get more information about a product.

OpinionLabs, a Highland Park, Ill.-based provider of “voice-of-customer” listening technologies, recently announced an application that could spark more interest in QR codes. The company is integrating its mobile customer feedback tools to make it even easier for consumers to leave comments from their mobile devices, either by connecting to a brand’s mobile optimized website or by accessing QR codes. Company officials say this makes it easier for mobile consumers to share feedback directly with brands at anytime, from anywhere. All they would have to do is click on the QR code and start talking.

“With mobile devices transforming shopping behavior, we’re providing greater convenience for consumers to leave direct feedback at any point of product interaction,” says Rand Nickerson, CEO of OpinionLab. “Our expanded mobile product-specific feedback offerings provide consumers with multiple opportunities to leave comments and share their opinions on products while they’re shopping, or from the comfort of their homes, while using a product. This customer feedback can be transmitted, analyzed, structured, and passed to relevant stakeholders in a matter of minutes, enabling consumers to participate in the management of their favorite brands.”

Culinary Twist, a producer of all-natural marinades, sauces, and dips, is already reaping the benefits from OpinionLab’s mobile feedback tools. By connecting to its mobilized site that’s accessible via QR codes on product labels, Culinary Twist’s customers can use their smartphones to share their opinions about the flavors or ideas on new recipes.

The easier you make it for customers to provide feedback, the more often you’ll hear from them. Just be prepared to respond.

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