12.21.2010

On-line Purchases Made Easy with Mobio App

Mobio, a Vancouver-based technology company, offers a mobile application to merchants and consumers, which facilitates the secure on-line purchase of merchandise via a QR Code. Here's how it works.

From the merchant's perspective:
When a merchant pays the fee to become a Mobio affiliate, Mobio generates and provides the merchant with QR Codes, in addition to scan analytics and reporting services. The idea behind the affiliation is that it provides merchants, who might have limited funds and not a great deal of experience with 2D technology, with the ability to make use of 2D in their advertising and promotions.

From the consumer's perspective:
When a consumer downloads and installs the Mobio app, which is free, they are asked to enter personal questions, as well as credit card information, but they will only be asked for this information once. This is the main difference between Mobio and other mobile payment facilitators. With the consumer's data permanently and securely stored with Mobio, the consumer can shop from one Mobio affiliated merchant to another and never have to bother entering their personal or credit card information again. All they have to do is indicate which form of payment they wish to use (i.e., which credit card if more than one has been originally given as a payment option).

In an ideal setting, this is how a Mobio-based promotion and transaction would take place. A Mobio affiliated merchant uses a QR Code in a product/service advertisement and will generate the code, so that it resolves to the respective product page on their website. When the consumer sees the advertisement and wishes to purchase the product, all they have to do is scan the code, land on the product page, click what's required (i.e., size, color, quantity, etc.), click to purchase and then checkout. Upon checkout, all of the consumer's personal and payment information is pre-loaded, so there is essentially nothing to fill out. The transaction is complete; no more fumbling for a credit card, no more excessive typing.

Another service found on the Mobio platform is the ability for merchants to survey consumers as they move through the transaction process. The ability to ask these questions is not meant to interrupt the purchase process, but to help the merchant learn about the consumer in such a way that the information becomes useful in serving the future needs or wants of the consumer. 

The Mobio app is currently available for iPhones and Android phones, and will be available soon for Blackberry. The number and geographic location of Mobio merchants is growing from month to month but, I believe, is primarily focused in the Pacific northwest and Canada.

At a time when marketers need to think about the overall customer experience and how seamless they can make it, the Mobio application, paired with QR Codes and a well thought out advertising campaign, can be a powerful tactic to deploy.

5 comments:

  1. Is this another example of a QR code that can't be read by a QR Reader and requires a custom application?

    What happens if you read the code with a generic QR Reader? Do you at least get redirected to a mobile URL?

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  2. You can see more about Mobio at Facebook.com/mobioid and try out some barcodes. You can also follow Mobio on Twitter @mobioid.

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  3. A: What QR Code are you referring to re: need a custom application? Thank you for the Facebook reference.

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  4. I went to the Mobio Facebook site and tried to scan their code with the standard QR Readers I use.

    It does not resolve. The indication is that you can only "read" these QR codes with a proprietary App and it's Reader.

    Other examples:

    http://2d-code.co.uk/debenhams-qr-code-ad/

    Starbucks and Mogotix have used similar formats. There are others as well. Often it's around specific payment or customer loyalty where tracking is done in-app rather than a mobile web solution. Often it is iPhone only.

    This seems to be the rising trend in QR use, rather than QR codes that are read by QR readers.

    The implications are interesting to ponder.

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  5. A: In speaking with a representative from the company, it appears as though the QR Codes Mobio generates for its merchant affiliates can only be read by the Mobio app. I suppose this limits the accessibility and usefulness of the payments platform, but maybe this is a necessary step as the idea of QR Code based payment platforms evolve.

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