Mobile Scanning & Shoppers Looking for Value

by Net Future Institute on July 8, 2014

By Chuck Martin

Many mobile shoppers seem to be finding shortcuts to deals by scanning codes.

In the first iteration of QR codes, many (if not most) codes simply led to a website, more often than not the same routine site that could have been reached by typing the URL of that site.

However, the QR code did get some consumers to try scanning, and even if they didn’t receive a very rewarding experience, they did learn that their phone’s camera could quickly identify a code and then do something with that photo recognition, even if only to load a website.

It looks like some of the knowledge may have translated to scanning barcodes to quickly identify deals.

Based on their scanning, the leading code scanners are value shoppers, based on the latest stats from Scanbuy, which logged 22 million scans in the last quarter, an increase of 20% from a year ago.

The stats include some interesting insights about the state of scanning today.

There’s almost an even split by mobile devices being used for scanning, with Android at 51% and Apple’s iOS at 46%. There are slight differences in those doing the scanning, based on what was scanned.

Android consumers:

Value shoppers
Catalog shoppers
Social influencers
Casual and social gamers
Entertainment enthusiasts

iOS consumers:

Value shoppers
Casual and social gamers
Music lovers
Social influencers
Health and fitness enthusiasts

The demographics of those scanning varied with 62% male and 38% female. Of the 5 million active users, those who scanned averaged four scans each, with males 35 to 44 years old scanning the most.

For QR codes, the leading content scanned was product information, which is consistent with many studies showing that mobile shoppers frequently seek additional information via their mobile device during the shopping process.

Following product information, the top scanned content involved video, CRM, app downloads and mobile commerce.

The top cities where scanning is happening are Houston, New York, Dallas, Madrid and Barcelona, where the Mobile World Congress was held in February.

For scanning of traditional UPC codes on consumer packaged goods, grocery was the top category, followed by health and beauty, books, toys and video games and movies.

As in other areas of mobile behavior, some consumers may be figuring out how to get more out of their mobile device.


Chuck Martin is Editor of the mCommerce Daily at MediaPost and writes the daily MobileShopTalk column. He is the author of “Mobile Influence,” “The Third Screen,” and “The Smartphone Handbook.” He is CEO of Mobile Future Institute. Chuck Martin is a frequent Mobile Keynote Speaker and Mobile Marketing Speaker internationally. He also addresses Social Media in Mobile.


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