QR codes (quick response codes) have grown in popularity over the last few years. While they were officially released in 1994, it took a while for mass adoption to take off. They became a useful tool for places like restaurants during the pandemic when people wanted contactless experiences, and their popularity is only growing.
While a restaurant using a QR code for their menus is a no-brainer, the application for other types of businesses might not be so obvious. However, there are many ways that businesses of all kinds can leverage the technology and reap the benefits that QR codes provide.
What is a QR Code?
A QR code is a type of two-dimensional barcode that can store information such as website links, contact information, and other data. It can be scanned using a smartphone camera and a QR code reader app.
Why should you use QR codes?
Ease of accessibility:
People are busy. You’re busy, your team is busy, and your customer is busy. So don’t you want to share information as quickly and as easily as possible? With a quick scan of the QR code, you’re given the exact information you need. You no longer need a special app to scan them, eliminating the need for people to search for the information on their own or download yet another app. The user experience is seamless and doesn’t require anything out of the ordinary. Just the phone they likely already have in their pocket. This brings us to…
Smartphones are everywhere:
Smartphones have been widely adopted. From young kids to grandparents, the majority of people have a smartphone. By capitalizing on the day-to-day technology that everyone carries with them and already owns, you are meeting your customers where they are without requiring anything from them. They simply open up their camera app, take a quick selfie, and scan your code. This avoids app fatigue and caters directly to your business’ and customers’ needs.
Oftentimes, QR codes can replace the need for paper materials. Or, at the very least, cuts down on the amount needed. Restaurants can provide and update their menu without printing them out. By putting a QR code on your table at a conference, you can provide potential customers with the information they need without needing to provide flyers or pamphlets.
How are businesses using QR Codes?
Different types of businesses can benefit from QR codes and are using QR codes in a variety of ways. Here are six we’ve highlighted for you.
QR codes can link to company websites, product pages, or promotional offers. Replace handouts with a QR code at a trade show or event. Use QR codes so people can easily follow your business on social media.
QR codes can be used for mobile payments, reducing the need for cash or card transactions. It’s secure and simple and can be done from a phone.
3. Contactless check-in
QR codes can be used for check-ins at events, hotels, or gyms. Eliminate the need for individual physical badges, and reduce contact points.
4. Inventory tracking
QR codes can be used to track retail and supply chain management inventory. Inventory can be tracked in real-time. A traditional barcode can hold 20 characters, and a QR code can hold 7,000 numbers or 4,000 alpha-numeric characters, allowing you to track more inventory with one code.
5. Access control
QR codes can be used for secure building access or event entry. It’s a simple yet secure authentication process that is convenient for users and provides you with granular data in real-time.
6. Business Cards
A QR code on your business card allows you to provide someone with more information than can fit on a standard business card. By seeing who scans the code, you can follow up and engage with potential customers and clients searching for more information.
Bonus Use: Menus!
Want to implement QR codes but don’t know where to start?