Recently, Coach launched this print advertisement, which I found on the back cover of New York magazine (read: expensive media placement). Featured in the advertisement, in the lower left-hand corner, is a QR Code.
When the code is scanned, the reader of the advertisement is linked to a mobile website (hooray, it's been a long time since I have seen one of those upon a scan), which is very well designed. On the site, the reader of the ad can find information by product type, new arrivals, gift items, join an email list, find a retail store location, check an order status, contact customer service, share content socially and, get this, they can even purchase a product right then and there off the mobile site. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it is a bit too good to be true, and here's why.
Take a look at the QR Code that was placed in the advertisement. You can't tell from the images here but, in reality, the code is less than an inch square and it is extremely dense. Although I am experienced at scanning codes, it still took me two code reader apps and much, much longer than expected (over 30 seconds) to finally get to the scan resolve content (i.e., the mobile website).
A company can develop the best darn mobile website and/or landing page in the world, but if the 2D code cannot be easily and/or properly scanned then it will all be for naught and mean absolutely nothing for the company, as well as the consumer, and that's what almost happened here. My level of persistence is what saved the day for Coach, and I can guarantee you and Coach's marketing team that most other consumers would not have as much persistence, or patience, to try and try until the code resolved.
While it's great to see that Coach understands the need to connect a mobile-based technology to a mobile platform, the only other thing they need to understand, or pay attention to more closely, is the end to end 2D experience in and of itself. The company can easily fix the scanning issue by shortening the URL embedded in the QR Code.
2D Barcode Litmus Test: PASS