When QR Codes were first invented the uses were quite limited due to the lack of smart phones and recent technologies and their main purpose was focused in the automotive industry. However, in 2019 we are now surrounded by the small, but powerful digital codes and companies are coming up with more inventive ways to use QR Codes, such as innovative cashless payments. It has been estimated that 5.3 billion QR Code coupons will be redeemed through mobiles by 2022, growing from 1.7 billion in 2017 (Media Genius). With businesses across all sectors now recognising the advantages of QR Codes, how far can we really take them?
One sector which has truly adapted the QR Code is retail. The goal for retailers is to use this technology to allow for a smooth, fun, hassle-free shopping experience. Shoppers now have the ability to scan items on shopping apps to skip queues and pay on the app. Our day-to-day is now surrounded by outdoor QR Code marketing. We see them on posters, billboards and definitely transport services, as marketers recognise that travellers are stationary and can take time to take in their advertising, and using QR Codes makes this a fun experience. Social Media has been and continues to utilise the code for their users to follow each other in an instant. Instagram launched a feature called ‘Nametags’, which works the same as the other platforms, however you can personalise your code with different colours, creating a buzz around this feature.
Most events now use QR Code ticket scanners for entry management, replacing paper tickets with e-tickets to get attendees through the doors faster. In addition, QR code are particularly good for capturing leads at corporate events. For example, you can encourage delegates to scan your code, which automatically signs them up for future communications from your business, allowing you to build an authentic marketing database. What’s more, this cutting-edge technology gives companies the opportunity to top up the accounts of their delegates before the event, enabling them to purchase products and refreshments with a quick scan of their badges. This is also great for festivals, where people can purchase beverages or merchandise using cashless technology.
Moving into the digital age has encouraged innovative uses of QR Codes in business. One of the main focuses of QR Codes moving forward is to become a go-to digital payment, which is very relevant with today’s cashless transition. In particular, India has launched the BharatQR, which are digital payments supported by Visa, MasterCard and NPC of India (QFuse). There are numerous potential ways to use QR Codes, particularly in the ‘virtual’ world. You can now transform a simple greeting card into a personalised digital piece of media by scanning a QR Code, which can change the future of the greeting card industry. In addition, you can use the technology to bring 2D images to life, for example, Sukiennice Museum in Poland added QR Codes to their paintings which revealed “secrets behind the paintings” through a series of media visuals.
The tiny code has the ability to be printed onto almost any object, allowing companies to get creative with the way they display them. Also, every time a code is scanned, the information is sent to an analytics platform where marketers can gain valuable insights into how well their campaigns are doing. The creation of a QR Code is very cost effective, and won’t leave a dent on your marketing budget, which instantly encourages a return on investment. It is also time effective for users as explained by it’s name, quick response code, as it saves time in searching for URL’s and takes users straight to the desired location. One of the main purposes of a QR Code is to connect the offline world with the online world through a quick scan, which is a crucial feature that many other marketing tools don’t have.