Linking barcodes to online price comparison services via smartphones is certainly not a new idea. However, when QR (Quick Response) codes connect users, manufacturers and online resources, things gain a new dimension.
Tingiz (a name derived from “thingies”) is a platform that allows manufacturers to create microsites that end-users can browse on their mobile phones. Obviously, the goal of the platform is to provide people who buy the product more information than it is available on the label. The connection between the products and the microsites from the Tingiz platform is realized through QR codes now, but NFC (Near Field Communication) tags will be implemented soon, too.
One of the main places this platform could turn out to be very useful is in supermarkets. People would have to use their iPhone, iPad or Android phone to scan the QR barcode. If they do not have a barcode scanner, each Tingiz label informs them that a free scanner can be downloaded from iscan.it. QR readers are also available for Windows Mobile and Symbian, but Tingiz seems to focus more on iOS and Android.
After scanning the QR code, the users get an URL that takes them to the microsite of the product (Pop-Tarts, in this particular case), where they can find out the latest news related to this product. Manufacturers are able to provide access to forums related to the product, to customer support, a list of shops where the product is available, as well as additional information.
The idea is that the platform is not used only in stores. If, for example, you visit a friend who owns a Logitech Squeezebox with a QR code that links to a Tingiz microsite, you can find out a lot of information about the product by scanning the code.
The page can be saved in your mobile browser so you can check all the information later. This way, you will find out everything you need to know about the product, while also being able to talk with your host about other things of interest.
Not at last, QR codes for the Tingiz platform could turn out useful in book stores, and why not, even in music shops. By only scanning the barcode, people would find out how others perceived a certain book or an album. Access to interviews, polls and complementary merchandise is also provided via the microsite.
For all this connection between products and online information to become possible, manufacturers need to integrate the Tingiz microsites in their marketing strategy. This in turn will increase the exposure of the product, will increase the sale and will allow users to provide feedback on each product.