Facebook & Google Racing to Establish In-Store Mobile Connections

A few months ago Google sent out QR code stickers for local businesses to put in their windows. If a passer-by snaps a picture of the QR code with their phone they're brought directly to the business's Google Places page where they can read reviews and learn more about the store. It would actually make more sense for stores to put the QR codes in other places, like on their delivery menus or on print ads, since when shoppers are at the store window they can just walk right in and experience the business first hand.

Well rather than be left out of the storefront window Facebook has now answered by shipping their own stickers that advertise a store's Facebook URL and the ability to "like" (formerly "fan") the brand's Facebook page via text message. As it lies now, Facebook's value proposition seems more significant. If a consumer is interested in the brand after browsing the physical destination, it's a great time get them to join the business's social network to kick off a lasting relationship. Google's Places page (at least right now) doesn't offer much to someone who's already been to the store.

It actually makes complete sense for Twitter to get in this game as well. I already see stores advertising on their signs to "follow" their Twitter feed, but that actually isn't so quick in a mobile client. Most people don't know you can just text "follow [twitter handle]" to 40404 to follow a profile immediately, but Twitter could definitely help stores advertise this.

Has anyone seen the Google QR or Facebook stickers in a local store? Which brands do you think make the most sense for in-store promotion? What type of offerings would you like to see as a product of the merging of web presence and physical presence through mobile moving forward?