QR codes provided a central feature at the Glee trade show in Birmingham last week.
Sinclair launched a series of educational films accessed by the mobile phone technology, Floramedia won best retail support award for the FloraLinQ QR product, while seminar panellists lauded the scannable codes as the future of marketing.
Glee question time panellists contended that the smart tech codes could engage younger consumers, boost footfall to stores and increase the amount of information given to consumers.
Suttons retail sales and marketing director David Arnold said younger consumers were often intimidated by garden centres. "The younger generation uses this kind of technology for all sorts of information. So why don't we embrace that and use it in garden centres to create more confidence in buying products?" he asked.
Suttons has invested in the technology in the past year, developing six smart codes with videos available to garden centres, he added.
Garden & Leisure Group operations director Carol Paris said: "It's important that retailers and suppliers work together to develop this part of the market. It's a great opportunity for people to get instant information. We have to embrace technology and it's something we can use to our advantage. We are not as advanced as the high street and this is something we need to work on."
Gardman chief executive Mark Pearson added: "The industry is facing a major challenge in terms of knowledge retention. Many of my contemporaries have absolutely no clue about how to garden and there is a lot of knowledge fall-off between generations."
QR codes Data links
- Floramedia's FloraLinQ product uses QR codes to link to information and pictures of the plants.
- Sinclair's point of sale is scannable by mobiles by customers in store to access instant advice from gardening broadcaster Matt Biggs.