QR Code Reviews – Stanley Accuscape Automatic Hose Reel

qr-code-reviews-stanley-accuscape-automatic-hose-reelMaking effective QR codes takes work.  To shortcut the amount of learning and work required, you can look at how others are using QR codes.  By using the best techniques you find and avoiding the worst problems, you can make your QR codes be the best they can be.

qr-code-reviews-stanley-accuscape-automatic-hose-reel-qrToday we look at an automatic water hose reel made by Bond MFG but branded as Stanley.  The QR code is about 1 1/4 inches square and includes a call-to-action but no URL.  The code is located on the front of the packaging.

The encoded data is text: www.bondmfg.com/BDS6620.html

QR Code Reviews - Stanley Accuscape Automatic Hose Reel - iPhone screen

QR Code Reviews - Stanley Accuscape Automatic Hose Reel - iPhone screen in landscape

Overall rating: 4 out of 5

QR Code Reviews - Stanley Accuscape Automatic Hose Reel - Rating - 4 out of 5

7 Key Aspects to Great QR codes

Here are some important questions that all great QR codes need to answer:

Is there a good call-to-action near the QR code?

  • There is a call-to-action

What does the QR code look like (colors, design, etc)?

  • The QR code is the standard black elements on a white background.

Is the QR code easy to find and incorporated into the overall design?

  • This QR code is easy to find, located on the front of the package near the top right, but not specifically incorporated into the overall design

What happens when you scan the code?

  • You are taken to a video that describes the product and some of it’s features

If a URL is encoded, is the landing page mobile friendly and designed well?

  • The landing page is mobile friendly but technically, the encoded data is not a URL

If a URL is encoded, does it utilize a redirect to help with future changes?

  • The encoded data does not feature a redirect.

Does the action of the scan provide value to the customer?

  • The landing page features a video of the product and features but nothing else.  Although it helps the customer, it could do so much more.

What We Can Learn

Bond MFG did not do a terrible job with this QR code but it could use a bit of work.  Looking at the code itself, there is a good call-to-action but no URL.  It is easy to find, being located in the upper right side of the package on the front.  When scanned, the encoded data is displayed which turns out not to be a URL (they forgot the http://).  Depending on the scanning app you use, you may reach a landing page that includes a video and not much else.  The video is good but there could be so much more useful information on the landing page.

Also, the encoded data directs the user to a specific HTML page.  Although it is not that difficult to redirect, the URL would be too specific to be flexible.

From a user perspective, the QR code is super easy to find.  The call-to-action encourages the customer to scan for more information.  When scanned, depending on the app, you as the customer may find it difficult to reach the landing page due to the lack of the http://.  The encoded data does not feature the brand name or product name or anything else the customer may recognize very well.  If you do land on the right page, the video is good and does well on a mobile device.

How can we help Bond MFG?

Bond MFG has a few opportunities for improvement with this QR code.  The most important issue is the encoded data; you must include the http:// for all URLs.  Don’t think about it, just do it.  The added 7 characters won’t make the code that much more complicated and it will almost ensure your QR code will be decoded properly.  Again, just do it.  You don’t have to include the http:// in your print advertising but for your QR codes, it must be there.

After correcting the URL issue, adding some additional content to the landing page would be helpful to the customer.  Something as simple as a logo and a link where the customer can engage with the company, learn more about the product, etc would be better than nothing.

Lastly, it would help to encode a URL redirect rather than a direct link to the landing page.  When the structure of a website changes or pages are no longer needed, being able to easily redirect your QR code URL to a new page is the flexibility you need to keep your customers moving to your landing pages.  No one wants to land on a dead page and although it is not that difficult to redirect a URL like the one encoded here, it would be cleaner to include that in the plans from the beginning.

Summary

When making your own QR codes, keep the following in mind:

  • Redirecting URLs give you the flexibility to keep your QR codes relevant in the event of future changes.
  • Most people recognize anything with a Dot Com ending as a website but some apps do not.  When encoding a URL, make sure to include the http:// so there is no doubt what the decoding app should do with the QR code.

We are starting to see QR codes on a large variety of products.  I’ve seen them on a can of black eye peasbrake padssilicone spray, a box of doughnuts, plantain chips, and many more.  What products have you noticed with QR codes lately?

If you have questions about how to get started using QR codes in your business, how to use QR codes more effectively, or how fix a QR code issue, let me help.   If you want to learn more about QR codes, check out my free e-book.