I am a QR Code enthusiast and I love the little square-shaped cryptic codes. It’s simply fascinating how print media becomes alive on your smartphones. A marketer’s dream is to be able to share unlimited information in limited space and QR Codes is the only way to go about it.

[Tweet “QR Codes are alive and kicking”]

But as it happens with every innovative concept, QR Codes have received their fair share of criticism. Many consider them as ‘dead’. Yet, not so surprisingly, they seem to be springing up everywhere. Here are 11 reasons why I believe they are very much here to stay, and the reasons why QR codes are alive:

1. They help make business contactless 

QR Codes have always helped make business processes contactless. And amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of businesses across the world have embraced them. Here are some chief processes that have been made contactless and safer: 

  • Digital payments: QR Codes are being used to offer a simple and convenient way of mobile payments. All you need is a mobile app that offers QR Code payments
  • Contactless Retail: Retailers are also leveraging QR Code technology to offer a safe and secure customer experience. It is by providing product information, giving coupons, or helping in inventory management
  • Safe check-in: QR Codes have also allowed hotels to offer contactless check-in. It has helped the hotel industry to make a come back in such difficult times 
  • Menu card: Whether you are in a restaurant, bar, or hotel business, you always have to provide your customers with a snapshot of the services you offer. And Restaurant QR Code has helped businesses fo it efficiently

2. Many brands have found their QR Code-based campaigns to be highly effective

Every marketing technique has its rules.

If you don’t use the right keywords, your Google Ads campaign will only attract bozos. If your blog article does not provide valuable content, only your mother will read it. Spam followers with an email every hour and they will unsubscribe you in a heartbeat.

In the same way, QR Codes too have their own rules (Read my post on Increase engagement with these 5 must-know QR Code best practices).

But many brands get how its done and they have created great QR Code based campaigns. Verizon was able to increase its sales by 200%, Coca-Cola Hong Kong is engaging football-lovers using QR Codes in its FIFA World Cup 2014 campaign, and McDonald’s is using QR Codes in a global campaign to educate consumers about the nutritional information of their food.

Similarly, giants such as Nestlé and Papa John’s have added QR Codes to their product packaging to engage buyers.

Recently, in Shanghai, hundreds of drones took over the night sky on Saturday illuminated into a giant QR code. It was part of a light show put on by Chinese video-streaming company Bilibili. They did it to celebrate the first-anniversary release of the Japanese role-playing game Princess Connect! Re: Dive. 

Attendees could scan the QR Code to open the game while in the show.

qr code are alive

3. The Google Glass pushes the adoption of QR Codes

When using a smartphone to scan QR Code, a user has to point at a code and hit Scan. But all that is going to change with devices like Google Glass. With apps like Layar, scanning QR Codes is set to become as easy as looking at the code and saying ‘Ok Glass, scan this’. QR Codes are decoded by Google Glass with little effort, providing a great user experience.

The combination of Google Glass and QR Codes has already been put into practice in Massachusetts’ Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and doctors are already saving lives. Read how Dr. Stephen Horng of the Center saved a patients life using this technology.

qr codes are alive

(Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

4. QR Codes useful for receiving mobile payments

Any individual or small business that accepts mobile payment is now using a QR Code to make life easier for the buyer. The QR Code easily connects the buyer to the payment gateway, allowing her to quickly transfer the money in a few seconds. In fact, Bitcoin enthusiasts have also taken up a liking for these codes. Read how a college kid made over $24K in bitcoing by putting a QR Code on a poster on ESPN’s College Gameday show.

qr codes are alive

Bitcoin Warlord, a marketing firm, recently launched a campaign that allowed users to win prizes and earn bitcoins by scanning QR Codes.

In addition to this, various big brands such as Amazon, Paytm, and Walmart have added QR Code payment options into the apps or inside the stores.

5. They are one of the cheapest alternatives in their category

Despite entry of other mobile marketing tools (such as NFC and Augmented Reality, etc.), QR Code still remains one of the cheapest and widely popular alternative. Businesses, especially SMEs, only have to spend a few dollars per month to run an end-to-end QR Code campaign.

In fact, QR Codes have also made their way into augmented reality. It is bringing virtual reality to life. 

In case, you’d like to know about QR Code usage these days, here is a detailed guide.

6. QR Codes seems to have found their space in mobile messaging and social media

WeChat, the China-based messaging service with 396 million monthly active users, has started using QR Codes to allow users to connect with each other easily. That’s 396 million more QR Codes in the market. Facebook too is promoting connecting with your friends using a QR Code by adding a QR Code of your profile and a QR Code reader in the Facebook mobile app.

Similarly, Whatsapp and Instagram have also incorporated QR Codes to help the end-users connect with their friends, acquaintances, or family.

In addition to this, WhatsApp also offers WhatsApp Business QR Code. It allows businesses to connect with customers easily using WhatsApp itself.

qr codes are alive

7. City Tourism has taken a fancy to QR Codes

Abu Dhabi and Ashbourne (UK) are the two cities that use QR Codes to educate citizens and tourists about various attractions of the city.

In Abu Dhabi, QR Codes appear on every street signpost and every building number, providing pinpoint location information, which can be shared with family, friends and service providers. The QR codes give road directions, a map and historical background of the area to explain how the street was named.

Similarly, in 2010, Central Park in the United States celebrated World Abhor Day using QR Codes. It was called the World Park campaign. QR Codes were placed on various spots across the park. 

Upon scanning, the tourists could access all the information such as the park’s website, interesting cultural facts, and social media handles.

8. QR Codes have found their way into the classroom

See the image below.

qr codes are alive

(Source: Reddit)

These are the phones that a teacher confiscated from a 9th-grade classroom during a test. Smartphones in the classroom are inevitable. But how are teachers turning this situation to their advantage? Educators in the classroom are now increasingly using QR Codes to engage students in teaching activities. For example, in scavenger hunts, video tutorials, homework guides, online reading materials, and encrypted answer sheets.

QR Codes are also used to provide new students a tour of campus. In addition to these, they allow the educators to easily share report cards with students and their parents.

9. They no longer have to look ugly

QR Codes have often been criticized for being black-and-white and ‘ugly’. Well, they don’t have to be anymore. Various QR Code generator are now adding the capability of creating custom designed QR Codes.

design qr codes
design qr codes

(The designer QR Codes were created using Scanova)

10. Increasing app downloads using QR Codes

You know how frustrating it can be if you have created a fabulous app but people aren’t able to find it online. Here, QR Codes can help to make things easier. How? You can create an App Store QR Code that redirects end-users to your app on the relevant App Store. No need for them to manually look for your app which is indeed a tedious job. 

11. Easily share contact details using QR Codes

If you’re a working professional, you know what networking is capable of. It not only help you get business but also make good business relations.

QR Codes can take your networking game to the next level. How?

By adding a Business Card QR Code to your visiting cards. When scanned, it shows all your contact details to the end-users. For example, your name, website, phone number, and even social media handles. In addition, it also shows a button to add you as a contact.

No need for them to manually anything. Just a simple scan and click would do the job. And the easier the process, the better are the chances of your contact being saved on their phones.

All in all, QR Codes are alive and they bring promotions alive. If used correctly for the right purpose, QR Codes have the potential to get many people to connect with your brand.

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