What are QR Codes
QR codes are a lot like the traditional bar codes you see on the sides of cans and other products but they contain much more information. A user can download and install a barcode scanner on their smartphones to scan these codes and access a tremendous amount of information. This is an effective marketing tactic.
The two-dimensional makeup of QR codes means that they have a greater surface area allowing them to hold thousands of alphanumeric characters that can accommodate web URLs, text or other information like photos, videos, graphics and more. QR codes can generate text messages and telephone calls, also.
QR codes have been in use since 1994 when they were created to track vehicles during manufacturing. Increasing in popularity in recent years with the explosion of camera equipped smartphones, the codes are now being used to link real world objects with all sorts of online data and information. QR codes can be tailored to your client for quickly and easily linking content to your smartphone. Other simple uses include magazine ads and even more complex QR codes that are much like a digital business card.
QR codes will only become more common place in the coming months and years given our increasing dependency on mobile devices and our lack of enthusiasm over trying to type out data or urls. QR codes are a remedy and can easily be integrated with various services, and incorporate geo-location data. Advertisers may not realize it just yet, but QR codes are and will continue to be their best friends.
During the month of June 2011, according to one study, 14 million mobile users scanned a QR code or a barcode. Some 58% of those users scanned a QR or bar code from their home, while 39% scanned from retail stores; 53% of the 14 million users were men between the ages of 18 and 34. The use of QR codes for “virtual store” formats started in South Korea, and Argentina, but is currently expanding globally. Huge companies such as Walmart, and Procter & Gamble have already adopted the Virtual Store concept.
According to Multichannel Merchant Outlook 2012-2013, the number of merchants using QR codes as part of their marketing strategy has more than quadrupled to nearly half (47%), compared to last year when just 8% of sellers reported employing them. The survey, released in June 2012, shows that a fair number of merchants (38%) are not using QR codes, and a further 15% aren