Trends come and go quickly in the tech world. Only five years ago, Quick Response codes, those large, square barcode-like machine patterns that were on every piece of promotional material, were very popular. If you scanned one with your smartphone, it would set something in action, depending on what it was programmed to do. Usually it would send you to the website of the advertiser.
While QR codes were briefly popular, they have been languishing for years with little consumer attention. Since 2014, though, they seem to be on the comeback trail. Consumers are beginning to show interest in them again. If you run a business, should you care about QR codes as a way to promote your product?
Why did QR codes fade in the first place?
For years, there was no built-in QR code ability on any smartphone platform. If you wanted to scan a QR code, you had to download an app for it. Most users never got around to it. Now, though, both iOS and Android do include QR code ability out of the box. iOS 7 onwards, Apple includes it in Apple Passbook, and Android includes it in Google Now. Lack of ready ability to read QR codes could explain why they faded; the fact that this ability is now included on all smartphones could explain why consumers are interested.
Often in the past, even when people did have QR code apps, going to the website that the QR code led to wasn’t usually a great experience. Most businesses didn’t have websites that were optimized for mobile phones. Now, though, nearly every website does have a mobile version. The improved user interface could be the reason why consumers now find going where QR codes lead them more appealing.
What kind of benefit do you stand to gain?
Manufacturers such as EMSBarcode.com help small businesses print their own QR codes. If you were to begin marketing your product with your own QR codes, you would benefit in a number of ways. If you put your QR code on your business card, it would help people quickly store your information on their phones. If you put one on your product packaging or print advertising, and included a Google Maps link, you could show people where you were. It would even be a good idea to send your visitors to an appealingly produced YouTube video. As long as the destination that you send your visitors to is compelling enough, you’ll gain by using QR codes. You can study the best examples out there before you make an attempt yourself.
- If you have a very attractive app, you can get your QR code to take visitors there.
- You can put visitors in touch with an attractive coupon code.
- You can send users to a page with fun trivia about your company.
- You can make it so that scanning the QR code will put a free sample in the mail.
QR codes have seen a 30% rise now in popularity after years of poor action. While putting out a QR code won’t guarantee a huge response, it could make you popular with the group that does pay attention to these codes now. At a time when most marketers don’t pay attention to QR codes, investing in them could help you stand out with this group.