What are QR Codes and Their Purpose

define what are qr codes

QR codes have been in use since the early 2000s, and while many designers and marketers had guessed that they would suffer an initial demise much like Myspace or HD-DVD, in 2017 they are still alive and doing well. There is no need to even download an app to scan them anymore, you can do it directly through the phone’s built-in camera. Their usefulness is due in large part to new applications for their changes and usage to marketing channels. Snapchat has begun creating “snapcodes” for the users to share the account information with friends. Recently, Instagram ran an advertising campaign featuring an artistically designed QR code that expects to attract early adopters to download their app. Still not convinced about the uses of QR codes? Here, we are discussing a few reasons why QR codes are important.

All of us know that one of the important keys to great SEO is making sure you keep your website updated, fresh, and new. Whether you do this with the help of a blog, or you design your homepage with new products, offers, or coupons, it shows Google that your website is “alive.” For businesses, especially small businesses, this is a real challenge.

So, you have great, informative content on your website- what’s next that you need? Do you know what is required that may help your small business earn a profit?

Do you know what QR codes are? Here is a small definition:

What are QR Codes?

They were first discovered in Japan where they are common. QR is the short form for Quick Response ( because they can be quickly read by a cell phone). They are used to take information from a transitory media and put in your cell phone. Very soon, they were seen in a magazine advert, a web page, on a billboard, or a t-shirt. Once it is on your cell phone, it may provide you the details about that business or details about the person who is wearing the t-shirt, show a URL on which you can click for seeing a movie trailer, or it may give you a coupon which you can use in a local outlet.

The reason why they are useful than a standard barcode is that they can store much more data, including URL links, geo coordinates, and text. The other important feature of QR codes is that instead of needing a heavy hand-held scanner to scan, several modern cell phones can easily scan them.

Uses of a QR Code

As they can store various kinds of information, QR Codes are used for different purposes. QR Codes are generally used for holding data like:

  • Simple text- Welcome messages at various conferences
  • Addresses- Personal home address and business address
  • Email addresses- Business or personal accounts
  • Phone numbers- Personal telephone number, phone number of your company
  • Link to apps- Found in app stores like Apple’s App Store or Google Play
  • URLs- Addresses of websites or certain web pages
  • Payments- QR codes can store information about your credit card or bank account
  • Online accounts authentication- Websites can display a QR code which can be scanned by a registered user using his or her smartphone and login automatically
  • WiFi authentication- QR codes can be used to store WiFi networks authentication details like SSID, password, and encryption type: when you scan such type of QR code using your smartphone, it can join that network automatically
purpose of a QR code

The reality is that you can store lots of information in a QR code and it all depends on your imagination. For instance, you could also use a QR code to direct someone to your Facebook page or you could use it for displaying a poem written by you. It all depends on you.

Where are the QR Codes displayed?

You can find QR codes in different locations, but some of the most common places where you can find them are:

  1. On business cards, containing all kinds of contact details
  2. On the packaging of smartphones and other gadgets, consisting of links to apps, the support service for the gadget that you bought, the product page with information about the gadgets, and so on.
  3. On TV ads, online ads, billboards, and various other kinds of advertisements
  4. On inventory tags in enterprises, consisting of information like part numbers, serial numbers, inventory dates, hardware specs, and so on.
  5. In short, you can keep a QR code on anything that can be scanned and seen with a smartphone: from a piece of paper to a cloth piece, or a building façade or a TV screen. There are endless possibilities.

Few Reasons Why QR Codes are Important

  • The continued growth of mobile users means more opportunities to use a QR code. According to the Smart Insights report, of all the worldwide internet users, 80% of people access it from their smartphone. According to Printrobot, there was an 11% rise in the number of QR codes generated from 2015 to 2016. And as per the 2015 Scanbury report, 4.3 scans per person, up from 4.0 scans per person in 2014 or about 7.5 % expansion.
  • One of the most important reasons why QR codes are important is they offer a simple way to download an app, which can be beneficial for a retail business that has frequent customer engagement and can promote the advantages of downloading the app in-store during the purchase. IKEA has started a program in France that will let customers scan all their items through a QR code on each product, then make the payment by one code at checkout, therefore speeding the check-out times.
  • Another one in the list of reasons why QR codes are important is it is a great medium to connect a video from a non-digital medium, like showing movie previews from a poster, or food prep steps from a recipe. The increasing popularity of video as a content marketing format means that people want more ways to engage with video. As per Brafton, in 2017 online video will account for 74% of all the web traffic and 28% of smartphone users watch a video on their devices at least once in a day.
  • Direct mail still delivers the best ROI for business to user acquisition of customers and with QR codes you can link a smartphone user to a specific personalized URL on your site. A QR/PURL delivers visitors to a microsite that is personalized to that visitor, which can increase the conversion rates. This, in turn, permits you to track the ROI of an individual printed piece sent to a certain recipient.

QR codes on direct mail pieces can help marketers gain useful information from their campaigns. The scans can tell you which are the offers that are working best and which geographical areas are giving the most reaction.  This understanding helps to refine your next campaign.

Here are some more reasons why QR codes are important.

Direct consumers to a website/ landing page

Scanning a QR code can lead to a signup page or any website/landing page. This eradicates the hassle of going through the procedure of accessing the site and navigating your way around the page.

Ensure that you use a unique URL matched with your QR code to measure it perfectly.

how to scan the qr codes

Dial your business number

In business conferences, you will engage and cooperate with a crowd. If you use QR codes for your station or booth, then concerned business partners can simply scan the code and receive your business details like your business contact number. Sometimes, you can even modify the QR code to dial the number on the receiver’s phone immediately.

Send a message

This is interesting because the user will just receive the message once the QR code has been scanned. Sending messages through QR codes benefits SMS marketing. It can be used for user support, sales, opt-in SMS registration, and on-request product upgrades.  

There are a few restrictions while using QR codes like internet connectivity. When using QR codes, check whether the environment allows code scanning or not.

QR codes benefit many industries. Apart from saving energy and time, it also lets you measure your marketing campaign, as these codes offer data that you require. They go through your system and can be examined through your analytics. Intuitively, you must set up the right metrics like location, frequency, and time to ensure the success of your promotional campaigns.

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