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QR Code Ideas: 16 Ways to Empower Your Promotions

You might be a marketer, small business owner, logistics supervisor, or anyone aware of QR Codes. They have gained immense momentum in the last few years. Thanks to their versatility and fast-scanning capabilities.

From hassle-free digital payments and promotions to contactless arrangements, they can do it all. So you are looking for various possible ideas to use QR Codes. And you’re at the right place.

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of sixteen QR Code ideas. Let’s get started:

A. Make business cards better and actionable

If you’re a working professional, you’d have a business card of your own. In fact, you would’ve received many business cards too. After all, how else would one share their contact details for networking purposes?

But here’s the thing—many business cards end up in the trash and not in the recipient’s contacts. Why? Because saving a contact is a long process. People need to pull out their smartphones, open the contacts app, type the details, and finally hit save.

And most people don’t like putting in the required effort. Enter—QR Codes!

QR Codes help business cards become smarter. When a QR Code is added to your visiting card, the probability of your contact being saved increases. How?

Well, people then simply need to scan it to see all your contact details. You can share descriptions, profile picture, number, email, address, website, social media handles, and whatnot!

Along with all this comes a Save as Contact button. No need for anyone to type anything. Just scan and save!

B. Fuel your web traffic and social media followership

QR Codes are actively used to drive website traffic and engage people on social media.

Here’s how:

  • A Website URL QR Code helps you add a weblink to it. When scanned, it takes the end-users to the encoded website. No need for them to type any URL manually. This is especially useful in the case of print media promotions
  • A Social Media QR Code helps create a landing page with buttons linking to all your social media accounts. Users can then select their favorite one to follow you online

These two are, in fact, the most common promotional use cases of QR Codes.

Samsung has already leveraged QR Codes for this use case. This happened when one of their stores facing that of Apple was closed for renovation. 

And to make sure that they don’t lose potential business, they turned their closed store into a wall full of QR Codes. Each QR Code gave customers a unique virtual experience on their phones. 

This strategy was so successful that they got about 11,000 QR Code scans. This was more than the traffic acquired when their store was open. 

C. Bring life to your resume

Creating an attention-grabbing resume is quite a task in itself. Here’s why:

  • Recruiters spend less than a minute screening each resume. That means your resume’s content should be pretty enthusing yet concise. Hence, it is recommended to wrap it up in one page unless really necessary
  • At the same time, it gets quite tough to decide which details to include and which ones to leave

In fact, you may also want to show your work samples from the resume. What would better help get yourself shortlisted than your portfolio in action?

QR Codes are helping jobseekers overcome this dilemma. They’re using QR Codes on resume to add all the details they can’t add to a single page. As the recruiter scans, she sees the encoded details in no time.

In fact, many people claim that a QR Code gives the impression that the candidate is tech-savvy and smart. Hence, the next time you apply for a job, you can consider gearing up your resume with a QR Code!

D. Food and product packaging

This is yet again one of the most common ideas concerning QR Code technology. Since customer demand transparency, manufacturers have started adding QR Codes to product packaging.

When scanned, they help customers see all the details that could not be added to the packaging. And this does not only include ingredients but a lot more. For example:

  • User manuals or recipes
  • Detailed description of the product
  • Multimedia including video and images
  • Link to website, social sharing buttons, etc.
  • License of authenticity

E. Museums, art galleries, and tourist spots

Traditionally, text-based descriptions accompanied artifacts, monuments, and art galleries to help visitors learn about the subject.

But today, QR Codes are gamifying the whole process for visitors. How?

They are often added alongside text-based descriptions. As people scan it, they can:

  • Listen to an audio-guide
  • See or download digital images of the artifact, monument, or painting
  • Watch a video on the historical masterpiece

With that, the tourism industry is creating interactive, and engaging experiences for tourists.

F. Scavenger hunts and classroom studying

This is one of the most recent and trending QR Code ideas. Thanks to the teachers who are working hard to engage the new-age students!

The scavenger hunt is an amazing way to build collaborative skills among students. And many teachers use QR Codes to make the game more interactive. They hide the clues in QR Codes and then spread them out.

As students san them, they’re directed to hunt for the next one.

And this is not where it ends. Teachers are using QR Codes in many ways in the classroom. For example:

  • Show illustrations (images and videos) for complex concepts
  • Get feedback on the course or teaching methodology
  • Share assignments with the students
  • Record attendance

G. Interactive gaming experience

Many gaming companies use QR Codes to provide an interactive in-game experience to the users. Rather than providing them the weblinks that people will tediously have to type, they simply put up a QR Code within the game.

When scanned it takes the end-users to the required content. The leading gaming giant EA Sports is doing that too!

H. Tech-savvy tattoo

Looking forward to getting inked? Well, you’d sure want a unique design for the tattoo you get.

And some people go a step ahead to not just make it unique but also interactive. Yes, they get tattooed with a QR Code. This, in fact, is one of the craziest ideas to use a QR Code.

In case you’re wondering what the QR Code leads to, here are some possibilities:

  • A quote that’s important to you
  • Your life motto
  • Your parent’s/partner’s name

It could be anything. But just make sure you get inked with a permanent (static) QR Code. That’s because the editable (dynamic) ones may not work in case your QR Code generator discontinues the business. You’ll then be stuck with a tattoo that just doesn’t work.

I. Apparels and textiles

You’d have seen QR Codes on tags inside an apparel store. They’re being rampantly used for a lot of use cases. For example, to keep a track of the inventory, show customers the entire cloth range, help them add clothes to a virtual basket, etc.

Similarly, they’re even being used in the textile industry. In 2022, the Indian Institute of Carpet Technology (IICT) started using QR Codes on carpets. They did so to help the buyers verify that the carpet was made in Kashmir.

This is also one of the many ways in which QR Codes are being used for authentication services.

J. Gather customer feedback

If you’re into business, you know how important it is to regularly get customer feedback. First, doing so clearly conveys the message that you care about your customers’ opinions.

Second, it helps you know what people like about your services and whatnot.

So you may use paper-based forms to collect customer feedback. But that’s pretty outdated because the data collected from the printed forms isn’t easy to handle and assemble.

Hence many people use digital forms for the same. It gives all the data in the form of concise dashboards. But the only problem is that when you give people the link to the forms, it becomes tedious for them to type it out to access the form and finally fill it.

But QR Codes make the job easier. They help the end-users submit their feedback with a simple scan. Hence, many businesses are using them actively!

K. Share business or venue location

This idea is especially useful if you have a brick-and-mortar store or are organizing an event.

Rather than simply adding the address on your promotions or invitations, you can use a QR Code. Why?

Say you have an apparel showroom and want people to visit you. So you add your address to the promotional material.

Now, interested people will have to ask others for directions en route. Or they’ll have to pull out their smartphone to find your location on Google Maps. And needless to say, manual searching is often prone to errors.

So you can use a Google Maps QR Code instead. When scanned, it takes the end-users to the encoded location on their phone’s maps application. No need to manually locate the venue or ask anyone for directions. Just scan and drive. That simple!

L. Hassle-free payments

Payments happen to be one of the most common use cases of QR Codes. As per research, 29% of global mobile users will be participating in QR Code payments by 2025.

In addition, the payments made via QR Code will hit the USD 2.7 Trillion mark by 2025.

If you’re wondering the cause behind these numbers, it is the ease of making and receiving payments.

Customers simply have to scan the QR Code and authorize the payment. That’s a pretty simple process.

For businesses, they just need to get the QR Code from their payments service provider. Once they get it, they simply have to add it to the billing desk. No need to install any POS machine. This saves both cost and time. Hence, payments are one of the most rampant QR Code ideas since the beginning.

M. Discounts and deals

You would have seen discount coupons and even received them. Businesses use them frequently to drive sales.

But the problem with traditional coupons is that customers need to carry them around all the time. Or, if they can, they need to remember the coupon code. Both of these are tedious tasks.

Hence, QR Codes are overtaking paper-based coupons. These are called Coupon QR Codes. When scanned, they show a landing page having deal details (as text, multimedia, etc.) and the coupon code. Along with this comes a Redeem button.

No need to remember the code or carry the coupon everywhere. They simply need to scan the QR Code and hit Redeem!

And the simpler the process, the higher are the coupons redeemed (hence, the sales)!

N. Boosting app downloads 

If you have a mobile app for your business, you’d want people to download it.

And an App Store QR Code can make the whole process easier. Just place it on your marketing creatives. When scanned, it will redirect the end-users to your app on the relevant app store depending on their phone’s operating system. 

In addition, if you’d like them to visit a particular page in your app, you can go for an App Deep Link QR Code.

To help you understand it better, here’s an example. In 2022, Dunzo, a quick commerce business, used a QR Code on a TV advertisement. They broadcast the QR Code in the middle of the Indian Premier League finals in 2022.  This ad appeared as a TV screen glitch.

This ad had a QR Code with the text—”Inconvenience is Regretted, Convenience is not”. As people saw it, they scanned it leading to a webpage containing details about Dunzo and a button to download the app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store directly.

This ad was so successful that it led to a sudden crash of the app. How? Because a huge chunk of the 10 million people watching the tournament actually scanned the QR Code.

Similarly, a mental health startup, being, also used QR Codes during IPL. They printed a QR Code on a poster along with a message—Mental Health Matters. These posters were put inside the stadium premises.

When scanned, QR Code took people to Being’s mobile app based on the smartphone’s operating system. 

And since the stadium is filled with hundreds of people while getting aired to millions of people, it made a great marketing campaign.

O. Creative customization

While barcodes are always black-and-white, QR Codes are not. In fact, people love getting creative with them!

It can be done in two ways:

1. By adding your brand colors to the QR Code and a logo in the centre. It could be an image or text. This alternative even allows you to change the background color. Just make sure there is high contrast between QR Code and its background for good scannability

In addition, this option even allows you to change the pattern of both QR Code’s eyes and data patterns.

2. The Second option allows you to use an image as the QR Code’s background. Here also you can change the pattern of eyes and data patterns. But it doesn’t allow you to change the QR Code’s color

You’d be surprised to know that customized QR Codes attract 50%-100% more scans than black-and-white ones. Hence, they’re always preferred when the use case is promotional or customer-facing.

P. Event and wedding invitations

There are a lot of ways to make your invitations look amazing. And adding a QR Code is one of them. It serves two purposes.

First, it makes the invitation look tech-savvy and interactive.

Second, it helps you share everything that you couldn’t add to the physical invitation. For example, detailed event information, images, videos, weblinks, social sharing buttons, files, etc.

In fact, it also comes with a button for the guests to RSVP. No need for them to respond via snail mail. And since the process to RSVP becomes easier, the overall response rate becomes better.

Hence, many people have started adding QR Codes to not only event invitations but also wedding invitations.

If you’re still reading, you’ve seen 15 QR Code ideas. In case you’d like us to add any use case that you’re aware of, let us know in the comments.

And in case you want to create a QR Code, get started here:


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