The Rise and Resurgence Of QR Codes (And What To Do With Them)

Mark Campanale Expert Guidance, NPA News

By Mark Campanale, NPA Digital Communications Manager


“I want an Oompa Loompa now!”

~ Veruca Salt

AS MARKETING AND PROMOTIONS have changed throughout history, one factor remains constant: consumers want products and product information NOW. They want to read reviews, compare costs, see alternative options, see product pictures, and make a purchase IMMEDIATELY. No one wants to go from store to store, website to website, in search of these features when they are ready to make a purchase. 

QR (quick response) Codes are your best, cost-effective and most efficient, way to give your customer base what they want, and when they want it (which is NOW) – and they are everywhere. Manufacturers use them to track inventory; businesses use them to promote products and services; event promoters use them to capture attendee info. Walk into any restaurant, and most will have a QR Code on your table that reads, “Scan here for menu.” 

The QR Code allows for information to be delivered to the consumers when they want it – which is NOW. QR Codes take searching out of the equation; gone are the days of typing in an entire URL on your phone in order to “quickly” access information. We simply open our phone’s camera, hover over the code, and up pops a link. 

Here are 5 ways Pawnbrokers can use QR Codes: 

1. QR Codes Can Save You Some Serious Cash (and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint) 

I figured I’d start with a two-fer, and besides, how can you go wrong saving money and the planet at the same time? Let’s say you have a poster hanging in your window of current in-store deals. These items can change all the time, right? Today you could be promoting gaming consoles and sneakers, but as inventory shuffles, you might want to change your promos to push guitars. Printing multiple iterations can be expensive, as well as wasteful. With the QR Code, you can set up a landing page of current promotions that are subject to change and can be easily updated. The poster can read, “Scan the code to view our current sale!” That poster can stay up year-round, while the landing page updates as needed. 

2. Capture Customer Information 

Do you have a newsletter or a promotional e-mail? Create a QR Code that sits on your register or counter that customers can scan. Create a landing page that is a simple form that collects the information you need to start a robust database. 

3. Promotions, Survey, Loyalty Programs – On Your Receipts! 

Receipts are great real estate for any type of custom message. When I worked in the financial industry, I didn’t waste any valuable space to market our products and services. Everyone gets a receipt with a transaction, so why not use this space? Because QR Codes can link to virtually anything you want, you can place them at the bottom of your tickets/receipts to run a customer-only promotion, link to a loyalty program, and even a link to a survey. The US Post Office uses QR Codes for customers to scan and fill out a survey based on their experience. After the customer submits the survey, they are entered into a drawing to win $5,000 – what a great INEXPENSIVE way to capture customer feedback! 

4. Compare Products In Real Time For Your Customers 

Have you ever found something you really want to buy, and then headed off to the interweb to search for comparable/ competitive prices? Let’s say a customer finds a pair of sneakers in your store, picks them up, checks out the price, and puts them back, only to leave your store to look them up online to try to find a better price. What if you did the research for your customers? Have a sign that reads, “Scan our QR Code to compare this product online!” Simply create a page on your website with search results for these sneakers and link it to a QR Code. By doing the research for your customers, you build trust. You’ve given them back time. You’ve helped them to make a decision, and also, have become a one-stop shop for them. 

5. Future Purchases (AKA, Keep Them Coming Back!) 

Sometimes our customers don’t find what they are looking for. Furthermore, they don’t say anything about it and leave empty handed. To counterbalance this, create a sign that reads, “Can’t find what you’re looking for? Send us your list!” Create a QR Code that brings them to a form on your website where they can submit their wish list. 

Finally, make sure your employees know how to use QR Codes. Your employees can easily increase customer engagement by opening their phone cameras and showing your customers just how easy they are to use. 

If you are currently using QR Codes in your store/ marketing, let us know! Send an email to digital@ (and pictures if you have them), and we may feature your story on People of Pawn! 

Mark Campanale is the NPA Digital Communications Manager and has spent 28 years championing the customer experience in both the financial and entertainment industries, including Disney.