While QR codes have had a revival over the past few years because they offer an easy way to access information at a literal click of a button, the FBI recently issued a safety warning about cyber theft happening through QR codes.
That means furniture companies need to phase out their use of QR codes before it’s too late, according to Becky Girard, a Label Expert at Dec-O-Art, a label manufacturer that’s introducing a new contactless digital label to combat hacking.
“If a QR code gets hacked, what ends up happening is you may be giving all your information to somebody that you shouldn’t be given the information to,” she says. “And with privacy being such a luxury and safety being at such a high standard, what we’re seeing is that with our label product — Deco-Smart — can’t be hacked and there’s no data collection. That’s a tremendous advantage within the industry.”
Deco-Smart is an adhesive label with a small chip inside that’s easily read over your phone. It can be used by the sales associate as they’re working with the customers to help train them on the brands and the product differences.
“One of the main trends the home furnishings has seen over the past several weeks is the overall decline of supply chain issues, as well as declining orders,” she says. “With the pendulum swinging the other way, retailers are going to hold a lot of the leverage, like pre-pandemic, and these OEM and manufacturers are going to have to do their best to create more branding and differentiate themselves as competition increases.”
The retailer can choose where the label leads — whether it goes to the company’s website or to an educational page about the product itself. The label can also lead to information about what the furniture is made from and where it’s built, whether the company is family-owned or corporate-owned and more.
“It’s proven that over 70% of consumers do not differentiate brands any longer — nobody’s really buying what I call a poly wood chair because of the POLYWOOD brand,” Girard says. “When you think about an Adirondack from C.R.Plastics, POLYWOOD and Berlin Gardens, they all have small differentiations but at the end of the day, they all appear to be the same chair. So now, what makes the sales associate or what makes the OEM different than the other products out there?”
Deco-Smart also has a built-in environmentally friendly component.
“With customers instantly able to connect to a URL, it saves them from flipping through pages of a catalog to find what they want,’” she says. “Deco-Smart aims to cut out the paper catalogs and help companies provide the instantaneous service customers want today.”
Girard says this will all help independent reps and manufacturers do a better job of branding products and getting products out there — because consumer demand will still be there, it just won’t be as high as it was over the last two years.
For retailers, she says this could help with the high levels of turnover in the industry.
“The training element is so imperative to getting your sales associates to push the product,” Girard explains. “The question comes down to: how much do they really know about all the products and manufacturers that they have in there? And are they willing to learn?”
Girard says the company looks at the label from a sales standpoint to watch how this can accelerate and continue growth with sales for their product line, “because everyone’s going to take a dip here within the next 180 days, early buyers are going to be a little lighter.”
“And the consumers are going to be a bit more finicky just like they were pre-pandemic,” she continues. “So on a marketing stage, the question is not about ‘how do we grow sales?’ it’s about continuing to accelerate sales and pushing forward.”
For more information on Deco-Smart, contact firstname.lastname@example.org