Toolstation, a UK multi-channel retailer of tools and building materials realised they needed their customers to alter their shopping behaviour by leaning more towards their online store. 


While customers used the website to check stock availability, delivery options and refer to saves items list, they would more often reach out for the catalogue. The main issue was the lacking online based experience and the main shift of getting consumers to experience the website than relying on the catalogue. 

Overall, the brand needed to convince and encourage customers to the website to experience its benefits and change their shopping behaviour.


A four-page mail with personalised QR codes was created to create relevant and fast communication amongst the audience. Elaborate designs were used to turn QR codes into visually appealing guides. The bonus of being able to apply them to stickers in high-concentration areas wherever customers needed Toolstation most created relevance. As consumers carried the catalogue to the stores, they were given portable stickers/ QR codes. 

The sticker could be attached to the places they needed the brand most: their toolbox, workbench or dashboard. Each sticker became a link to the relevant pages online – for example, the heavy duty ‘ELECTRICAL’ sticker on an electrician’s toolbox led them to the electrical pages on the website. It was also possibly to tear off the full sticker panel and create a miniature Toolstation containing the key departments. This was a fun way of keeping the customers attention peaked and encourage interaction. All of these were mailed with the headline ‘Turn anything into your Toolstation’. The booklet which carried these QR codes were personalised to have the name of the customer. 

By analysing data around shopping behaviour 143,000 packs were hyper-personalise for customers. Most customers were directed to the main six stores they purchased in. 


Targets increased by 300% and was well liked by all customers. Website traffic rose by 10% and customers soon began to go online and not rely on catalogues.  They shopped 9% more frequently, and average order values went up by 5%, it also resulted in an increased revenue of 14% per customer.

The mailpack was much economical than the catalogues and all this resulted in annualised saving just short of £1m, a loss-making communication turned into a profitable one with an ROI (Return on Investment) of 3:1.

Source: Royal Mail