Uses of QR Codes
Here, we'll talk about the areas where QR codes can be used and in what ways. There are also certain things you must know for your QR code advertising campaign to be highly effective and successful. (For an introduction on QR codes, please see “What QR Codes are and How They Fit in Today's Context.”
Before launching a QR code advertising campaign:
1. You must know the audience or your target group.
Just like mobile marketing cannot work for people without cell phones, you cannot target groups that do not own a smart phone for QR codes. These need a camera on a smart phone so it is essential for the target group to own one. Also your target group must have some knowledge about QR codes. They must at least know what a QR code is and how to read them or else the QR code will merely be a printed logo for them.
If your targeted group doesn’t have any knowledge about QR codes then you can advertise and let them know what it is through social media networks like YouTube and social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and your own personal or business site. Inform them about QR codes. Let them know that your business will be using it, and how and why you intend to use it to communicate with them.
You can create a contest where the targeted group will have to read QR code for clues. This way, they will have to download and install a QR reader app and start learning how to identify and read a QR code.
2. Know what sells or appeals.
Since all of your target group will be smart phone owners, you should know their interests and what will make them look at your QR code and scan it. And you should market your business or product in such a way that they will want to share it with their contacts and on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Creating a contest is a great way to get started. Everyone’s interested in winning freebies. Use this as a platform to show the advantage of using QR codes and how it makes their life easier and simpler.
3. Know where to use QR codes
You simply cannot put QR codes everywhere. You have to think smart and use it where it’s most effective. Avoid using it on reflective surfaces. QR codes needs an Internet connection to be scanned, so using it where there’s no Internet connection like an elevator or on underground subway stations is a no-no. Underground subway stations are populated with hundreds of traveling people every day which makes it a good place to advertise about your QR codes but it’s useless if they cannot read the QR codes due to the lack of web access.
Also make sure to test the QR code on various apps and how they are displayed on various mobile phones to ensure that they work properly.
It is better to advertise about your business through QR codes in areas where consumers actually have a few seconds to spare or else they are not even going to notice it, let alone take a picture of it to scan and read. Different areas of a mall and cash counters, etc. are ideal places to place your QR codes. You can add the words, “Take a picture of me”, to make consumers more curious.
Areas where QR codes can be used
• QR codes in marketing
As mentioned above, QR code is a type of mobile marketing. It is the best and most effective form of mobile marketing and it doesn't invade the privacy of consumers. Whether, you are a Fortune 500 company or a small business, QR codes is for everyone, even individuals. It is a fairly simple concept and it doesn't cost much.
The great thing about using QR code in marketing is that it doesn’t cost you anything extra. You can create a QR code of your website, or contact details, or plain text by going to one of the numerous sites that generate the QR code for you for free and it’s not going to cost you anything more every time you want to update it. The only costs that you’ll have to bear are the ones you are already paying for like a website.
• QR codes for restaurants
QR code lets businesses communicate with consumers. You can use QR codes to interact with your customers and promote your business. You can use QR codes on a menu with different QR codes containing recipes about the dish, its origin, and even add videos of the dish. You can also use QR codes to share information and new items on the menu of the restaurant. You can share a video of a virtual tour of the place, pictures of it, and even the restaurants' policy. It may be possible that your restaurant has a policy of cooking only organic and fresh food. You can let you customers know that by sharing information or videos about whether you grow your own food and in case you buy it, where it are they purchased from, and so on.
You can also link QR codes to video interviews with the staff, crew, and cooking staff. If possible, you can add information about everyone employed so as to make the customers feel more personally acquainted with the restaurant. You can promote your business by including coupon or brochures in the QR codes too. Even food reviews and surveys of the restaurant can be shared via QR codes. Customers can book a table for a later date right then and there too. You can even encourage customers to send a feedback during their visit and make it more interactive by letting customers who read the QR codes to add a feedback of their own.
Radisson hotel is the first hospitality industry to use QR codes on their menus. You can do the same for your restaurant or food store as well.
• QR codes in education
QR codes can be used as a tool of making students more interactive. QR codes can be placed in libraries and on every section and book. This way, all students have to do is scan the code and get all the information they need. There are numerous types of information which can be added in QR codes. They can be used to contain information such as the summary of the book, references to the book, and topics covered. It can even contain information about newer edition of the same title, when it's due to be out, and/or a list of videos, documentaries, movies about the book.
In libraries, they can be placed not only in books but on posters or sign boards. That way, students can scan the code and get the list of all the books in that section, books currently borrowed by someone else and when it's due to be returned. QR codes can even recommend books for a good read. It can also contain book reviews and articles about a specific book.
• QR codes in retail
For retail business to be successful, e-commerce is not enough anymore. With the development and availability of smart phones, consumers are mostly using their phones for mobile banking or any other form of payment, searching for stuffs, booking and making appointments and buying gift items. Carrying out transactions on your mobile phone is known as M-commerce and it is very important to the growth and survival of the retail industry. Best Buy uses QR codes to increase its sales and to promote its business. A retail industry that incorporates QR codes in their business plan to grow has an edge over its competitors.
There are various ways for you to use QR codes for your retail business. You can use it to label products. You can also store information about the product such as make, model, and brand name, year of manufacture, and expiry date. You can store reviews about the product and the accessories available.
You can link your website on the QR code too. You can store information about upcoming products or special offers and discounts. All of these will help you minimize your workforce and be more cost effective. You can even place your own ads or a paid ad on your QR code.
• QR codes in payments
QR codes can also be used to make payments with your mobile through a third party service like PayPal to purchase goods or services at Point-Of-Sale (POS) or cash terminals. That will cut the need to wait in line and make payments. Also, consumers do not have to wait and get frustrated during peak hours or seasons when all the employees are occupied and shorthanded. They can get more information about a product or make payments through QR codes. These codes make it all easy and secure.
• More uses of QR codes
QR codes can be used on windows, aisles, company cards, business card, and so on. For example, if the product is a magazine, then an excerpt of the next issue can be included on the cover of the current issue. QR codes can be used to increase promotional items and it will cost less since it will not be saved on paper. Paperless transactions are eco-friendly too.
Not only that, shoppers won't have to go around looking for the products they want. Using QR codes, they can locate products easily along with its prices, specifications, features, and other details.
These are just some of the ways you can use QR codes. They are integrated and used in many more areas.