Case Study: Code Snappers

How to make QR codes work for your plants

One of the most noticeable trends in the plant marketplace is the rapid proliferation of QR (quick response) codes. The QR code is a two-dimensional barcode that can hold many times more information than a traditional one-dimensional barcode in a smaller space. The codes have become popular tools in mobile marketing and advertising campaigns.

Green industry firms are printing these codes on tags so that consumers can scan them with smartphones and find a wealth of plant information at their fingertips.

As smartphone adoption increases, more consumers will have QR code scanners in their pockets as they stroll through their local garden center.

Terra Nova Nurseries has been using QR codes on its tags for about a year and half, said marketing director Dave Doolittle.

“Ultimately, the reason why we implemented QR codes is because we saw the need for it based on the way the industry is going and the fact that we were trying to reach a younger demographic,” Doolittle said. “Basically, we have been able to expand the information we provide to the consumer.”

A QR code may provide the consumer an image of that fully-grown plant, a video showing how to care for it or a short list of tips to ensure growing success.

“On a tag you are limited by space,” Doolittle said. “With a QR code, you don’t have that restriction. Because you don’t have those limitations, you can portray what plants will experience during each of the seasons. That’s important to the consumer. So when they snap that QR code, they get a more intimate knowledge of what they can expect to experience with the plant.”


Push the sale
Providing more information at the point of sale often influences a customer’s purchasing decision, and knowing those resources are available can be the tipping point for someone who’s on the fence.

“One of the biggest inhibitors to garden purchases is fear of failure,” said Joe Fox, director of sales and marketing of MasterTag. “People aren’t sure they’re going to be able to keep it alive. If you think you’re going to kill a $9 plant, you might hesitate on purchasing it. But if we can provide information that allows them to be more confident and comfortable with their decision, that might make it easier to make that sale.”

Doolittle says all the written content and images on Terra Nova’s records are generated on their end. MasterTag links code snappers to its plant database, www.mygardeninsider.com. Once the content is ready, the code functionality is simple to implement. Then, you receive access to the analytics of how many people are snapping the codes, how long are they staying at the site, how deep are they digging for more information, and more.

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— Matt McClellan


For more: Terra Nova Nurseries, www.terranovanurseries.com; MasterTag, www.mastertag.com

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