What are QR Codes and How are They Used?

What are QR Codes and How are They Used?

One kind of barcode is a QR code, which stands for quick response code. Small squares with fragmented black squares on a white backdrop make up the majority of QR codes. These pixelated codes can hold data such as a restaurant’s wine list, an event invitation, or a product’s tracking number.

QR codes, which were created in 1994 by the Japanese automaker Denso Wave, are distinct from standard barcodes in that they have a substantially larger storage capacity and a faster reading speed. QR codes may be scanned from side to side as well as top to bottom, unlike regular barcodes. Thousands of characters, including punctuation and digits, may also be present in them.

Because so many individuals now carry along what amounts to a pocket barcode scanner, these codes have become extremely popular in the smartphone era. Additionally, they have addressed the post-pandemic demand for additional touchless communication options.

Given the increase in their use since the epidemic, let’s take a time to examine QR codes’ functions and applications, as well as some potential future advantages for marketers.

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How do QR Codes Work?

Reading a QR code is quite easy, much like reading other barcodes. The user just scans the pixelated image using a sensor (such a smartphone camera or a special programme). You control what information they access; it might lead them to a certain webpage or PDF or give them your brand’s contact details!

What are QR Codes and How are They Used?

QR codes come in two varieties: dynamic and static. Once written, static code cannot be altered. It works best when exchanging data, like an email address, that you don’t anticipate changing. Regular updates to dynamic codes can be made without requiring changes to the code itself. Instead of storing the data, these QR codes point the user to another location, such a webpage or PDF.

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How are QR Codes Used in Marketing?

QR codes have many consumer-facing applications, such as marketing campaigns, but they are still used in production to track products and product information. Because they let restaurants to change prices and menu items at any time, they have become increasingly popular there. Although there are countless ways to use QR codes, some popular applications in marketing include:

What are QR Codes and How are They Used?

1. Including links to graphic marketing materials or a portfolio

A business card or print marketing product with a QR code can direct consumers to multimedia content, like a video or a portfolio of further work.

2. Increasing website traffic

Using a QR code makes it simple to send people from print materials to your website without requiring them to enter a web address. They can also be utilised to entice users to subscribe to your email list or download your app.

3. Expanding one’s social media network

You may use QR codes to drive viewers to your social media pages, where they can quickly follow or like your page. A single landing page with a list of all your social media accounts can also be made. (This blog post’s banner image is something to look at.)

4. Exchange discount and coupon codes

Coupons and discounts can be posted via QR codes on print advertisements, social media, product displays, and direct mail fliers. Without requiring potential consumers to cut out and carry a coupon or remember a discount code, QR code coupons can be a terrific way to draw in new business.

5. Requesting comments

Surveys and reviews can help businesses attract new clients by offering insightful commentary. You may quickly add QR codes to menus, signs, receipts, and product packaging to send users to your survey or review page.

6. Giving additional details about the product

Print materials can’t always hold all the information you’d like to, not without becoming unduly cluttered. QR codes are an ideal means of guiding customers to easily updated further information, or to allow them to view more images or watch a video about the goods.

7. Improving occasions

Promoting virtual representations of events with QR codes makes sense. They can be a means of providing e-tickets, documentation, maps, and anything else attendees might require for in-person events.

QR Codes in Retail

In the retail industry, QR codes are particularly useful for bridging the digital and physical divide. Customers can utilise QR codes to obtain digital coupons, add products to their virtual shopping carts, and obtain further product information while they’re out and about. Let’s elaborate on the second example a little bit—namely, adding items to digital carts.

Let’s say a consumer is perusing the merchandise in-store and finds something they want, but they aren’t quite ready to buy it yet. Perhaps they lack the means to transport the thing home, or perhaps they are currently short on cash, etc. Regardless of the situation, it is still your goal as the brand to capture this customer’s intent to purchase this product. You can create an event and gather data by placing a QR code next to an item that, when scanned, launches your brand’s mobile app on the customer’s phone and adds the item to their wishlist or basket. You can still send marketing emails based on the customer’s departure from the store at this point.

One technique to assist in converting physical in-store activities into digital triggers that lead to highly personalised marketing communications is to add a QR code to product displays.

How to Use QR Codes in Cross-Channel Marketing

Incorporating QR codes into a cross-channel marketing strategy can be quite beneficial. They serve as a link between digital and print marketing materials and may be made in a variety of hues and forms to solidify your brand across various media. They are also useful for directing clients between media; for example, you might use a QR code on a postcard to encourage people to download your mobile app. Additionally, QR codes can be read at the point of sale in retail locations for your brand, as well as shown on your website or app.

Utilising QR codes to monitor the performance of your marketing activities across various media is also quite beneficial. To find out how many conversions are being influenced by your QR code, you may link the data to a tracking link and have it tracked in real time.

You can quickly track customers as they move between marketing channels and determine which channels are most effective in engaging and converting customers by integrating QR codes into your cross-channel marketing campaigns. You can quickly set up cross-channel campaigns that combine print and digital media by using a cross-channel customer communication platform like Iterable. Each customer can be engaged with through a customised marketing workflow based on their preferences, increasing the likelihood of conversion.

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