What are QR Codes?

QR codes are one of the most common types of 2d barcodes in use today. They were first used by the automotive industry in 1994 to watch the progress of a vehicle during manufacturing. QR codes consist of a pattern of black squares arranged on a white background. The code can store information, much in the same way a typical barcode, such as one on a grocery item which is scanned at the checkout to provide a price, stores data. Due to the configuration of a QR code, however, they are capable of storing much more information than the previously used barcodes. The type of data and size of the code affect how much data each code can store. A QR code which represents only numerical data can store up to 7,000 characters. However, QR codes are capable of storing more than only numerical data.

Today QR codes are used for much more than their original purpose in the vehicle industry. They are used all over the world in retail, entertainment, and a variety of other commercial markets. Due to the recent rise in the use of smartphone technology, QR codes can be easily placed on products to allow a potential customer to learn additional information in order to make a purchase. A picture of the QR code is taken with a smartphone and converted into data using a QR decoder application. This will provide the smartphone user with additional information, such as different options for a product, where they can be purchased, a link to a company website, etc. Similarly, QR codes can also be placed on advertisements, whether they be in a magazine or newspaper, on a poster, or in a mailing, to encourage a possible patron to learn more. In this way, QR codes are one of the greatest marketing tools at our disposal today.

Based on marketing research, smartphones scanned over 14 million QR codes in one month alone last spring. This shows that although they are newer technology, they are catching on quickly, and are an important way to keep your business up to date. Using the codes in your marketing platform shows your potential customers that you are on the cutting edge, a very important aspect to many of today’s tech savvy consumers. In today’s world of social networking, they are a great way to get links to your facebook or other networking sites, which can only help to grow your business. Or, QR codes could provide the patron with a link to your company site, for direct access. In many cases research has found that some of the most successful QR codes link the patron to a discount code or coupon. One thing that will likely never change, no matter what technology is newest, is that price cuts can move merchandise of any kind.