Qriket: Giving You A Reason To Scan QR Codes
If you don’t have the intention of buying something from a store or brand, why would you scan that store or brand’s QR code?
According to Jonny Comparelli, co-founder and chief executive officer of Qriket, that’s the question that got his company started. Qriket is an iOS app that gamifies the QR code scanning process, offers rewards to its users and offers unique marketing opportunities to partnering merchants. Qriket is trying to change the way businesses use QR codes, and PYMTNS.com spoke with Comparelli to find out how.
“Early on, it was kind of just to solve a problem,” said Comparelli of Qriket’s purpose, noting that two years ago, when the prevalence of QR codes started to increase, many smartphone scanners were helpless when offline. Given that many QR codes appear in subway stations or other places without regular WiFi access or cell reception, this posed an obvious problem.
“It was really birthed out of relatively simple concepts that we just built on. It started as just competing for points for one jackpot, and then we kind of slowly integrated to where we could share with our entire user base, as we do today,” he said.
The idea behind Qriket is, at its heart, a simple one. Offer people rewards for scanning QR codes, tell them which QR codes to scan, and use that power to drive consumers to attract sponsoring merchants. Consumers win because they have a chance to earn cash rewards by earning “magic wands,” which they receive with every QR code scan or challenge completed. All consumers need to receive the money is a PayPal account, and they don’t even need to sign up for such an account until (and if) they win and want to cash out.
Merchants win because, as Comparelli puts it, Qriket has shown that they have the ability to drive consumers towards a product, service, location or event using their challenges feature. Merchants can also choose to sponsor “featured video” ads, similar to the ones seen on YouTube, which Qriket users must watch before resuming app use.
And Qriket wins because merchants will pay for the unique opportunity to tell their brand’s story thorough a video and drive consumers to their products all through one app.
“We’re paying the user back for engaging with the brand and engaging with the service, and kind of bridging the gap between out-of-home advertising and digital advertising,” Comparelli said.
According to Comparelli, the Toronto-based startup’s active monthly user base currently sits at around 75,000: quite impressive considering Qriket was at 100-150 users when it left beta and that the majority of its growth has occurred over the past three months.
Comparelli also shared some plans that Qriket has in the works to expand its business. Although he couldn’t give specifics, Comparelli said that his company is in the process of signing a major deal with a point of sale provider in North America, which would allow users to receive cash or wands back when making a purchase through a partnered device. Qriket’s co-founder also revealed that they’ll be partnering with five charities and adding a donation feature, in a system that seems fairly similar to LevelUp’s.
While Comparelli is succeeding in taking an innovative twist to QR codes, he also readily acknowledges that it’s a technology that may lack a long lifespan. Once NFC becomes more prevalent, geofencing becomes more widely accepted and personalized offers continue to grow, it’s not difficult to foresee a future in which QR codes are marginalized.
But Comparelli remains convinced that in the here-and-now, QR codes are a sort of gateway technology, allowing consumers and merchants to interact in a whole new way and changing the how people use their smartphones.
“I think most definitely with QR codes, there’s a defined lifespan,” Comparelli admitted. “But I think QR codes are going to be around for a little while … at least until the coast of putting an NFC chip into print becomes a little cheaper than what it is to just print a simple QR code.”
He added: "QR codes are kind of that pioneer technology that we have to set the standard of the consumer using their smartphone to engage in something that isn’t digital, that is out of home, and that is something they want to interact with [in their] daily lives.”
To hear more Comparelli on Qriket’s growth, the future of QR codes and more, listen to the full podcast below.
CEO and Co-Founder, Qriket
Jonathan Comparelli is the founder & CEO at www.qriket.com. In April 2010, a soon to be 19 year old University of Toronto student had an idea that would make QR codes and other advertising tokens engaging and relevant. With no direct or practical hands-on business experience, Jonathan turned to his family and friends for guidance, knowledge and assistance and by July 2011 had created the business plan, outlined the research & development strategy, filed for patent protection of his ideas and secured a $500,000 investment to get things rolling. Today, at just 21 years old, Jonathan is one of the youngest CEOs in Canada with a staff of 14, offices, advertisers, users and the day-to-day pressures that face all CEOs. Since it’s launch, Qriket has grown to over 70,000 users with over 1.2 million scans per month and has generated more then $600,000 in revenue in 2012.