Bar codes are being added to certain products that give consumers on-the-spot access to product reviews, rating and even how to guides and videos.
For example, plants sold at Home Depot and Lowes contain these “quick response” or QR codes. Customers with smarphone scanners can check out the growing conditions of the plant, assisting them with the search process. According to Tom Sweeney, Home Depot’s director of online strategy, the bar code pilots further the “anytime, anywhere” marketing strategy. The QR codes will be placed on items that lend themselves to “how to” information. Home depot is also experimenting with newspaper circulars carry QR codes that link to a video about their new Martha Stewart Living Kitchens.
More than 25 million people in the U.S. already have the ability to scan with their smartphones. Last year mobile bar-code scanning increased 1,600 percent.
[Source: Olson, E. (2011). “The Bar Code That Tells You How Much Water, Light and Fertilizer,” (May 5), The New York Times, www.nytimes.com/2011/05/06/business/media/06adco.html]