Maplin's QR Code Mistakes

by @edent | # # # | 2 comments | Read ~266 times.

Maplin, the UK technology retailer, is experimenting with QR codes in its Tottenham Court Road store. It’s a very mixed bag which deserves equal measures of praise and criticism.

Here’s a typical product display stand with QR code placed on it.

There’s no “call to action”. Nothing to say what the code is, how I use it, or why I should scan it. Does it lead to a video demo? To a voucher? What?

But, that’s not the worst of it. Notice how small it is? There’s lots of space which could be used – instead it’s barely 20mm across. That in itself wouldn’t be too bad – except all these displays are about half-a-metre behind glass!

Even with my multi-megapixel cameraphone pushed right up against the window, I wasn’t able to get a scan on these codes. I wonder if any phone on the market would be able to read them.

Luckily, I found one which was close enough to the glass for me to scan.

They’ve used a fairly short URL, so the code isn’t too dense. I’m pleased to say it swiftly redirects to a mobile friendly site.

It’s unfortunate that the first item I have scanned has an “out of stock” error. The rest of the mobile site is rather good.

Fixing The Mistakes

This campaign fails 3 of my 10 Commandments of QR Codes. Specifically

I. Your QR code shall be large enough and clear enough to scan easily.
VII. Your QR code shall have a sufficient call to action.
VIII. Your QR code shall be tested.

Don’t Make The Same Mistakes

If you’re considering a QR campaign contact me and arrange for a consultation.
I work with companies large and small to help prevent you from making these sorts of mistakes.

2 thoughts on “Maplin's QR Code Mistakes

  1. Tom Singer says:

    Why does it fail “Your QR code must be tested”? It linked to the correct product or do you mean that they should all have been scanable?

    Also small note but I can’t read the full text of the commandments on my mobile.

    1. Hi Tom,

      They haven’t been tested in situ. While the codes work, the placement is such that they can never be successfully scanned.

      Sorry about the formatting; some <pre> tags crept in. The irony of not spotting that is not lost on me!

      Thanks for your comment.


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