Target Found a Use for QR Codes: Stealth Shopping

Target top toys Tigger

Out of all the technological advances retail has embraced, QR codes have gotten the most lost in the shuffle — they’re just not taking off.  Target, however, might have found a way to make them work.  This holiday season, Mashable reports, they’re introducing the codes specifically for toys that parents would presumably want to buy in secret.

It’s stealth shopping!  The codes free up moms from buying one of the season’s “top toys” in front of their kids, while Target effectively discourages showrooming, that bane of brick-and-mortar retailers.  Displaying the goods with shoppable QR codes (that come with free shipping) encourages in-store shoppers to eventually buy something via mobile or online, as opposed to trying to convince them to make a sort of frivolous purchase — come on, they’re toys — right then and there (which is ostensibly a harder sell).

This particular use of QR codes combines effective mobile retail with a window shopping mentality, but resulting in actual in-store purchases (of a variety).  The store’s coded products debut on October 14th.   Who thinks Target is on to something here?

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