QR Codes are a common sight now. Developed in 1994 by the Denso Wave Corporation, QR Codes have come a long way.
These look much like square-shaped barcodes but are much ahead of the traditional barcodes. How?
Well, in a lot of ways. First, barcodes can store a very limited number of characters. But QR Codes can store up to 7,089 of them.
Also, barcodes are limited to storing text and numbers while QR Codes aren’t. They can actually take your audience to multimedia content including images and videos.
Second, barcodes can only be scanned in one direction whereas QR Codes are 360 degrees scannable. This makes them much more user-friendly. In fact, QR Codes scan at a much faster rate than barcodes. That’s why they are called Quick Response (QR) Codes.
Such characteristics have made QR Codes famous across industries. For example:
In case you’re wondering what are these industries using QR Codes for, here’s the answer. They are using QR Codes for both promotional and operational purposes.
And ever since the pandemic has hit the world, the adoption of QR Codes has become even rampant. Thanks to their contactless nature coupled with the ease of accessibility.
While they were picking up the pace already, the pandemic has only fueled their adoption across businesses. And in this article, we will talk in detail about how QR Codes can shape businesses in 2022. Let’s get started.
A. What is the Business scope of using a QR Code
The adoption of QR Codes has been fueled by three major factors.
The first is an increase in smartphone penetration. Almost everyone today has a camera-enabled smartphone.
As per Statista, the global smartphone audience stood at 3,668 million in 2016. This grew to 6,259 million in the year 2021 and is projected to cross the 7,500 million mark by 2027.
That means more people than ever will have access to smartphones. And that’s exactly what one needs to scan a QR Code.
The second important factor is access to high-speed internet. Why? Because internet connection is often needed to see the target content encoded in the QR Code. For example, a website, a mobile landing page, and a video.
According to research by Statista, global internet usage stood at 3.9 billion in 2018. This went to a whopping 4.5 billion mark in 2020. And this is further expected to reach 5.3 billion by 2023. That again indicates a bright future for QR Codes ahead.
The third factor that has fueled QR Code adoption is the pandemic. Their contactless nature has made them suitable for various use cases. For example, contact tracing, vaccine certificates, contactless payments, and touchless promotions.
As per the reports, QR Code usage soared by 96% from 2018 to 2020. In fact, the number of QR Code scans also increased by 94% during the same duration.
And these numbers have only increased ever since. From 2020 to 2021, there has been an increase of 750% in QR Code downloads. And the global QR Code market size is further projected to grow at a CAGR of 16% from 2021 to 2030.
No wonder why 2021 was, in fact, known as The Year of QR Codes!
These numbers strongly point toward a bright future for the QR Code industry. So you may now think—how exactly can businesses incorporate QR Code technology?
There are countless ways to do so. And here are a few of them:
B. How businesses can use QR Code technology
1. Get people to visit your business online
Do you have a business website? Then you’d want targeted people to visit it. And a QR Code can make it possible easily. You can create a Website URL QR Code. On scanning, it takes the end-users to the encoded website.
No need for anyone to type any web link. Many marketers use website URL QR Codes to drive web traffic via print-media promotions.
Similarly, you can also create a Social Media QR Code. When people scan it, it shows them a landing page with links to all your social media accounts. They can then follow you easily.
This is yet another way to drive social media followership via print channels such as flyers, brochures, and invoices.
2. Show complete product details
Customers today are more concerned about what they buy than ever before. Hence, it is becoming increasingly important to provide them with complete product details.
But doing so is not easy. That’s because the limited printing space on packagings doesn’t allow you to add as much information as you want.
Hence, businesses are now using QR Codes for the same. This is called a Product QR Code. It helps you add detailed product information. This includes descriptions, banner images, videos, weblinks, social sharing buttons, files, etc.
No need to worry about the printing space constraints.
3. Ramp up your networking game
When you meet potential clients, you give them your business card. While doing so, you hope that they’ll reach out to you when there’s a suitable opportunity.
But the problem is—most business cards end up in the trash and not in the recipient’s contacts. Why?
Because saving a contact is a long process. They need to unlock their phones to open their contacts app. Next, they need to type all your contact details and finally hit the save button. Since this is a long and tedious process, not everyone bothers putting in the effort.
But QR Codes increase the likelihood of your contact actually being saved. How?
A Business Card QR Code can store all your contact details. For example, name, address, profile picture, company details, weblinks, etc.
When the end-users scan it, they see all the encoded details with Add as Contact button. No need for them to manually type a single word. Just scan and save. That’s all they need to do.
Hence, many businesses these days are adding a QR Code to their employees’ visiting cards.
Many business use cases need document sharing among the staff or with the prospects. And with QR Codes, document sharing becomes even better.
A single QR Code can help you add up to 20 document files to it. These could be in formats such as PDF, DOCX, and XLS. End-users simply need to scan the QR Code to be able to access the encoded documents.
And in case you need to limit access to the documents, you can do it too. Thanks to the password-protection feature of QR Codes.
Password-protected QR Codes need the end-users to enter the required password after the scan. Only once they do it, they are shown the encoded content (document files here).
5. Get people to download or visit your app
Mobile app promotion is another way QR Code technology is helping businesses. If you have a mobile app and want people to download it, you can create an App Store QR Code.
As people scan it, it takes them to your app on the App Store or Play Store as per their device’s operating system.
In addition, if you want to take people to a specific page within the app, App Deep Link QR Code can help. When scanned, it helps people see the required page within the app.
These are only some of the enormous possible use cases of QR Codes. Here are some more of them.
That’s it. You now know how QR Code technology can shape businesses in 2022 and beyond. So if you’re planning on using them for one of your use cases, go ahead without any concerns!