The big QR code question…do they work?


Observations on the John Lewis QR code window, Waitrose, Brighton

The Leapfrogg team were thrilled to find John Lewis experimenting with QR codes – not only in our home-town, but actually on one of the Waitrose windows underneath our office!  For our own and industry interest, we decided to take a closer look at the public’s reaction to the display and spend some time observing how many people were interacting with it and actually using the QR codes.

We monitored the window for one hour a day during the working week and observed:

  • How many people stopped to look at / read the window
  • How many people took out their mobile devices to interact with or access the QR codes

For five minutes of each hour, we monitored footfall past the window from which we calculated a very rough average hourly footfall per day. We chose different hours each day to see if this had any impact.

So what were the results?

  • 5% of passers-by stopped to look at or showed noticeable interest with the QR code window display
  • 0.3% of passers-by interacted with the QR code window display

We also had a quick chat with the Waitrose store manager who said: “The window display went up on Wednesday 23rd November.  In that time, click and collect has increased considerably and across the Waitrose stores that are trialling this the feedback has been that Waitrose Brighton is outperforming above the average.”

Two things to consider in the store manager’s comments. Firstly, it may be purely coincidental that click and collect has increased, particularly during the build up to Christmas. Secondly, it is interesting that Brighton is performing above average compared to other stores…a sign of a digital savvy city perhaps?

We found interaction with the display was much higher at the beginning of the week (both interactions happened on the Monday), which implies that regular passers-by were ‘desensitised’ to the display over time – effectively the novelty value wore off!

By the time we started monitoring activity, the display had been up for five days, so it is highly likely that there was more interaction the week before.

From our own experience, smartphone penetration and sophisticated use is higher within a younger audience.  In our empirical observations, the Brighton Waitrose customer is older and therefore it could be argued, less likely to be comfortable using QR codes regularly; certainly in public.

So it didn’t work, right?  Well…we think it did!

Interrogating the numbers alone, it seems as though the QR display didn’t result in a lot of activity while we were observing, but in terms of awareness raising, the display has certainly made an impact (it even featured on the local BBC South news!).  Upon questioning some of those who stopped to take a look, many reported potentially going home to experiment with QR codes and find out more.

The anecdotal feedback from the Waitrose staff was that they were busy with ‘click and collect’ orders, although they couldn’t be confident that this was directly linked to the window display.  But in terms of conversion rates, a 5% interaction rate seems a really positive starting point and if there is data capture from these specific interactions, it could be the start of some exciting mobile segmentation to drive further and deeper mobile transactions in the future.

We don’t believe success of the window display should be measured in short and simple terms.  QR codes are just another channel via which you can engage with your target audience.

In the same way that Facebook commerce won’t appeal to every brand’s target audience and not all customers will want to share a personal review on your website, the real challenge for ambitious brands in a tough economic retail environment is opening up, streamlining and aligning multiple channels to make it as easy as possible for customers to buy what they want, when they want and how they want.

Almost as valuable as a sale is data capture and if John Lewis can use this channel to hook a potential new audience into the brand, or engage deeper with existing customers, then the conversions via this channel will come, they may just not be immediately.

We don’t pretend that this is a robust or quantitative survey!

We do not claim that any of this data is robust nor representative, but is an interested party’s look at what behaviour the window encouraged in the time that we were observing.

We have drawn our own conclusions based on our own experiences and opinions and do not claim to work for or with John Lewis in any way. The quote from the Waitrose store manager was gathered on a very busy morning via the customer services desk.  We do not claim that this is an official quote from the John Lewis Partnership.

Do Frogg’s fly like birds?


Yes, I believe they do. You may remember a post a couple of weeks back about four very brave froggers (me, Nick, Lucy and Ben P) who were about to jump out of a plane for Rockinghorse Children’s Charity……….well we did it and a week later I am still here to tell you the tale.


At 6:30am on a foggy Saturday morning we set off from Brighton heading towards Kent, many nervous giggles echoing around the hire car. When we arrived at Headcorn there was quite a chill in the air and we couldn’t see much of the sky or the airfield.

We registered ourselves at the tandem meeting point with another 30 jumpers. There was no going back now, they knew we were there and it was communicated to us that if we didn’t come when called for the jump they WOULD find us!

After we were briefed by a very interesting character, who insisted on lightning the mood with some very bad jokes, the only thing we could do was to sit patiently while the sun burnt through the clouds and of course treat ourselves to a bacon or egg sandwich.

A lot of time passed (5 hours to be exact) of nervous pacing while watching all the other brave people descend from the sky attached to an array of colourful parachutes when finally we heard our names called. I can’t describe the relief and fear that passed through my body but all I could think about was getting in that attractive jumpsuit and leaping out of a plane for a very good cause. We all got into our harnesses with help from our lovely instructors and were good to go.

The most nerve racking bit was the minibus over to the plane and the 15 minute ascent to 12,000 feet. The view was stunning and it all felt very unreal. Before I knew it the door of the plane opened and the first single jumper disappeared out of sight, next up was Nick, then Ben, then Lucy and finally me. My legs were out underneath the plane, head on my instructor’s shoulder, 1,2,3 and we were off. None of us can describe that feeling of freefalling for 45 seconds but it was the best feeling in the world and we all want to experience it again!

Once the parachutes were up we all glided back down to earth which took about 5 minutes. We were allowed to take control of the parachute and have a bit of fun at the same time by spiralling ourselves and the parachute round, scary but a huge adrenaline rush. We all started to line up like we were at Heathrow airport ready to land, I was the last to hit the ground and once unhooked from my instructor I ran over to the rest of the gang for a hugs and a few tears of joy.

We were all on cloud nine and couldn’t quite believe we had actually done it. In total we raised £1745 (£2068.25 with Gift Aid) for Rockinghorse which we are very proud and pleased about, so thankyou to all our wonderful supporters for being so generous.

Please watch this space for the next dare devil activity we throw ourselves into for charity and also what we are getting up to in the Leapfrogg MasterChef.

A bunch of froggs take to the sky for charity!

This year saw the start of the first Leapfrogg Social Committee. Apart from organising activities to bring us all closer together we wanted to do our bit and raise money for a charity throughout the year. We chose three charities, got everyone to vote in the little green frog box and the winner was the brilliant and local Rockinghorse children’s charity.

Here is a little about what they do and how they do it:

“Rockinghorse brings hope to families in challenging times, improving the quality of life for some of the most vulnerable children in Sussex and Surrey. Many of those we support are living with life threatening conditions, profound physical or learning disabilities or have complex medical needs. Working in partnership with respite Centre’s and children’s hospitals we strive to make services stimulating, cutting edge and accessible for the many babies, children and teenagers that need them”

As a company we have done several activities so far this year including a bake sale and Leapfrogg MasterChef, which is still in full swing so watch this space for an update and some pictures to make your mouth water! It seems from these two activities that we like a treat or two at Leapfrogg and that we are very competitive…………these are both true!

Not only are we doing the above but some wise cookie (me!) decided it would be a great idea to do an organised event for Rockinghorse. I chose to skydive and asked the office for any other thrill seekers to join me. Surprisingly the lovely Lucy Freeborn and the dashing Ben Potter and Nick Dodd put their hands up. So then there were four, we signed up and we are but only 9 days away from the 12,000 feet leap at Headcorn Parachute Club in Kent.

So please wish us crazy froggs all the luck in the world and if you would like to sponsor us then you can do so on the links below, we need all the help and support we can get!

Retailers: it’s time to be seen as green!

Each year, a day is dedicated to Mother Earth. ‘Earth Day’ on Friday the 22nd of April, will see billions of green themed events take place worldwide to raise awareness of the necessity for us all to do something about climate change and global warming. In 2010, greenhouse gas emissions rose by 2.8% according to recent government statistics, which will make the new targets to cut UK CO2 emissions by 34% (of 1990 levels) by 2020 even more difficult to meet.

With these targets in place, there will need to be a considerable amount of change in our lifestyles, especially with consumer habits and the way that retailers in particular might do business.

The ability for consumers to act on their ethical principles fell away during the recession, primarily driven by less disposable income. According to recent research from Shoppercentric, 55% of UK shoppers still feel they can’t afford to act on their environmental urges, but with these new government targets, awareness of and encouragement to use sustainable businesses and products will increase over time.

Retailers that might consider this to be a passing phase should rethink. Online retailers are already in a good position to jump on the green band wagon. Shoppers believe it is far greener to sit on the sofa at home with a cup of tea and buy a new kettle, than to hop in the car and go to the nearest town for a good old browse. According to a new e-Customer Service Index study conducted by the IMRG and eDigitalResearch, of 2000 consumers polled, 36% preferred to shop online and 74.6% of this group said that reducing pollution was one of the deciding factors.

So listen up retailers! You need to start talking about your green credentials. Here are some tips to help you out…

Ethical planning

Start off by coming up with a plan on how your business can fight against global warming. It’s the little things that can count remember. Examine the different areas of your business both online and offline to see what could easily be changed and how.

Green marketing

Communicate your ethical and environmental policies and agenda with your customers and target audience. You can do this by engaging with consumers on your social networks, in your newsletter or blogging about your company’s efforts to be green so that your message is accessible for everyone.

Educate your staff

Make sure all your staff members are adhering to your green policies as far as possible, for example by reducing, reusing and recycling.

There is no point in making a plan for your business if you have not educated your staff in your agenda. Communicate to your employees about the green options they and you have and how your business wants to contribute to the low carbon economic revolution! Your staff will then think about their own individual contribution and make positive changes, such as cycling to work rather than driving and sitting in traffic!

Customer reward programmes

Partner with sustainable reward programmes like Ice is a new reward scheme identifying sustainable products and services. Ice then rewards customers generously with credits when they choose to buy that sustainable product, which they then can spend across Ice partner companies.

Consumers need a bit of encouragement to spend that little bit more, as many ethical products are seen to be carrying a premium price tag. Incentives like this at Ice will encourage shoppers to engage and buy through your brand, and retailers will start to see a gain in sustainable brand recognition. You could even go that one step further and create your own reward scheme for the customer that chooses to buy your ethical products and brands.

Send it green

Offer green delivery options to your customers. Use environmentally friendly delivery services such as Royal Mail (yes they are trying!). If it is possible, use a local delivery service in regional areas to reduce long distance travel. Make sure that all products are packaged sensibly and that you don’t send small object’s in ridiculously oversized boxes. Try and use recycled materials for packaging and printing where you can.

So there are just a few tips on how retailers can start communicating and thinking about introducing a more ethical approach to their business. With Earth Day 2011 just round the corner, it’s a good time to start thinking about implementing a greener business plan. Get celebrating our planet and help her out as best you can!

‘Team Leapfrogg’ savour mild glory in local volleyball tournament

Leapfrogg embarked on a physical endurance test a couple of weeks ago by taking part in a local business Volley ball tournament at Yellowave beach sports club on Brighton seafront.

When Jody told us we had been entered not everyone was overjoyed by the thought but a select few Froggers were up for the challenge. These enthusiasts included Rosie, Libby, Matt, Catherine, Dan and Mike. Unfortunately Christos, Steven, Suze and Sacha couldn’t play on the day of the tournament because they were jetting off to warmer climates, but they still joined in with our training attempts.

Christos, our voluntary trainer, took us to Yellowave to practise, as well as Brunswick Square and St. Annes Wells Garden. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised about volleyball, and soon we became very competitive. Most of us found it very easy to fear the ball and adopt a “crouch” position, especially when the ball was falling above us at ferocious speeds – demonstrated by MD, Rosie below:

After a fair few training sessions, some being before work at 8:30 am in the howling wind and rain (that’s determination for you) the tournament soon crept up on us. Our final 6-a-side Leapfrogg Team consisted of myself, Rosie, Matt, Catherine, Dan and Mike, our FD.

We brightened up a dull day with our rather fetching green t-shirts, thanks to Mike, and did ourselves proud by making it through to the quarter finals. There was only one minor incident when Catherine and Mike head butted each other in mid air, but thank god they escaped a broken nose! I think I can say we all took a shine to Volleyball and will certainly be playing a few friendly games in the future, so watch this space for news of a win!

Below are a few shots courtesy of Catherine’s sister, Mary: