QR Codes are everywhere! You might have seen them on the product packaging, billboards, business cards, museums, and restaurants. They are a form of contactless technology that bridges the gap between physical and digital experiences.
Hence, many businesses and city admins are actively leveraging QR Codes for promotional and operational use cases. And you’re looking forward to exploring the future of QR Codes ahead. As per the data by blue bite, QR Code interaction saw a surge of 94% from 2018 to 2020.
Thanks to the pandemic, QR Code usage has seen a further rise from 2020 to 2021. In fact, reports suggest that one billion smartphones will have access to QR Codes by the end of 2022.
In addition, Juniper Research says that by 2022, 5.3 billion QR Codes will be used for coupon redemption alone.
That only indicates a bright future for the QR Codes ahead, right?
A. Constantly soaring popularity of QR Codes
According to Bitly, there has been a 750% rise in QR Code downloads ever since the pandemic has hit the world.
While pandemic has fueled the rate of QR Code adoption, other factors have affected it too. First, internet penetration has increased tremendously over the last decade.
Second, most smartphone companies have added QR Code scanning features to their native camera applications. This rules out the need for people to install third-party apps to scan a QR Code.
Given the contactless nature of QR Codes with ease of scanning and internet access, they’ve become immensely popular.
And businesses today are looking forward to implementing advanced technologies to engage their audiences. What can be better than QR Code technology to do just that?
The best part is—QR Codes can be used in every industry for different use cases. From sharing website links and text to multimedia, they can do it all.
B. Why is the demand for QR Codes constantly rising?
We’ve seen that the demand for QR Codes has soared in recent years. Let’s now see some of the reasons behind this increase:
1. Ability to store a large amount of data and multimedia
QR Codes can store 7,089 characters which is way more than a traditional barcode. Yes, it’s that powerful!
In fact, among the two, a QR Code can store much more information than a barcode of the exact same size. Quite powerful, right?
In addition, QR Codes are not limited to storing text. They can redirect your end-users to see multimedia content such as images, videos, and audio too.
2. Flexibility to add customization
Barcodes are typically black-and-white and are pretty dull to look at. On the other hand, QR Codes can be customized by adding colors and logos to them.
Hence, marketers often use branded QR Codes for their campaigns. This helps them build brand recognition while grabbing audience attention to get more scans.
3. Ease of accessibility
As mentioned above, the increase in internet penetration globally has fueled the adoption of QR Codes.
In addition to that, most smartphones today come with an in-built QR Code scanning feature. All that you need to do is—open your phone’s camera and hold it in front of the QR Code.
Within 2 seconds, you’ll get a notification, and the QR Code will be scanned. It’s as easy as clicking a picture.
In case your smartphone doesn’t have this feature, you can install a free third-party QR Code scanning application.
4. Ability to track scans
Did you know that QR Codes can be tracked for their scanning activity? For example, the number of scans based on:
- Date and time
- Operating system
- Geographical location
Some QR Code generators even allow you to monitor the exact GPS location of scans. All this data comes in handy while assessing your campaign performance and optimizing your future campaigns too.
QR Codes don’t need you to set-up and dedicated handheld scanners. All you need to scan a QR Code is your smartphone. No need to invest in any cost-intensive setup.
C. Sectors that can immensely benefit from QR Codes
Many industries are using QR Codes already. These include textiles, real estate, manufacturing, IT, etc. And many of them are looking forward to leveraging the QR Code technology to level up the scale of their operations and promotions.
Here are some sectors that can benefit immensely from QR Codes in the upcoming years:
1. Packaged food and beverage
Many businesses in the food and beverage industry are using QR Codes for different use cases. These include marketing, inventory management, and even anti-counterfeiting measures. How?
Well, many manufacturers add QR Codes to their product packaging. When scanned, this QR Code takes the consumers to a landing page where they can verify the product’s authenticity.
In fact, relaying product information is another soaring use case of QR Codes in this industry. Manufacturers often are restricted from adding complete product information to the packaging due to limited space.
But with a QR Code, they can share text, video, images, and even web links with the customers. Since customers today are highly conscious about what they’re buying, this helps build trust among them.
2. Automotive Sector
The automotive sector has always been the target of counterfeiters. To overcome the issue, many brands are looking forward to using QR Code labels.
This would help customers differentiate genuine products from the pool of fake ones.
3. Healthcare industry
The healthcare industry is expanding the utilization of QR Codes for many use cases such as:
- Preventing drug counterfieting
- Verifying the authenticity of vaccine certificates
- Getting easy access to a patient’s medical history
4. City administrations
One of the chief recent use cases of QR Codes has been contact tracing by the city admins.
In addition to that, many cities across the world are using QR Codes for various diverse use cases.
D. Most promising QR Code use cases ahead
The application of QR Codes is diversifying with their growing application in numerous industries. And here are the two most soaring opportunities for QR Codes ahead:
1. Facilitating contactless operations
In the era of social distancing, contactless operations have become the norm. From contactless payments to promotions, QR Coded will be seen everywhere.
And if you’re planning on running a campaign, you must ponder overriding the wave of contactless technology with QR Codes too.
2. Creating a phygital experience
Today, nothing engages users better than an interactive experience. And with the QR Codes’ ability to connect the offline world to online content, you can create interactive experiences for your audience.
This could be to hand out coupons, get them to visit your website, or even show them a movie trailer. QR Codes are up for the job!
Considering the benefits of QR Codes, their applications are going to grow manifold in the upcoming years. Businesses will be seen incorporating this technology to ensure smart operations.
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