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QR Codes—A Primer

24 Mar, 2011 McKell Naegle

QR codes are becoming more ubiquitous.

They are all around.

Posters. Menus. Print collateral.

What are these strange symbols all about?

Here are some quick facts and tips to consider:

What does QR stand for?
QR stands for “quick response” code

How is a QR code read?
The square QR code matrix is read by most UPC and bar code scanning applications and uses a smart device’s camera as a reader

What do QR codes do?
QR codes can link to almost any sort of media or content, including mobile sites, video or music files, contest entry pages, contact forms, product information, etc.

Do people really use QR codes?
QR code scanning activity grew 1200% across North America over the latter half of 2010

How many people with smartphone devices actually have QR code readers on their device?
According to ScanLife, approximately 30% – 40% of smartphone users have downloaded at least one bar code scanning application.

How many people with smartphone devices and QR code reader apps actually have scanned a QR code?
According to ScanLife, smartphone device owners with a QR code app downloaded will average 2-3 barcode scans per month.

What products or services entice most consumers to use QR technology?
According to ScanLife, these are the top categories:
o Grocery 25%
o Personal Care 18%
o Electronics 13%
o Books 11%
o Toys & Games 13%
o Movies 9%
o Other 11%

Tagga.com provided this succinct case study about the success of barcodes from the perspective of retail technology giant Best Buy:

In Fall 2010, early adopters Best Buy reworked their product info tags in every store to include QR codes. A smart move, in light of an Insight Express study titled Get Ready for the Mobile Shopper, that notes 82% of shoppers have used their mobile phone while shopping. Scanned codes link Best Buy’s in-store consumers to detailed product information and reviews.

Best Buy also created a Live Mobile Scan Map that shows real time scans happening in Best Buy locations all over the US. Most fun to watch during busy retail hours (weekends and early evenings), the real-time map displays white balloons popping up frequently, each one representing individual scans taking place from coast to coast, detailing the product scanned and the retail location it was scanned in.

QR codes code Utah Fluid Studio

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