Search Engines

Innovating On Search With Next Generation QR Codes

At SimpleSavr, we’re always brainstorming new ways in which our mobile marketing solution could be leveraged for helping merchants and consumers.

Recently, the topic of search came up and we discussed how our next generation QR codes (that send users directly into our app as opposed to a web site) could be used to:

1. Improve search results for users

2. Drive up in-store traffic for retailers/merchants

These days, search engines provide the ability to add deep/quick links (usually the 4-6 links you see below the sponsored search ad) and sometimes offer images you can add to the search results.  Because of this, we thought, wouldn’t it be cool if searchers could simply take an action within the search result itself instead of being redirected to the advertiser’s web site?

Below is what we came up with as an example.

– Using Bing/Yahoo’s deep links within a paid search ad, a retailer can easily offer a coupon directly from the ad itself (ex: Click For $5 Off Coupon) depending on the keyword/phrase being searched on.

– A click on the coupon link would bring up a drop down revealing the coupon ad and our next generation QR code.

– Upon scanning the QR code using the SimpleSavr app, the coupon would zip directly into the app for use at any time by the consumer (the resulting SimpleSavr mobile coupon view is on the right).

SimpleSavr Search Example

The advantage for the consumer is that they quickly get what they want based on what they’re searching for.  In this case, they’re not running around doing an internet treasure hunt for something as simple as finding a coupon (I dare you to easily find a coupon when searching on Google or Yahoo or Bing).  Also, the user gets a mobile wallet experience which stores their coupons automatically, offers expiration alerts, search, etc.

The advantage for the retailer/merchant is they make their customers happy by providing them with exactly what they were searching for.  Plus, by pushing consumers to mobile coupons, they should see an increase with in-store traffic (as mobile coupons generate 10x the redemption rate of paper coupons).

For the search engines, they still get paid by the advertiser.  That click on the deep link ensures that the pay-per-click model stays alive.

Sure, the consumer would need to download SimpleSavr’s app in order to leverage the unique QR code experience.  But if multiple retailers/merchants were within SimpleSavr’s partner nextwork, you start to see the ease of use across many different search applications.

While it’s just a mock up we kicked around, it would work if it were live today.

SimpleSavr Team


SimpleSavr Image

QR Codes. Good Idea. Poor Delivery.

Back in 2012, eMarketer delivered a report titled, “QR Codes: Marketers Keep Hitting ‘Go,’ but Consumer Adoption Still Slow”. The key takeaways in the report were:

  • Marketers’ use of mobile barcodes is only getting stronger, even though consumer interest in mobile barcodes has plateaued, with little indication of new audience interest on the horizon.
  • Poorly aligned consumer-brand expectations for mobile barcode-linked content and inadequate user experiences are driving consumers away from mobile barcode use.
  • Larger shifts in industry and mobile technologies may also whittle down mobile barcodes’ already lean repeat-user base.

All good takeaways. But to me, the most eye catching comment in the summary of the report was, “What consumers want from their 2-D barcode experience and what brands deliver are typically at odds. Consumers want deals and discounts. Brands want to deliver information.”

To back that comment up, in 2014, I discovered a report from ExactTarget that proved this to be true when they tracked and surveyed 470 voluntary consumers for a month. Here were the results when it came to QR code usage:

The #1 reason consumers used scanned coupons or QR codes was to get coupons or deals (69%). The #1 reason consumers didn’t use scanned coupons or QR codes was that they don’t find additional information helpful (41%).

eMarketer nailed it with their report summary two years before the ExactTarget study even came out! Yet here we are in 2015 and brands are still pushing out QR codes to do what? Deliver information, instead of coupons or deals.

It’s no surprise then that consumers have developed “QR code blindness” over the years. They’ve been duped! They’ve been wanting incentives for taking the effort to interact with a brand and what did they get in return? Broken links and web sites that aren’t even mobile optimized. “No coupon. No discount. No deal. Happy Birthday. But hey, keep following us!”

What does this tell us about brands and their attention to detail when it comes to earning potential customers? It says that brands aren’t doing the best job of understanding their consumers. In this day in age of big data where we have massive amounts of user data, brands are still missing consumers’ basic wants. In this day in age of social media, like Twitter, where our consumers are literally screaming at us, brands are still missing consumers’ basic needs.

At SimpleSavr, we believe QR codes for marketing ARE a good idea. But only when they cater to a consumer’s wants and are delivered in a useful format. Not delivered on a billboard off the freeway, or in a subway tunnel, or on the bottom of a fast food cup where nobody will scan them. And we won’t be offering QR codes that take you to broken links or a web site with a bunch of useless information that isn’t even optimized for your phone. We plan on offering QR codes that deliver what consumers want….coupons and deals.

To learn more about SimpleSavr, visit our website and take a look at how we’re bringing value to the QR code for consumers:

“QR codes aren’t dead. They were just waiting patiently for SimpleSavr to come and save them.”


Welcome To SimpleSavr


SimpleSavr is a mobile coupon application and platform company that provides digital coupon solutions for merchants and consumers.  We set out to make couponing easier by transforming traditional based coupons into beautiful, redeemable, mobile coupons. We chose to focus on mobile coupons because mobile is the driving force of the current coupon industry.  When looking at data over the past several years, we noticed a handful of powerful themes:

  • Revenue Growth: Revenue generated from mobile coupons will be $43 billion by 2016
  • User Growth: By 2019, there will be 1 billion mobile coupon users
  • Redemption Growth: Redemption rate jumps 10x when a coupon is leveraged on a mobile device.
  • Consumers Love Coupons: When consumers opt-in to communicate with a brand (whether it be for text, email, social, push notifications, or scanning QR codes), their #1 reason for opting in was to receive coupons & deals.


Here’s the problem though.  While 80-90% of consumers still use the printed Free Standing Inserts (FSIs) from their newspapers or mailboxes to redeem, their usage only translates to a 1-2% redemption rate.  So the question becomes, “How does SimpleSavr take a consumer from using a printed coupon that yields a 1-2% redemption rate and transform them into a consumer that uses a mobile coupon with a 10-20% redemption rate?”

You make it simple for the consumer to get the printed coupon onto their mobile device.


MOCA (Merchant Online Coupon Ads) is a platform that was developed to allow the merchant to create, manage, and analyze their mobile coupon campaigns.  Once the merchant creates their coupon campaign (by simply mimicking a current or new print campaign) they receive a QR code.  They simply place the QR code onto their printed coupons and that coupon is now ready to be scanned by the SimpleSavr app for redemption.

The SimpleSavr App allows the consumer to scan, store, manage, and redeem their coupons.  There’s no manual clipping, storing, or saving to do.  Simply scan the SimpleSavr marked QR code from the printed coupon and the app does the rest of the work such as categorizing, auto deleting, sending expiration notifications, etc.  QR codes are by far the fastest and easiest way to turn a printed coupon into a mobile coupon.


We believe that by making it easier for consumers to receive and redeem coupons via mobile and making it simple for merchants to create mobile coupons, then it’s a win/win situation.  Consumers scan and redeem more coupons while the merchant generates more revenue because they’re getting more foot traffic.

To get started…

Consumers: Download the SimpleSavr App by clicking the ‘Get The App’ button at the top of this page.

Merchants: To find out how to transform your coupon circulars into beautiful mobile coupons, select the ‘Merchants’ link at the top of the page to reach out to us.


The SimpleSavr Team