Quick response codes – or QR codes as they are more commonly known are descendants of the more familiar and humble bar codes that still get scanned at supermarket checkouts. Those barcodes store information in a pattern of vertical stripes. A barcode reader scans a beam of light from side to side detecting the change in reflected light as it goes and interprets this pattern as a series of numbers. Traditional barcodes are simple and effective but they can represent only a few digits.
Two-dimensional (2-D) barcodes make more effective use of the same space by using a grid of black and white cells instead of a single row of stripes. QR codes are the most popular kind of 2-D bar code, at least for everyday applications. Read More
Who Uses QR Codes?
According to the latest Data Passport released by Comscore.com
12.2 Million U.S. Smartphone Users and 8.7 Million EU5 Smartphone Users Report Having Used QR Codes ..(www.comscore.com)
Comscore goes on to report that “In June 2011, 12.2 million smartphone users in the U.S. used QR codes, which are two-dimensional bar codes encoded with either a link or content that is read by a QR scanner. In the EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and UK), 8.7 million smartphone users reported scanning QR codes as well.
The majority of these smartphone users reported having scanned QR codes while at home. A significant percentage in the U.S. also reported having scanned QR codes while at retail stores (40%) and grocery stores (23%), supporting reasons given by subscribers for using QR codes to gain additional product information and access special offers.
In the EU5, 23% of smartphone users reported using QR codes at work and 21% reported using them outside or on public transit.”
Why QR Codes?
Brand marketers are as divided about QR codes as oil and water. Some love them, some hate them. So why do we all feel the need to use them? Maybe because 20 percent of all smartphone users engage in scanning QR codes to learn more about a product. Not only that, but one in ten shoppers scan QR codes in store. And QR codes can be a rich source of user data. Are QR codes an ugly addition to our marketing strategy? Or could they be a valuable addition?
Have QR codes proven themselves?
QR codes have continued to face a lot of scrutiny from industry experts who believe they are nothing but an overhyped method of promotion. But even with the hate, QR codes have continued to stand the test of time. We still seem them everywhere we go and we see them continue to grow. QR codes are just getting started when it comes to mobile tickets and coupons and that is unlikely to change anytime soon.
What is the future of QR codes?
The future of QR codes remains heavily unknown. While we know that they are most likely here to stay has a redemption method for coupons and tickets, QR codes as a promotional tool may be getting replaced by newer technology such as beacons.
Will beacons replace QR codes?
As the Physical Web continues to grow, the need for QR codes will diminish. The Physical Web allows users to see what is around them through their Physical Web browser. This eliminates the need for users to scan a QR code and also gives the ability to view multiple URL’s at once. Giving them information on everything around them.
Check out this video showing how QR codes will be replaced by the Physical Web.
Will NFC replace QR codes?
Some people believe NFC is more effective than QR codes. While this is definitely true when it comes to mobile payments, it isn’t as true when it comes to marketing. NFC and QR codes are nearly identical when being used for promotional purposes, beacons will most likely eliminate both. Beacons are by far the strongest form of technology for mobile marketing and are projected to grow by 10x in 2016.
Should I use QR codes?
When it comes to promoting mobile content, QR codes are a good way to go. They are still relevant and will continue to be for quite some time. However, if you want to stay ahead of the game and prepare for the future, you should begin to adopt beacons and the Physical Web. All signs point to those being the future of interactive mobile marketing.
How to Use QR Codes and Save Money on Your Print Advertising
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Change the special Offers NOT the QR code!
One thing is for sure and that is whether you love or hate QR codes a heck of a lot of people are using them, both to make money and to buy things.