How to Use QR Codes to Capture Data Throughout the Gifting Lifecycle

There’s no doubt that gifting is a great way for shoppers to celebrate all kinds of occasions, and for brands it’s a unique opportunity to reach a wider audience through  existing loyal customers. 

This doesn’t mean that brands know who these new customers, the gift recipients, are, though.

In fact, brands often know nothing about the gift recipients. This makes sense, since the trail stops when the product ends up with someone other than the buyer. 

In the best case scenario, the recipient chooses to engage with the brand and provide their contact information or reorder down the line. But most will need an extra nudge, and without customer information, how can brands know who their gift recipients are and  reach out and engage with them?s

An innovative way to connect with your end customers (recipients) is with QR codes. 

Given that QR codes have become ubiquitous and are already well integrated into ecommerce as a means of communication, it’s no surprise that QR codes are compatible with gifting. In this post, we’ll take a look at how brands can leverage QR codes in the gifting journey to connect, engage, and retain customers who they ordinarily wouldn’t have access to.    


Gifting a Physical Product via Multiple Channels

The first step of the gifting process is…buying the gift. As straightforward as this sounds, anyone who has ever bought a gift before can attest to how complicated it can be. For the shopper, they need to consider a wide variety of factors, namely their budget, the recipient’s interests, presentation, among others. 

Brands, on the other hand, need to think about how they can engage shoppers and address their needs across different channels. Here are some ways that brands can use QR codes to streamline the buying process for shoppers: 

  • Leverage QR codes around the store. Customers that shop for gifts in stores usually know what kind of product to buy, but need more inspiration. QR codes can provide additional brand and product information, which is especially important during the holiday season and other high-traffic events. 

  • Incorporate QR codes on advertisements. This is a seamless way to connect with customers that come across your brand by chance, such as through flyers and advertisements. Shoppers anywhere can scan the QR code for direct access to your online store.

  • Once a customer purchases a gift, the step that follows is delivering it to the recipient. Depending on where the customer makes the purchase, brands often have limited to no knowledge of their buyers and recipients. Some of the most common channels for gift purchasing are:

    • Retailers and marketplaces. These channels are important for building brand presence and reaching more customers, but brands lose ownership over customer data for both the gifter and recipient. 

    • Brick-and-mortar stores. If shoppers buy gifts in your store, you’ll acquire their information, but none of the information of who they end up giving the gift to. Compared to buying from retailers and marketplaces, this gives a better picture of the customers involved, but there remains a gap in knowledge. 

    So how can brands use QR codes to close the gap? 

    The solution is to leverage them on the products themselves. After all, it’s the products that pass through all hands involved. Consider them a brand’s eyes and ears. 

    Here’s what the final step of the gifting process looks like when using QR codes: 

    1. The recipient receives the gift, either directly from the buyer or shipped to their home. Somewhere on the product or in the packaging is a QR code, accompanied by a call-to-action that incentives the recipient to scan. Some examples include scanning to activate warranty, register a product,  join a rewards program, claim a discount, or subscribe and save. 

    2. The recipient scans the QR code, which allows them to learn more about the product and the brand, as well as sign up for an account to access exclusive content.

    3. While the recipient is learning more about the product and brand, the brand is able to capture valuable data from the customer. They can link them to a specific product if they use different QR codes for each product. They can capture their name, email, phone number, location and more when a customer engages with the brand's content. 

    By using QR codes to redirect recipients back to the brand, brands gain insight into the latter half of the gifting process. Later in the article, we’ll explore the different ways that brands can use this information to drive retention and personalize customer experiences. 

    Gifting Digitally with Gift Cards and Subscriptions

    Besides physical products, people are also gifting subscriptions and gift cards. Both allow recipients more choice, but with the influx of emails people receive on any given day, the challenge for brands is to make sure that recipients remember to redeem their gifts. 

    In fact, about $3 billion in gift cards go unused each year. The waste is due to a number of reasons: people forget, they misplace a physical gift card, or they don’t want to shop at that particular brand. 

    To combat forgetfulness, brands should send reminder emails based on the information buyers input when making gift card/subscription purchases.  

    The onus is also on brands to make the redemption process easier for recipients and encourage them to shop their products. Here’s how brands can also with QR codes: 

    • Include QR codes in recipient emails. This allows recipients to redeem their gift cards in stores, even if they misplaced the physical card or if they don’t want to read out the gift card code.  

    • Include QR codes on subscription boxes. Given that recipients already have the product on hand, brands can encourage repeat purchases by encouraging customers to scan a QR code on the product and personalize their subscription. 

    • Include QR codes with physical gift cards. If recipients receive a gift card for a brand that they haven’t previously shopped with before, it’s worth incentivizing customers to scan a QR code to make their first purchase or learn more about what the brand has to offer. 

    The million-dollar question: What can brands do with all this data? 

    The answer: quite a lot. At a high-level, brands can use the data they acquire via QR codes to further engage recipients and increase customer lifetime value. 

    With Brij, here are more granular ways that brands can leverage their customer data to make more informed decisions: 

    • Attribute scans to different channels 
    • Personalize your marketing
    • Track engagement with different types of content
    • Predict engagement across products, channels, and customers

    Given all these capabilities, it’s hard to go back to a gifting experience without QR codes. And we haven’t even talked about the other use cases with QR codes. If you’re looking to personalize your gifting and shopping experience with QR codes, start today with Brij. Or chat with our team to learn more about how we can help. 

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