The QR code was created by a Japanese corporation over three decades ago as a means to track auto parts for Toyota Motor Corporation. The recent increase in smartphone usage across the world (78%) has led to a 96% surge in the reach and number of interactions per object for QR codes. Here are some statistics from Digital Signage Today to emphasize on the increased usage of QR codes:
- With the introduction of new mobile payment gateways and service platforms, an eMarketer study shows that 75.8 million smartphone users in the United States scanned a QR code on their devices at least once in 2021.
- This figure is a 15.3% increase compared to 2020.
- Mobile QR code scanners are expected to constantly continue to grow, reaching approximately 99.5 million users in the United States alone by the year 2025.
- In June 2021, a survey of US shoppers revealed that 45% respondents used a QR code to access marketing or promotional offers.
- By 2022, mobile advertising will take over desktop advertising, and QR code usage will ensure that these investments are being clicked.
With such a widespread usage of QR codes comes the question of why marketers are not using this unique square code on all products and digital touchpoints? This is evident when visiting a supermarket or flipping through a lifestyle magazine – where are the QR codes? Here are five reasons why digital marketers need to incorporate more QR codes on digital signage and other marketing materials in order to make their marketing efforts more effective.
1. Mobile all the way
Mobiles are like computers that most consumers have in their pockets for doing more than just reading emails and scanning through social media blogs. In fact, it is a portable marketing tool that gives marketers access to consumers exactly where their attention is the most. QR codes offer a seamless connection between a user’s smart device and external marketing messages seen on print and online.
2. Immersive experiences
With Augmented Reality (AR), our mobile devices are a new channel for marketers to promote unique stories via images, videos and AR. QR codes provide the quickest and easiest way to connect devices and messages in an instant. Moreover, with the introduction of smart glasses and soon launching smart contact lenses, it will become critical to attract consumers of the virtual world. By building a natural ritual and accepting QR code requests, consumers are rest assured an automatic and intuitive storytelling experience.
3. Removing friction points
There are certain friction points in the customer journey in the food service and banking industry for example, which lead to brand defections. Operators of the food service industry are learning how to incorporate QR codes into LED displays so customers can view the menu on their phones, order and make payments – ultimately increasing customer satisfaction by eliminating the biggest service-related complaint seen in the industry.
4. Dealing with short attention spans
Due to the overflow of messages being received in a single day on smart phones, computers and other public-oriented indoor and outdoor digital signage, humans tend to become numb to the clutter. Marketers are challenged to make their way through this clutter, drive customer awareness and increase engagement in their marketing message. QR codes offer a strong call-to-action, triggering engagement amongst customers. In 2020, a survey of US and UK consumers proved that 42.5% respondents deemed safe in scanning a QR code at a restaurant or café. But to grab attention, there definitely should be something exciting and benefitting when QR codes are used in marketing.
5. Growth of digital technology
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is an increase in adoption of digital channels when it comes to consumer shopping. Although 2022 saw a slight decline as customers craved the physical experience post-pandemic, it is predicted that online will grow and represent 23-27% of all sales. Retailers must now re-think their in-store experience with more investment in interactive digital displays to provide an enhanced experience and obtain a competitive advantage to ensure growth for their business. QR codes are an extension of this experience, driving engagement with customers and driving them to physical locations by providing QR code-enabled offers.
Marketers promoting LED technology and other strategies in the digital world are being challenged to prove a good ROI on their advertising strategies, which requires them to use the right metrics. Active engagement with a marketer’s content via measurable QR codes, consumer engagement will be a critical determining factor for a campaign’s effectiveness in meeting its objectives. Moreover, QR codes are an effective shortcut to connect a customer to a marketer’s message.