The holidays are fast approaching. No seriously. If you’re in retail and you aren’t already preparing for holiday sales, promotions and all that foot traffic, you better get crackin!

Assuming you are already preparing for the coming holiday shopping bonanza, where does mobile come in? In case it isn’t, or you’ve decided that mobile is not something you need to worry about… think again.

According to a recent report out from a Millennial Media and comScore, mobile is booming in the retail industry. Here are some of the highlights from the report…

  • Amount of time spent on retail sites on a mobile device has grown 385% since 2010
  • The number of mobile users visiting retail sites accounts for 51% of total retail site traffic
  • More than half of the total mobile visitors are between the ages of 25 and 54
  • 57% of these visitors are employed full-time and 35% make $100k+ a year

That’s a pretty good looking demographic. Think you should target mobile users? Um, yeah. But how?

Remember, mobile is a moving target. These shoppers are looking for information on the go. They have no time and no patience. Give them what they want and get out of the way.

How do you do this? Here are a couple of ideas on how to integrate mobile and QR Codes into your retail marketing efforts…

Advertising and Mobile

Do you mail out postcards or advertise in local magazines? Try adding a QR Code with the ad to engage the mobile user. A QR Code can turn a flat print ad or mailer into an interactive piece with one simple scan.

REI-QR-Code

Scanning the QR Code should give them something other than just your website. Make it worth their while. Try giving them a coupon they can bring into the store and scan right from their phone!

Extra credit: if you are giving something away, why not ask for their email address up front? Let them know you will be sending them more deals and coupons via email. And email is another great way to engage a mobile user!

Point of Purchase Displays and Mobile

It’s no secret that shoppers are using mobile phones to find out more about a product. Just look around the next time you’re shopping. Check out all those shoppers poking around on their smartphones. They aren’t all texting.

If you don’t offer them more information on a particular product or offering, guess what? They will find it on their own, often from a competitor’s website!

Take control of the situation. Place a QR Code with some explanation on the point of purchase display. Offer them an instant discount (again, collecting their email address for future marketing).

For products that might warrant a little research, try linking the QR Code to a mobile site that explains the benefits of the product. Or, it can show videos of people using the product or assembling it.

The important thing is to make it clear what they will get when they scan. And make sure that whatever they get will be something they really want or need. If the QR Code isn’t linked to something irresistible, don’t bother with the display.

Test a few different approaches and see what works best. And encourage these scanners to share on their social networks!

QR Code Retail Display

Smart tip: keep it simple. Remember, these are impatient people. Make sure when they scan the QR Code on the display that it takes them to a fast loading and laser focused site. Make sure it gives them EXACTLY what they expect when they scan the code.

What are your mobile plans for this holiday season? Let us know in the comments section below.

A version of this post originally appeared on the Myqrosites blog.

Jon-Mikel Bailey – Before co-founding Wood Street in 2002, Jon worked in sales, marketing and business development for technology and marketing firms. A popular speaker, he gives seminars on marketing, internet marketing, branding and web design to chambers of commerce, trade associations and colleges. He has a BFA in Photography from Frostburg State University and still shoots photos for Wood Street clients.