COLMA, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  A Best Buy sign is ...

Recently I was shopping for some new tools for a new wireless router for my home internet. I finally received my Netflix CD for the Wii and was very eager to get things streaming to my new TV through a wi-fi network. Taking a trip to Best Buy, I browsed around, looking for a cheap router, since my personal needs weren't too extravagant. For a lot of more general technologies, it seems that most things work about the same and cheaper doesn't always mean worse. With that in mind, I immediately took notice of the cheaper wi-fi routers on the shelf, looking to save a few bucks. After all, is there really a huge performance difference between a $35 and a $50 device?

Turns out there is. And I was lucky enough to NOT find out the hard way.

Next to the prices at Best Buy were tiny QR codes. Being the huge QR code advocate that I am at work, I immediately whipped out my Evo and scanned the code, mainly out of curiosity. Attached to the codes was a mobile friendly version of Best Buy's shopping site with that particular product page pulled up. From that page I could add that item to my online shopping cart to buy later (for those of us building a Christmas list). However , what really caught my eye were the product reviews.

For each item scanned, there was a list of customer reviews rated on a five-star scale. Each item had dozens of quality reviews from satisfied...or not so satisfied customers. Thanks to this feature, I was able scan through a view product reviews and see which router actually proved to have the most bang for its buck. As a result, I ended up spending $50 on a router that received far better customer reviews than the original $35 router I had eyed earlier.

We've seen how QR codes could be used to enhance traditional advertising, blending the real world and digital world. Best Buy has taken things a step further and used them to enhance the customer shopping experience. Instead of simply taking a sales associate's word on quality, I was able to crowd-source my information instantly from dozens of people. This simple feature allows Best Buy to tap into digital word-of-mouth in a very effective way. In my case, they made an extra $15 as a result.

Where else have you seen QR codes being used outside of traditional ads? Will we see more of this in the future?

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