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Question:

Discuss about the Service Marketing and QR Code.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

QR code is the short form for Quick Response Code, which is a two dimensional bar code that are presented in the form of series of squares within squares. These codes capture the info in both vertical and horizontal manner so that there can be captured a large amount of data. These codes ate scanned with cameras for fetching information stored in them. These QR codes have increasing presence in all types of industries whether product or service and has become of one of the most vital elements of the marketing mix and marketing strategy (Ebner, 2008). The following report will help in analyzing the relevance of the QR codes in the consumer decision making process, their presence s marketing opportunity in the service sector and their potential advantages. The report will also highlight that in what way these QR codes affects the consumers’ perceived risks and the further inventions which can be there similar to QR codes for fetching information by the customers.

Stages of Consumer decision making process where QR codes are of particular relevance

There are five different stages in the process of the consumer decision making. These five different phases includes the stage first of need recognition, stage second of search for information, stage third of evaluation of alternatives, stage fourth related to purchase-decision and stage fifth for post-purchase evaluation. The QR codes have their particular relevance in the second, third, fourth and fifth stage of the process.

It has relevance in the second stage as, in this phase, the potential buyers search for information related to the product they are buying. With the help of QR codes, they can find appropriate information about the product and can analyses whether it is as per their requirements or not. In the third stage i.e. of evaluation of alternatives, it supports customers for comparing the information of the alternatives available for the similar product. By scanning the QR codes of the alternatives, the consumers get to know the appropriate info for the basis of comparison mango two or more products. In the fourth stage, the QR codes help the customers in making the final purchase decision. After analysis of the information, if the info offered by the QR codes solves the enquiries of the customers, then they make their final decision of buying a product or not (Okazaki, Li and Hirose, 2012).

Thus it shows that the QR codes have their relevance in the fourth stage also. Lastly in the fifth stage i.e. of post-purchase evaluation, the customers tends to use these QR codes for checking the detailed information as well as for seeking future assistance related to any product such as any software product lime mobile phone. These codes offer the customers with an accurate set of data and information for the customers’ guidance and support. As per the digital marketing theories, QR codes are a great form of marketing innovation which supports the dynamic consumer trends (Ebner, 2008).

Marketing opportunity for QR codes in the services sector

There is a vast marketing opportunity for the QR codes in the services sector such as most of the organisations in the present scenario use QR codes for their deferent services offered to the customers whether it is a retail business, heath services, financial services or transport services. In today’s time, the customers are extremely web-savvy and have the tendency to switch to other brand whichever offers the best deal to them (Canadi, Höpken and Fuchs, 2011). Therefore, it becomes the need of the companies to incorporate a potential way for retaining their customers and for the same the service organisations take use of the QR codes so that the customers can easily get all the information about the services, and newly launched products and services in one click.

Marketing opportunity for QR codes in the financial services can be analyzed as there are several financial organisations which offer the facility of on-the-go banking (Lee, et al., 2010). The banking institutions have their mobile applications which give the customers a direct access to the financial service by scanning the QR codes. The code is generally found at the back of the statement envelopes which are mailed to the individuals who are the credit or debit card account holder (vyasystems, 2013).

In the tourism sector also, the QR codes have a vital marketing opportunity as the boarding documents sent by the airlines are linked with the QR code which have direct linkage with eth email or the mobile phone. From there, the QR can be retrieved and at the time of presenting the boarding pass, the tourists are required to carry the QR code so that it can be scanned and all the relevant information can be read. Thus, the QR code acts as the unique link for the tourists’ flight information (Emek, 2012).

In the retail sector, the marketing opportunity for QR codes is by having on the restaurant menus, so that customers can get complete info of the restaurant and the menu. In transport services, the QR codes are there at the back side of the truck, so that it can be tracked. The customer or the buying party can track the location of the trucks as well as it also ensures that the delivery will be at what particular time (Finžgar and Trebar, 2011).

 

Potential advantages of QR codes in the service sector

There are several potential advantages of QR codes in the service sector as these QR codes acts as the marketing strategy which helps in prompting the services of the organisation through mobile and email marketing. The QR codes also offers time saving advantage to the companies and the customers as instead of visiting the store, the customers can easily get all the info by just scanning the codes of the particular company through their mobile devices and can gain reliable and desired information. This results in saving of time of both the seller and the consumer. Another advantage of QR codes includes helps connecting with the customers both offline and online, it supports in enhancement of the social media optimizations and the search engine optimization. The QR codes offer increased brand visibility to the companies and extended customer base, it also supports in reducing the huge costs and expenses of advertisements and promotional activities (Coleman, 2010).

QR codes affecting consumers’ perceived risk of products within the services sector

The QR codes have their vital significance in affecting the consumers’ perceived risk of products within the services sector as there are several doubts and negative perceptions the customers have before taking any service from any unknown organisation. But with the help of QR codes, the customers get an assurance of reliability and security. Thus, the risks and the negative perceptions are settled down and the customers buy the services with confidence. As per the consumer perception theory, it is essential that a brand must have its initial perception a good one as the customers have this perception for a very longer period in their minds and thus it affects the future slaves of the service organisations (Narayanan, 2012).

Other forms of interactive content or information which can support servicse operations and customer satisfaction in the future

In the coming decades, there will be development of several innovative products and technologies that will offer the customers the most reliable and appropriate information regarding the products and service (Chitty, Hughes and D'Alessandro, 2012). For example, there can be development of technologies which also offer the complete production related information to the customers, the usage of raw material so that the customers can be satisfied with the quality of the products. All these information can be surpassed to the customers in the form of component such as QR codes. These can also be in the form of mobile applications, product related ciphers, development and delivery applications etc. Therefore, in the coming times, there will be enhanced development of innovative and technological based components which can support the service operations as we as enhance the satisfaction of the customers.

 

References

Canadi, M., Höpken, W. and Fuchs, M., 2010. Application of QR codes in online travel distribution. Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2010, pp.137-148.

Chitty, W., Hughes, A. and D'Alessandro, S., 2012. Services marketing.

Coleman, J., 2011. QR codes: what are they and why should you care?. Kansas Library Association College and University Libraries Section Proceedings, 1(1), pp.16-23.

Ebner, M., 2008. QR Code–The Business Card of Tomorrow?. na.

Emek, M., 2012. Usage of QR code in tourism industry.

Finžgar, L. and Trebar, M., 2011, September. Use of NFC and QR code identification in an electronic ticket system for public transport. In Software, Telecommunications and Computer Networks (SoftCOM), 2011 19th International Conference on (pp. 1-6). IEEE.

Lee, Y.S., Kim, N.H., Lim, H., Jo, H. and Lee, H.J., 2010, November. Online banking authentication system using mobile-OTP with QR-code. In Computer Sciences and Convergence Information Technology (ICCIT), 2010 5th International Conference on (pp. 644-648). IEEE.

Narayanan, A.S., 2012. QR codes and security solutions. International Journal of Computer Science and Telecommunications, 3(7), pp.69-71.

Okazaki, S., Li, H. and Hirose, M., 2012. Benchmarking the use of QR code in mobile promotion. Journal of Advertising Research, 52(1), pp.102-117.

Vyasystems, 2013. The Use of QR Codes for Mobile Applications in the Financial Services Industry –A QR Code Workshop. Accessed on: 11th April, 2017. Accessed from: https://blog.vyasystems.com/blog/the-use-of-qr-codes-for-mobile-applications-in-the-financial-services-industry-a-qr-code-workshop

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