One of our users was really impressed with our service, he wrote an article for us sharing his experience, you can read it below.
I know that I am definitely not alone when it comes to the anguish I feel whenever I am given the task to buy gifts for someone. It doesn’t really matter if I know the person or not, in fact, I would say that I find it much easier to buy gifts for someone that I don't know because they won’t expect the gift to be very personal. The person I know well on the other hand…
So for me, the difficulty has always been to find that perfect gift that says something about my relationship to the person receiving it. And with Valentine's Day around the corner, I know there are more people than me wanting to get the message right and avoid embarrassing misunderstandings.
The chocolatier with a vision
stumbled across this really cute chocolate café/store in Boston on my last visit there, right before Mother's Day last year. And Mother's Day, I should add, has always been one of those days that gives me that well-known “gift anguish”. But the owner of this café/store had done something really smart that really helped me out.
Together with the packages of luxury chocolate pralines that he was selling, you could add an extra two USD and get a QR Code Sticker to attach to your gift. The sticker itself lets you as a customer attach a personal video greeting to the gift before you give it to whoever is to receive it, in my case my mother for mother's day. I was a bit skeptical at first, thinking that it would be too complicated for both me and my dear mother to work with, but it turns out that it is really easy and intuitive to use. In fact, anyone that owns and knows how to operate a smartphone is able to enjoy this great way of personalizing gifts.
As the sender of the chocolate pralines, all I had to do was to scan the QR Sticker with my phone and record a video of me explaining how much my mother means to me and how much I miss her. All my mother had to do upon receiving the gift was to scan the same sticker with her phone and enjoy the video message as many times as she would want to.
Is there a market?
The QR Code sticker really helps a person like me in my anguish when it comes to buying people gifts since it makes pretty much any gift you can think of really personal. But has it caught on? I contacted QRCode Sticker simply to tell them how much I enjoyed their product, and when they asked me if I would be willing to write a review of it, I decided to go back to the chocolatier and talk to the owner, to also get a business perspective on the product and the service.
“I´ve been running this business for around 10 years and have definitely seen my ups and downs, but certain holidays or special days like Valentine's, Christmas, and Mother's Day have always given my sales a boost. When I heard about QR Code stickers last year I decided to give it a try and offer it as an add-on to the products that I was selling. I read up on how to use it and could easily explain it to my customers. And it really caught on quickly. Most customers were willing to pay the extra two USD for the service, and getting that extra money on almost every sale really makes a difference.
What I didn’t expect was that it also gave me an all-around increase in sales between the expected dates and holidays. I haven’t done the exact math, but I would say an increase of maybe 5% in general. I think people just enjoy the idea of getting the chance to personalize the gift that they are giving.
And that notion gave me an idea. Since we create all of our products here at the store, I started to make small films that showed how the different batches of pralines were made and added the films to a QR sticker myself and offered those as an add-on to the products that were being sold. With this service you, as a customer, could actually see the pralines that you are about to enjoy being made. And this became really popular. I sold that service for an extra four USD.
It didn’t take long before one of the customers requested that I do a personal greeting to the person receiving the gift as I was making the pralines that they were buying. Of course, this was a bit harder for me since you do the pralines in batches so I decided to do it only when there was a special order of some sort, I also do cakes and bigger more “artsy” chocolate pieces. I tried it out and it worked so now it´s something that we always offer when there is a special order of some sort. Since these movies take a bit of extra time I charge 10 USD, which might seem like a lot, but people are really going for it.
So I would definitely say that I am happy that I tried the QR Code Sticker service. It led to new business areas for me and my shop, on top of the increased sales and the added extra dollar on every sale.
I never expected that I could do small movies of me working, creating my products, and actually get paid for them. I would recommend anyone that is running their own business to give it a shot. It can take your business to places that you never expected before.”
I really enjoyed hearing his story on how the QR sticker not only increased his sales, both during and between different holidays and special dates but also opened up a new field of business for him. I´ve seen the small films that he created and they are not super professional or anything and you can tell that he has only used his phone. But that also shows the simplicity of using QR Code Stickers and the impact that it could have. People really seem to enjoy the craftsmanship that he is showing in products and the small movies and greetings that he creates let the customer take part of the creative process in a whole new way.
I also realize that what small business owners are interested in is, of course, knowing if they can make some money out of what they invest. And I think that the story above really shows that. Even if you are not ready to take the same steps as the owner of the chocolate shop did, just adding QR Code Stickers to your products and letting the customer personalize that gift for the receiver, will lead to positive results. Adding a few dollars to every sale that you make is of course going to make a difference. And if you could, just as the shop owner above, increase your general sales by 5%, then I think it would be unwise not to give it a shot.
The service really helped me out for Mother's Day and I'm definitely gonna try out his other services with the small movies for my next visit there. I might even get him to do a personal greeting to my mom next year. My mother really enjoyed the chocolate, but I think what she liked best was the actual greeting. It is an easy way to show your near and dear ones that you are actually thinking of them and not only giving them a standard gift because you feel obligated to. With QR Code Sticker you can make every gift you send or give a personal one.