Quick Response (QR) codes, first developed in 1994 by the Japanese company Denso Wave, have come a long way since their initial use in the automotive industry for tracking vehicle components.
These two-dimensional barcodes can store various types of data, from website URLs to contact information, making them a versatile tool for businesses of all sizes. The adoption of QR codes has grown exponentially over the years, with an estimated 11 million households in the United States scanning QR codes in 2020 alone.
According to a Juniper Research study, the number of QR code coupons redeemed via mobile devices reached 5.3 billion in 2022, illustrating the growing impact of this technology.
Here are nine advantages of using QR codes for your business:
1. Easy and Cost-Effective Implementation
QR codes are simple to generate and require minimal investment. In fact, 11 million QR codes were created in 2020 alone, showcasing their widespread adoption. Many online tools and mobile apps can create QR codes for free, allowing businesses to easily incorporate them into their existing marketing materials, product packaging, and signage without straining their budget.
2. Quick and Convenient Access to Information
A study by MobileIron revealed that 47% of respondents have increased their usage of QR codes since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Customers can scan QR codes using their smartphones, instantly accessing the information stored within. This convenience saves time and effort compared to traditional methods and makes it easy for customers to find the information they need, improving their experience with your brand.
3. Enhanced Customer Engagement
A Comscore report found that QR code usage increased by 19% between 2018 and 2020. In 2021, 75.8 million smartphone users in the US scanned a QR Code on their mobile. These numbers were up by 15.3 percent compared to 2020. QR codes can drive customer engagement by connecting offline marketing materials to online content. This seamless integration between physical and digital marketing channels helps businesses reach their audience in new and exciting ways.
4. Trackable Metrics
According to QR Code Generator 32% of QR code scans in the United States in 2021 were for accessing more information about a product or service. QR codes can be customized to include tracking information, enabling businesses to monitor scans and gather data on user behavior. This valuable insight can help you refine your marketing strategies and better understand your target audience.
5. Increased Mobile-Friendliness
With smartphone usage expected to reach 7.6 billion users globally in 2027, businesses must adapt to the mobile-first mindset. QR codes are designed for mobile use, making them an excellent tool for connecting with customers on their preferred devices and improving your brand's mobile presence and accessibility.
6. Streamlined Payment Processes
Statista reports that the global mobile payment transaction value is expected to reach $6.3 trillion by 2024. QR codes can facilitate mobile payments, enabling customers to complete transactions with just a few taps on their smartphones. This fast, secure, and convenient payment method can boost sales, improve customer satisfaction, and reduce wait times in stores and restaurants.
7. Improved Inventory Management
A 2018 GS1 US study found that 82% of businesses experienced greater inventory accuracy after implementing barcoding technology. QR codes can be used to track products throughout the supply chain, providing real-time inventory updates and enabling better resource management.
8. Enhanced Security
According to a survey by Packaging Digest, 75% of brand owners believe that product counterfeiting has increased over the past two years. QR codes can be used to authenticate products, helping businesses combat counterfeiting and protect their brand reputation.
9. Versatility and Customization
QR codes can store various types of information, making them adaptable to a wide range of business applications. A 2020 Global Mobile Consumer Survey by Deloitte revealed that 45% of US smartphone users have scanned a QR code to access product information. From directing customers to your website or social media profiles to providing contact information or special offers, QR codes can be customized to suit your specific needs.
QR codes offer numerous advantages for businesses, from improving customer engagement and accessibility to streamlining inventory management and enhancing security. By incorporating QR codes into your marketing and operations strategies, you can leverage these benefits and stay ahead in the ever-evolving digital landscape.