. . . AND WHY YOUR BUSINESS MAY NEED ONE.
QR codes are an encoded barcode image resembling a square-like maze. Unlike a 1-dimensional UPC code, a 2-dimensional barcode stores data in both directions and can be scanned vertically or horizontally to be decoded.
WHAT IS A QR CODE?. . .
A QR code or Quick Response Code, is a 2 dimensional specific matrix barcode readable by dedicated QR Barcode scanners and special apps available for most mobile smartphones including iPhones and Droids.
The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background that contains text, URL links, images, and other data which is revealed to the user upon scanning.
QR codes are everywhere these days — in retail shops, fine art exhibits, Libraries, and widely used in a broad range of marketing campaigns targeting both consumers and businesses. Usage for QR codes varies from selling products to supporting the service being offered – they add value to all your communication messages. Your imagination is the only thing limiting the depth of the communications. As you read further you’ll discover how QR codes can help your business.
Today, your customers and prospects are becoming more mobile and relying on their smartphone devices more and more as a source of information to buy your products or hire your services. Utilizing a QR Code in your marketing materials will give you an opportunity to reach out to your mobile customers and prospects in a new and efficient way while providing a great way to drive traffic to your website!
HOW DO THEY WORK?
1. Use a smartphone with Internet access.
2. Download a free QR code reader app.
3. Scan or take a picture of the QR Code with the reader app.
4. Phone will automatically launch the code’s message or feature.
The code triggers an action, usually online. Each QR Code gives customized data from the
originator that can include: a link to content on the web, make a call, send email, IM or SMS, etc.
WHAT TYPE OF STUFF CAN I PUT IN A QR CODE?
• Telephone number (Phone call)
• SMS/MMS message
• Email (Send message)
• Contact entry (vCard or meCard)
• Calendar entry (vCalendar)
Storing a hyperlink presents a myriad of possibilities beyond just loading a web page — play a video, download a mobile app, check-in on Foursquare, update a Twitter status, “Like” a Facebook page, display map directions, and more. The possibilities and opportunities are almost endless.
WHO USES QR CODES?
QR readers now come preinstalled on Android phones and iPhones and additional QR reader apps are readily available in the app marketplace, both free and paid, for downloading. With over 100 Million smartphone users worldwide and record adoption rates for the U.S. market, with 91% of total population are already active cellphone subscribers there has been no better time to begin incorporating QR codes for your business. Europe was an early adopter of QR codes but the US leads in terms of usage and, according to a recent survey, 32 percent of Smartphone users say that have used a QR code and 70 percent say they will use one again.
QR codes can be used for nearly any function (logistics, advertising, customer service, etc.) for
Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-To-Consumer (B2C), across a variety of industries,
some examples include:
• Best Buy uses QR codes on in-store price tags for quick access to online reviews.
• Home Depot uses QR codes to let their customers receive information, such as product reviews
and how-to guides.
• Real Estate Agents use QR codes on “for sale” signs providing potential buyers access to virtual
• Libraries are using QR codes to facilitate learning via interactive scavenger hunts.
National brands such as the United States Postal Service and Starbucks have found creative uses for QR codes in recent marketing campaigns. These type of programs raise awareness for the use of QR codes by consumers and also offer special discounts and fun prizes!
QR codes are quickly becoming mainstream, even a recent episode of the CBS drama, CSI featured a QR code as part of the storyline. How would you use QR codes for your business?
10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT CONSUMER BEHAVIOR & QR CODES
1. QR code users are primarily looking for product
info and promotions.
2. Females lead males in QR code scanning by a wide
margin – 68% to 32%.
3. 45% of US businesses are conducting some form
of mobile marketing, with mobile websites (70%),
mobile applications (55%), and QR codes (49%) the
most common tactics.
4. 50% of U.S. smartphone owners have scanned a
5. 39% of U.S. smartphone owners who have scanned
a QR code have either shared its information with
someone or made a purchase.
6. 33% of consumers have scanned a QR code while
out shopping, representing 15% of all shoppers.
7. 42% would scan a QR code in order to access a
discount voucher, 23% out of curiosity and 21% to
find out more about the product advertised.
8. Consumers ages 35-44 lead in QR code scanning,
with 26% of the market.
9. QR scanning traffic has increased a dramatic 4,549%
since Q1 2010.
10. In June 2011, 14M mobile users in the U.S.,
representing 6.2% of the total mobile audience,
scanned a QR code on their mobile device.