What are video QR-code stickers?
Since the introduction of smartphones, the way we communicate has changed drastically. Everyone you know is literally just a click on the phone away from you. You can talk to them, write to them, even “see” them, pretty much wherever in the world you, or they, are. Trying to share the experience when you travel abroad, visit new countries, cities, and cultures with the people back home has always seemed like an important thing for the people traveling. We buy postcards with images from the city that we are currently in, maybe even draw a little arrow on it, marking out where our hotel is, all aimed towards sharing the experience you are currently having. The market for sending postcards or greeting cards has been relatively untouched by the last few years of technological advancement. Until now!
A new way of sharing our travel experiences
QR stickers are definitely going to revolutionize the way we share our traveling experiences. Instead of trying to find the postcard that best describes the feeling you are having, or in the best way shows visually where you are, you can now take any postcard, put the QRsticker on it, and record a video, sharing the details of your travel with your loved ones back home.
QR stickers are so easy to use that anyone with a smartphone will be able to enjoy them. All the receiver has to do is scan the sticker and automatically the video that the sender has recorded will be played back on their phone, as many times as they want to see it. All the sender has to do is attach the sticker to the post- or greeting card, or anything else that they might see fit, scan the sticker and either record or upload a video.
One possible scenario that we thought of when creating the QR Sticker service was based on all the young people traveling all over the world, backpacking, experiencing things that might not be in your regular tour guides. The reason why we fall in love with certain travel destinations is because we find a connection there that we never knew existed and normally isn’t something you can explain by referring to travel guides. With a QR sticker you can easily explain the feeling through images and imagery that you create yourself.
Is there a market?
We were pretty sure about our idea before the launch and I think anyone reading about this can see the benefits of the QR Code sticker and the added value that it brings to both the sender and the receiver. I mean who doesn’t like to tell a story and share an important experience? Who doesn’t like to be able to personalize greeting cards or postcards and make it perfect for the occasion and receiver? And on the other hand, who doesn't like to receive that personal message that shows that the person sending it really knows you and thinks of you wherever in the world they might be?
But in order to get the sender to use our service and the receiver to be able to enjoy it, we definitely need someone to also sell the service. We were talking to a lot of different small business owners around the US to get their input. A lot of them were hesitant at first but the majority of them also admitted that they understood the value that it could bring to their customers. But to persuade small business owners in the US today you have to present them with facts and numbers on how they financially could gain from selling QR stickers together with their products.
With that in mind we decided to give a few selected business owners free access to our service and to our stickers for three months, just to see if they could see an actual increase in sales during this time. We were not only measuring how many QR stickers they sold but also how the introduction of QR stickers, in general, affected the sales in their store. QR-code stickers is, of course, a product of their own and can of course be bought, sold, and used on their own, but the real value for both sellers and customers comes when it is combined with another gift, greeting card, or postcard.
One of the business owners who we worked with for the last three months is Miranda, and this is her QR Sticker story:
“I’ve lived in New York my whole life and I come from a long line of small business owners. My family has done everything from providing brand embroidering on raincoats to running a flower shop in downtown Manhattan. Most street-level businesses in New York, especially the flower shops, know that tourism does bring in some good extra dollars during the different tourist seasons in the city. And the business that I am running right now is definitely no exception. I run what I would like to call an alternative tourist gift store in Brooklyn and have been doing so for the last 5 years.
Not all tourists who travel to New York are interested in the traditional sights like Times Square, the Empire State, or the Statue of Liberty. A lot of people come to NY just for the sake of being in the greatest city in the world and to take part in the NY atmosphere with all the people, the streets, the music, and the nightlife. Those are the kind of tourists that I have created my store for. These tourists aren’t happy with buying the typical New York memorabilia. If they are going to buy a gift or a postcard to send back home they want something that represents the New York that they have visited, not necessarily the traditional sights. Needless to say, the traditional New York gifts or typical New York postcards have never had any big sales numbers in my store”
The way that Miranda described her business to us and how the sales of greeting cards and postcards were going, made her the perfect candidate for our market evaluation. We set her up with a three-month free trial where she would receive limitless amounts of stickers from us and only pay for the ones that she was able to sell to customers. We never met Miranda and never showed her in person how to use the QR sticker, nor did we tell her how to sell it. We simply send her an instruction video, to prove how easy it is to get started and how easy they are to use.
“Once I introduced the QR code sticker as an add-on to the more traditional postcards I could see a pretty much instant increase in sales on these objects. After trying it out a few times I felt comfortable enough to also show my customers how to use them. Postcards are pretty cheap so I decided to just charge 2 USD for the QR sticker, I didn't want to scare the customer away from buying the cards.
In the first month, I saw a sale increase of 15% on postcards. After I got more and more comfortable with how to use it and more and more comfortable asking my customers if they wanted to add the QR sticker to the postcard, I saw an even bigger increase in months two and three. I think all in all during this period, the sales of postcards increased by 30-40%. Those numbers would be enough for me to sign up for more stickers, but then a customer asked if it would be possible to put the stickers on anything. And of course, they are so I started to ask my customers if they wanted to add the QR sticker on pretty much any sale I made and most people wanted to. I would say that I get a “yes” in 80% of the times I ask. The QR sticker is such an easy and good way to really personalize the gift that you are buying for your friends and family. When we buy gifts for someone we want that gift in itself to have a message. We want the gift to tell a story and to show the person who receives it that the sender knows them to a degree that they are able to pick the perfect gift for them. That they are able to find something for them they would buy for themselves if they had the chance. Sometimes the message of the gift gets lost somewhere along the way, but with the QR sticker you can actually tell your loved one what you were thinking when you bought it. I think that is they real power of QR Stickers; instant and direct communication”
QR Sticker vision
The story above is just one of many, but it shows how easy it is to get added value from QR Stickers, not only for the customer and for the person receiving the postcard or gift, but for the actual store owner as well. Increased sales of 15% in the first month and 30 - 40 % in months two and three are numbers we think any small business owner would welcome. That's why we want to spread the word about QR stickers all around the US and not only in New York.
There are so many wonderful places all over the US where tourism is a key factor to survival for a lot of the local business owners, and they could really benefit financially from introducing the QR sticker to their gift and card assortment. Just imagine if you could add one, maybe two US dollars to every sale that you make, with the minimum effort it takes to introduce the QR Sticker to your clients.
With QR Sticker being so easy to use, anyone that has the basic knowledge of how to operate a smartphone will be able to benefit from it and to add value to their gift.