Shopify thinks Apple made QR codes relevant again
Shopify is adding a new feature to its toolset for merchants that it says will help bridge online and offline shopping.
The $11 billion Canadian commerce company announced this week the launch of Shopcodes, which are technically QR codes that consumers can scan to make a purchase or find out more about a product in a Shopify store.
QR codes are practically ancient in the world of technology (they've been around since the mid-90s) but Shopify posits that Apple's release of iOS 11 will help reinvigorate the decades-old tech. That's because Apple has added native support for QR code scanning via the camera app in its latest version of iOS.
Up until now, smartphone users had to download a separate app to scan QR codes, and proponents of QR code tech say that extra step stifled growth in the US.
"QRCodes didn't catch on in the West because of UX issues and because of a lack of install base of scanners," wrote Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke, in a Tuesday tweet. "That changed today."
With QR code scanning now native on iPhones, Shopify is making it easier for its merchant customers to create and place the codes on their products or marketing materials.
In a blog post, Shopify touted a bevy of use cases for the codes, including pop-up shops with limited invetory space; packaging inserts, posters, and other offline marketing materials; and alongside merchandise in a physical storefront window. Scanning the codes will bring up screens with more information about an item or even a buy button.
The Shopcodes are also unique and trackable, allowing merchants to see where traffic and sales are coming from in the Shopify analytics dashboard.
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The integration will allow users of Shopify's e-commerce platform to sync their inventory and sell their products on eBay directly from their Shopify accounts.
The e-commerce platform provider also announced a new online payment feature aimed at boosting mobile conversion rates.
Shopify says its new app will let users run their entire business from a smartphone or tablet.