Colorized photo of some using a QR code.

Marketing Trend: QR Codes are Old Tech That Provide Modern Solutions

QR codes have been around for almost 30 years now. However, their popularity only recently skyrocketed as a marketing trend given the native capability of smartphones. With just the click of a button, users can access hyperlinks instantly using the camera of their smartphone. In a world consisting of 6.4 billion smartphone users, QR codes are a worthwhile investment when it comes to capturing the interest of consumers in marketing and business.

What is a QR code?

A QR code is a scannable square barcode, that when scanned directs the user to a specific link. This link can contain information such as a website, product, contact information, method of payment, etc. The versatility of this tool can be used in many different areas to help increase brand awareness and gain customers.

Reasons for this Marketing Trend

Previously, QR codes could only be accessed using a third-party scanning app. Most consumers did not have high-speed internet or lacked a smartphone. Even then, smartphone users experienced long wait periods for codes to process only to find out the websites they were being redirected to were not optimized for smartphones. With the recent updates to technology, QR codes today can be easily accessed using the scanning capability in the camera app. This allows companies the option to advertise any link using QR codes to act as functional billboards.

Another contributing factor in the rise of QR codes has been the pandemic. With people looking for ways to make everyday life “contactless,” QR codes have allowed customers to purchase products with just a snap of their camera. Restaurants have also capitalized on the benefits of QR codes by creating scannable menus for patrons rather than a physical menu.

QR codes are not always aesthetically pleasing to look at. However, that is no longer true in 2021. There are many ways a company can customize a code to make it look more appealing. A great example of this is Snapchat’s Snapcodes which allows users to quickly share their username on the app with friends. Snapcodes were scanned 8 million times per day in 2017, contributing to the popularity of QR codes. Customizable QR codes allow brands to personalize the user experience.

Impact of QR Codes

Since 2018, the number of interactions that QR codes are responsible for has grown 94%, with half of the restaurants in the US using them as well as a growing number of hotels and airports. QR codes are rising in popularity with the increased access to mobile devices and high-speed internet. 1.3 billion coupons were redeemed via QR code in 2017, and it is estimated that by 2022, 5.3 billion coupons will be redeemed. QR codes are growing and they’re growing fast.

This marketing trend has caught on with many large, well known brands by using QR codes in their marketing and advertising, including:

  • Walmart
  • Starbucks
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Macy’s
  • Target
  • Nike
  • Adidas
  • Louis Vuitton
  • Ralph Lauren

Talk to Peabody to find out all the ways we can properly customize and integrate QR codes into your marketing strategy.