“The main difference between a static QR Code and a dynamic QR Code is that dynamic QR Codes can be edited and modified with new information even after being printed, which is not possible with static QR Codes.”
QR Codes have become a trend as more people use them for various day-to-day life applications. Since marketers and advertisers already understand that people now spend a considerable amount of their time on smartphones/screens, QR-based digital advertisement has also become a prominent thing. You also might have seen QR Codes on billboards, brochures, restaurant menus, POS (point of sale), newspapers, digital ads, etc.
A QR (Quick Response) Code is a two-dimensional barcode image and can store various information including URL, address, phone number, product details, SMS, email, image, etc. which can be read using a mobile phone or a QR Code scanner.
It is very efficient and will successfully replace the UPC-12 barcode that we use on products as of now. When it comes to item-level tagging, QR Codes provide a cost-effective solution, significantly less than RFID tags.
QR (Quick Response) Codes: History
QR Codes seem ever-present nowadays with COVID-19 only amplifying its use as businesses move towards digital payments, automation, and less human capital. For some people, the technology even seems like a new one but that is not true because QR technology has been around for some 30 years now and it was a great trend around the 2010s when films like ‘Inception’ made QR Code a part of their promotional strategy. You could see QR Codes on t-shirts, walls, etc. However, the technology was limited by other technologies of the day. There was no integrated QR Code scanning feature in the smartphone camera and a third-party app was required to scan the QR Codes. Eventually, QR Code was just limited to business applications.
Come 2017, Apple Inc. decided to integrate the QR scan feature in the primary camera of their iPhone lineup and other smartphone manufacturing companies followed suit.
Why Use QR Codes?
QR Codes are used for identifying, sorting, and tracking assets. When an item is labeled with a QR Code label, the QR can be encoded with relevant information such as item name, no., and other important details. Upon scanning with a smartphone or QR scanner, this exact data is visible to the end-user.
Apart from item-level tagging, QR Codes are also used for creating brochures, promotions, ads, business cards, etc. Many advertisers and marketers incorporate QR codes in their promotions and advertisements and successfully draw in more consumers to the desired brand URL resulting in more brand promotion, brand awareness, website traffic, and sales.
Static QR Code or Dynamic QR Code
QR Codes can be classified into two categories, static QR Codes and dynamic QR Codes.
Static QR Codes are created for the purpose of containing data that need not be changed over time, let’s say a promotion or sale offer valid over a period of time or a URL for a business. Once printed as a label, static QR Code data cannot be edited or modified.
You can edit a dynamic QR Code even after it is printed on a label. So, this gives you more flexibility in QR tagging and advertising.
The biggest advantage a Dynamic QR Code offers is that it can be used to see the QR scan analytics and for targeting the same audience (even online) with modified advertisement or promotion.
Which QR Code is the best for business?
QR Codes provide a cost-effective labeling option but that is not all. Since QR Codes can store more information than a UPC-12 barcode, they can be used for marketing and advertising as well. However, choosing the right QR Code, static or dynamic, is very crucial.
If you run a restaurant and use QR Codes for menus and specials that need to be changed over the week or in a fortnight, dynamic QR Codes are the best option. You can add images of menus and specials or add menus in text form. You can also see the QR scan analytics to check how many customers know about your business, and the regions they belong to.
Choosing a static QR Code has its own perks. You can use static QR Codes that contain a URL for the social media accounts of your business and the customers can find your business online. Since social media account handles are rarely changed, a static QR code-based advertisement is recommended here. You can also create a static QR Code with the URL of the specific post you’re targeting.
For short-term promotions, static QR Codes are the best. You can distribute these digitally or print and share in physical form and once the promotion runs out, it is not needed and can be removed.
Dynamic QR Code for a growing business
For a new or growing business, a dynamic QR Code can be used to reach a wide audience and customized offers can be created for the same. These QR Codes can be edited with new data (offer, promotion, feedback form) and can be tracked; allowing businesses to get a clear picture of its impact on customers. It can accommodate necessary changes as well.
Let’s see which type of QR Code is the best for your business in various business sectors:
QR Codes in Retail Business
In retail, static QR Codes are used for item-level tagging. It contains item information like pricing and discounts, manufacturing, etc. Apart from that, employee IDs and customer memberships can be also created in the form of static QR Codes.
Dynamic QR Codes, however, are used for promotions and time-bound campaigns. QR Codes can be written with promotional information and printed in the form of brochures and cards as well as distributed to customers online for more reach. When the promotion runs out, the campaign can be modified and QR Codes can be edited with new information.
Dynamic QR Codes also help you analyze how effective a specific promotion was wrt the targeted location and audience.
QR Codes in FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods)
Like barcodes, QR Codes can also be used on items to give information about the products and sort and manage inventory. About to be Expired products can be sorted and put on sale before the expiry date or removed altogether. Static QR Codes are the best choice when it comes to FMCG as these products, as the name suggests, have a limited lifetime and are consumed soon.
However, dynamic QR Codes can be used in the supply chain of these products. Pallets and supply boxes can be labeled with dynamic QR Codes and location data can be fetched upon scan.
QR Codes in Healthcare
In healthcare, static QR Codes can be used for patient and doctor identification. For patients, their health records can be stored in a QR Code which the patient and doctors can scan.
Static QR Codes can also be used to grant access to various areas and can be used on lab instruments to let users know the application and operation method for the same.
Dynamic QR Codes, however, can be used for sending out various types of information, changing over a time period. It can be used to create awareness campaigns, measure campaign engagement, audience location, etc. It can be created to record health records of patients which can be later updated with new data.
Cost of Static and Dynamic QR Codes
To conclude, QR Codes are the new barcodes. GS1 is planning to successfully replace the UPC Barcode by 2027 and has come up with a plan to use the QR Code and UPC/EAN barcode simultaneously during the transition period.
QR, quick response, Codes are an efficient upgrade over the traditional barcode and can hold more data, more information.
While deciding which QR Code, static or dynamic, to use for business purposes, focus on the application. For short-term use such as labeling on letters, and packages, or fixed use cases such as ID cards, company cards, etc. static QR Codes are the better choice. Dynamic QR Codes, however, are mostly used for promotional ad campaigns where user engagement and the effectiveness of the campaign are monitored and QR Codes are edited, even after printing, to accommodate necessary changes.