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.