With an eye toward boosting in-store sales, Canon is testing 2D bar code labels on its printers. Like other brands that have tested 2D or QR codes, Canon is hoping the ever-growing number of smartphone users will scan the codes while in retail stores to retrieve additional product information.

Following a small test, the promotion is running in North America in a number of retail stores, including Best Buy. Knotice,  which provides digital marketing software and services, was hired to handle the program,  including evaluating bar code format options and developing and rendering corresponding mobile microsites. The firm recommended Microsoft Tag, a free proprietary technology used to create two-dimensional bar codes. Knotice created the tags that were then printed by the Canon marketing group.

The   labels are affixed to 13 individual demonstration printer models; when they are scanned by smartphones the codes open the miscrosites, which are rendered dynamically to be compatible with multiple device types.

“Currently,  between 90% and 95% of all CE/digital imaging product purchases take place offline in a traditional brick-and-mortar storefront,” said Michael Duffett, ink jet printer marketing senior director, Printer Marketing, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A, Inc.  “By marrying the best of both the online and offline worlds for customers, we eliminate buyer confusion while ensuring a better fit between customer expectations and the benefits delivered by our Canon products.”

The labels were affixed to display models as opposed to exterior packaging as a way to expedite the promotion.

“Affixing   the label to display models has two valuable assets, speed to market and getting that information in front of the shopper at the point of decision,”  Bryce Marshall, director of strategic services at Knotice,  said.

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