Shopify leveraging Apple’s new iOS to merge mobile and offline retail

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Stock image, for illustrative purposes only.

Shopify is hoping an update to Apple’s iOS will help merchants combine mobile shopping with their physical storefront through a new QR code-based app.

Shopcodes, an application released by Shopify on the same day as Apple’s annual product announcement event, allows merchants to design custom QR codes assigned to specific products. These square, modern-versions of barcodes can be printed and affixed as labels on in-store packaging or on advertisements.

Scanning the codes will bring up screens with more information about the item or even a buy button, allowing customers to make a mobile purchase in-store or on-the-go. The Ottawa-based firm even suggests that Shopcodes could add a new dimension to window-shopping: If a store is closed but a code is affixed to the window, passers-by can still make a purchase with their phone.

Shopify timed its release with Apple’s event because the tech giant’s latest operating system includes a QR code scanner natively in the camera app.

This isn’t the first time the e-commerce giant has made a push into brick-and-mortar retail. Earlier this year, the company launched its point-of-sale card reader hardware to help integrate its merchants’ physical retail locations with their online storefronts.

Meanwhile, Apple announced its (expensive) new mobile offerings, iPhone 8 and iPhone X.