The Revival of the QR Code

QR codes aren’t new – they’ve been around since the mid 90’s, but they’ve seen a revival lately thanks to Covid-19 and the need to get information to consumer’s safely.

What is a QR Code?

QR code stands for Quick Response code. They were invented in 1994 by Masahiro Hara, a Japanese entrepreneur who wanted to keep track of parts going through a car assembly line. They are a 2-dimensional barcode which stores information, and when scanned with the camera, can point the user to a website, or app.

The QR Code Revival

A recent survey by MobileIron discovered that in September 2020, across the UK and Europe, 83% of smartphone users scanned a QR code at least once, with 40% saying they had scanned a code in the past week. From that same survey they found that 64% of respondents believe that QR codes made their lives easier, in part because it helped them get to the information faster.

In the UK, the NHS Test & Trace app uses QR codes to log your location and alert you if you encountered someone who has tested positive. All users need to do is scan the QR code when entering the venue.

This resurgence offers a way to get information to customers without asking them to touch a device.

Uses of QR Codes

QR codes can be used for a multitude of things, in a multitude of locations! Their versatility allows them to be designed uniquely for your brand, as well as allowing the addition of your logo within the centre of the code. Tracking can be enabled so you can gather information regarding how many times they’ve been scanned, in which location, and by which device.

Below are some examples showing how QR codes, like voice-activated technology, can be elevated to provide safetisfaction, keeping your customers safe, and satisfied.

User generated content through product activated QR Codes

Guinness had a great campaign where the high contrast required for their QR code would only work when the glass was filled with Guinness. Scanning the code took the user to a microsite where they could quickly tweet or share that they were drinking a Guinness! Users could then tag their friends to elicit FOMO responses.

Added value content and gamification

These beautifully designed QR codes not only took the user to a Spotify playlist when scanned, but they offered a level of gamification. Clues hidden within the design of the QR code linked to rock songs, giving the user a chance to guess the song before scanning to see if they were correct.

Make path to purchase as smooth as possible

Placing QR codes on samples gives the user a quick and simple way to get to the item they want to purchase. Take the below example, the user decides which sample they’d like to purchase, and can scan the QR code to go directly to that page on the brand’s website. The user doesn’t have to worry about whether they’re on the right product, or risk not finding it at all and preventing a sale. The fewer blockages you create, the more likely your customers are to buy.

Create a covid-safe pop-up event

There’s a recurring event in Northampton called “Bite Street” which brings together local street food vendors. Since the UK experienced lockdown #2, they’ve reconsidered their position and pivoted to allow “drive-thru” collection. All local foodies need to do is drive up to their allocated parking space and scan the QR code to order food from the vendors. Their food is then brought to them to enjoy from their car, or to take home.

Scan to purchase

When some of our team visited a sister company in China, they found QR codes on fish! You would select your fish, scan the QR code to buy it, and it would be ready for you as you left the store!

Let’s talk about how QR Codes can help solve your briefs.

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