by Mielle Sullivan, Janus Networks

ScanLife, a company out of New York, is offering several small business and enterprise solutions using printed optical barcodes that enable you to entice customers, make your print ads more interactive, ad more umph to your business cards and even better manage inventory — all through a smartphone app.

Link The Web to Print:
Place a ScanLife optical barcode in your print ads, flyers, posters, brochures or even signs. Those who view the add can use the free ScanBuy smartphone app to scan the barcode and are immediately taken to a mobile site, or shown a video linked with the ad. You can even offer coupons or promote a sale. Brand interaction like this is a great way to stay in the memory of potential customers and build brand loyalty. Now your ads are much more than an impression, they are an experience.

Make Your Business Cards Pop: By adding a barcode to your business cards you can link contacts to as much information as you like, a resume, a demo, a picture, the location of your business on a map compared to their current location — the possibilities are endless.

Easier Purchasing for Customers: A few retailers are using the ScanBuy barcodes on the tags of their merchandise and promoting the service in the store. With one click, customers can buy merchandise or add it to a gift registry.

Manage Inventory: Print your own ScanLife barcodes and attach them to merchandise or equipment. Have your employees download the app and they can use a smartphone as regular barcode scanner, no more buying special equipment.

One of the better aspects of all these solutions is that you can change the information attached to a barcode at any time, through your own computer. If you want to offer a different coupon, update your resume or connect a different video, you can do so whenever you want and the interaction will update immediately.

ScanLife is not the only company using optical barcode technology with smartphones, but right now they are one of the front-runners and they are targeting small and micro businesses. For the level of interaction you can offer customers and potential customers alone, I think they are worth a look.

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