What is a QR code and how can it help your business?

What is a QR code?

A QR code (or Quick Response Code) is an arrangement of black and white squares, similar to a barcode, which typically stores URLs and can be read by a QR code scanner on a mobile device.

They are used in marketing to take users to a specific page on a website from a campaign. They are cheap to use and can be easily tracked.

Are QR codes still relevant?

As with most marketing trends and any new technology, there is often a discussion around whether the idea has any longevity. The below graph is the search interest over time on the topic of QR Codes.

As you can see the interest in QR codes is still rising although it appears to have peaked around April 2017.

QR code interest over time

Image source: Google Trends

This would suggest that there is still an appetite for QR codes and therefore a business opportunity to be had.

Where can you use QR codes to help your business?

QR codes are often seen to be a purely marketing tool. Taking someone quickly and easily to a location to complete an action. Be it registering for an email newsletter, growing social channel following or driving traffic to a website. Some of the common places to find marketing QR codes are:

  • Business cards
  • Swing tickets in fashion retail
  • On posters or outdoor campaigns
  • In brochures or printed advertisements

In nations where mobile internet & smartphone usage is often prevalent, there has even been a move into using QR codes in payment technology.

In an operational environment QR codes also have their uses. They can be effective in:

  • Inventory logging and management
  • Saving money on printed materials by offering a QR code to an online brochure
  • To provide quick and private access to sensitive information in healthcare
  • To provide mobile access to blueprints in the construction industry enabling them to be kept up to date with the latest version

How to create a QR code

If you’re interested in using QR codes for marketing or operational purposes we have created a very simple to use QR code generator which allows you to quickly create and download up to 100 codes for free.

Should you be using QR codes?

If you’re thinking of using QR codes in your marketing or operations think about the following questions:

  • Is there a need for the technology?
  • Will it help the end user?
  • Is the infrastructure in place to handle the technology?

If your answer to any of these questions is “no” you may struggle to gain any tangible business benefits from QR codes. For example, if you’re looking to advertise in rural areas with limited mobile data signal available you may struggle to utilise them effectively.

However, if your demographic is relatively tech-savvy, likely to have an “always on” mobile device, and demands a quick result from any action they take QR codes may be ideal for you.

If you’re looking to incorporate QR codes into your next app idea, why not speak to us first? Our app developers based in London or the Midlands will be happy to help you with your next project.


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We’ve developed some new tools that are free to use to help you to create barcodes, QR codes and iOS app store iconography. Try them for yourself today.

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