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June 17, 2011
WineMatch Rolls out QR Codes for Shelf Talkers!
As technology would have it, the old bar code will be going along the wayside of the vinyl record, the black and white television and drum brakes. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen. The reasons are all simple and business driven. QR codes are multi-dimensional and can hold a wealth of information. Here are the reasons why the world will adopt these, and why it makes sense for wineries to get on board sooner rather than later!

UPC codes are simply outdated. At $100 or so each, they are expensive and they just don't serve the wine industry well. Each vintage, the wine is different, and often is priced differently as market demands and quality fluctuates. Conversely, QR codes are free and can easily be generated using programs on the web. One we like and use to create our own QR codes is qrcode.kaywa.com. Annual reuse of the same UPC code for wines is misleading. Wine varies year-by-year, which renders retailers unable to leverage the bar code for pricing and inventory management. This forces them to create a SKU for each vintage. Retailers need to know how much of each vintage they have, not all vintages combined as they may be of a different value. Plus, you need to ensure you are moving older product to keep your costing and sales to review profitability analysis. Also, a consumer may look at the bar code number and think he or she just needs to match that number to get the same identical thing. Not a good idea!

Bar Codes don't hold very much information, but QR codes sure do! UPC codes only hold a string of 12 numbers. These numbers are in turn translated by a computer to gets the true meaning of the item and often times the price as well. A decoder ring of sorts. QR Codes have different versions and are able to hold anywhere from 10 characters to almost 4,000!

Bar Codes really don't help the consumer. They primarily serve the retailer so they can expedite the checkout process and increment/ decrement physical inventory, except that many stores have their own SKU program to off set bar codes  that  are  reused  year-after-
year. Products coded with QR codes can not only be decoded by retailers, but now we can provide a web site URL for the consumer straight to the manufacturer. At WineMatch, we use QR codes to link from our free shelf talker to our complete wine profile on WineMatch.com.
QR Codes can be easily read on Mobile Devices by Google Goggles or free QR code readers, like Qrafter for iPhones in the App store. To see instructions on how to use with your mobile device, click here. Imagine going into a grocery store, looking at a bottle of wine, and wanting to know more. Scan the QR code with your mobile device and voila! - it links to a web site that gives you information that otherwise cannot be easily placed on the package. Plus, if the data is incorrect, it can be updated on the web link, like if there is a rebate or a new coupon.

In addition, logo identity can be in a QR code! This technology has some serious error correction ability as it's always anticipated that there's a smudge or something got spilled on it, yet it must still be readable. As a result, you can intentionally deprecate it to integrate your logo and just scan it to see that it still functions, and you have your identity!

WineMatch is giving wineries the ability to print their own shelf talkers, but in the meanwhile, we're sending them out for wineries that have quite a few wines on our site. It's our way of saying 'thank you'!

Smart technology, very smart!

                                                                                                                                    
  

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