You may try to resist impulse purchases that catch your eye as you’re unloading your groceries onto the checkout conveyor belt. But what if that conveyor belt could give you a coupon that makes that impulse purchase a little more irresistible?

QR codes, once left for dead as a technology of the past, have been making a comeback recently in grocery stores. With health and safety top of mind lately, who wants to touch a grimy coupon dispenser or a payment keypad when you can scan a code with your phone instead? So QR codes are appearing more often on shelf ads, store signage, and now in the checkout lanes. Or, more specifically, on the checkout lanes themselves.

Mol Belting Systems, which manufacturers conveyor belts for everything from factories to treadmills, has unveiled a new grocery checkout belt that doubles as a “revolutionary new marketing program for the most frequently visited section of the store.”

It’s now making available to retailers nationwide its new “QR Code checkstand belt” that will allow retailers and brands to place ads with scannable codes right on the belt where you stack your groceries when checking out.

Mol Belting says the belt, and its self-checkout equivalent “MessengerMat,” can be imprinted with graphics, ads and QR codes that can “link to special offers, new product listings and giveaways, promote culinary and health classes and even a quick way for shoppers to sign up for loyalty programs.”


The QR code can be as simple as linking to the store’s digital coupon gallery, where you can quickly browse to make sure you haven’t missed a coupon for something you’re currently unloading onto the belt, or it can link to a specific coupon offer that might tempt you buy an additional item or two.

The goal is to offer retailers “a new media where they can customize messaging,” and “make the checkstand experience more pleasurable to the shopper.”

Ads or other graphics displayed on checkout belts are not new, but Mol Belting hopes these graphics prove to be less passive and more interactive. With mobile payments becoming more popular, many shoppers already have their phones in hand when they’re checking out. So the checkout belt represents some prime real estate that can give retailers one last chance to promote their products and services to shoppers before they pay and leave.

An August survey by Inmar Intelligence found that 69% of shoppers were influenced by in-store ads, while 96% said advertising about loyalty programs and discounts would make them more likely to make purchases of promoted products. Of course, it’s a little late to drop what you’re doing and go browsing for a product after seeing an ad or downloading a coupon while you’re in the process of checking out. But the checkout belt QR codes can be encoded to offer discounts on future purchases, or on products that are available to grab right there at the checkout.

Mol Belting already supplies about 90% of all the checkout belts used by U.S. grocery stores. So it says it can easily supply its branded belts to existing customers, applying the graphics with a pressure-sensitive adhesive that can easily be removed and replaced when it’s time to launch a new promotion.

So the next time you’re checking out at the grocery store, keep an eye on the checkout belt, and have your phone handy for additional savings opportunities – as paying attention to the messaging on the mat, could ultimately pay off.

Image source: Mol Belting

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