Since its inception in 1994, QR codes have been heralded as the next big thing, only to fade away over time. However, the pandemic sparked a massive comeback—one that your company should seize.
After all, who wants to touch a physical menu during a pandemic? Restaurant menus are probably the most prominent illustration of the QR code resurgence. But it didn’t stop there: even if you haven’t been dining out, there’s a good chance you’ve seen or heard about Coinbase’s Super Bowl commercial featuring a website-crashing QR code.
QR codes have developed as a versatile solution for marketers as the lines between the real world and the digital world continue to blur. QR codes not only store more information than standard barcodes, but they also provide a quick and easy way for customers to interact with your company.
According to eMarketer, the number of people scanning QR codes on their smartphones in the United States will rise from 83.4 million in 2022 to 99.5 million in 2025. Consumers have enthusiastically welcomed the reintroduction of the QR code, and you should follow suit.
Let’s begin with the fundamentals.
What exactly is a QR code, and how does it function?
QR codes, also known as quick response codes, are a sort of matrix barcode developed by DENSO WAVE to aid in the efficiency of their production process. They’re actually a form of advanced barcode that consists of a series of squares that they may scan it in two dimensions (horizontal and vertical).
QR codes first gained popularity in the early 2010s, but they expected that they haven’t taken off. Many individuals had no idea what they were, and smartphone usage was still in its early stages. Cell data was expensive, and scanning a QR code on most phones needed a separate app download. The entry barriers were high.
In 2017, when wireless carriers began selling cheaper unlimited data plans and Apple’s iOS 11 update rolled out with a native QR code reader in the camera, the roots for the present QR code craze were sowed.
To scan a QR code today, all you have to do is point your phone’s camera at the code and then click the link. It’s easier to use than it’s ever been, and consumers are far more familiar with and comfortable with QR codes than they have ever been.
Why now is the right time to start using QR codes in your marketing
Consider QR codes as an amplification channel that can help consumers engage with your brand’s digital content in new ways by reducing friction between in-person marketing and digital channels.
You may increase brand awareness and attract offline clients into your brand’s larger sphere of influence by bringing them online, especially as prospective remarketing audiences.
A typical behaviour flow is as follows: a customer scans the code, lands on a landing page, and is then they direct customer to various subsequent sites or presented with an offer or information.
Customers can learn more by scanning a QR code on in-store signage or product packaging.
Use a QR code to direct them to interactive content, such as a quiz, that can help you create a deeper relationship with them by providing them with more important information, such as discovering the ideal product for their needs.
You may then segment your consumers based on their comments and tailor your marketing to the things they’ve expressed an interest in.
If your product has a user guide, an app, or a warranty programme, a QR code can create a far more seamless user experience by rapidly guiding users to their desired location. Is there a supplementary benefit? You’ll use less paper, which is good for the environment and saves money on shipping.
You can also use QR codes to link consumer profiles to CRM and loyalty programmes. Customers can scan QR codes in-store to link their purchase data to their points programme, for example, at Chipotle.
This not only motivates customers to return, but it also makes the customer experience more pleasant. So long as your QR code is functional, the days of keeping track of punch cards in order to acquire your 11th burrito or whatever else for free are over.
Making a QR code that is both efficient and effective: tactical advice
QR code generators are easy to come by, and the most of them are free. Most allow you to personalise the final code by adding your company logo or changing the colour of the QR code.
If generators are too sophisticated, simply click the share icon in Google Chrome’s URL bar and select “QR Code” to get a Google-branded option.
Treat QR code tracking the same way you would any other marketing channel and include UTM tracking when generating your code. You’ll be able to ensure proper campaign attribution as well as collect more accurate usage data and performance reports this way.
How They Make Use Of Their QR Code
Every time you accomplish anything new, you don’t have to develop a new QR code and landing page. Consider how some restaurants change their drink menus weekly to include the newest speciality cocktails. Rather than creating a new landing page and QR code each time, they could reuse the same QR code and update the content on the destination URL.
Instead of starting from scratch every time, consider repurposing campaign-specific landing pages and QR codes for evergreen content if you haven’t already.