You might be surprised to find out that QR codes are barcodes but two dimensional (2D), plus there are no bars here. QR codes, like barcodes were earlier being used to be scanned using an optical QR code scanner, but in 2017, APPLE INC. integrated the QR code scanning feature in the mobile itself and then other smart-phone manufacturers followed suit.
In a post pandemic world where customers and shoppers want to restrict their movement and are mostly glued to screens, shopping online, buying food online and paying for the same digitally, QR codes can be seen everywhere and most in use now than few years before.
From marketing to restaurant menus and specials, digital payments to sharing resumes in the form of a QR code, it is very much in use and very relevant. And my guess is that it is going to be used for quite some time now.
According to Blue Bite’s estimates, QR code reach and usage grew significantly from 2018-2019, at 26% and 35% growth respectively.
What are quick response (QR) codes?
QR codes are two dimensional barcode images with square and dots inside a square block. Being 2D means it can store more data and written horizontally and vertically. It can store a URL, an image, PDF and even Texts.
The QR code design is such that it can account for small errors/ damages unlike barcodes and it can be scanned very quickly, hence the name Quick Response code.
QR code applications:
QR code applications around us are quite innovative now than you might even have imagined few years ago. And this very thing makes QR codes very relevant in today’s time.
Apple INC. completely changed how people see barcodes and QR codes now, breaking its stereotyping as some label that big businesses used few years ago.
It’s all around us now, everywhere we go. Restaurants are creating QR code menus and specials and sticking it on their entry doors, cafes doing the same. Some are even sharing the QR codes online as well, as a digital marketing tool. People are even using QR codes for their resumes and invitations.
QR codes for digital payments:
No one could have imagined small shops and road-side stalls and even beggars using PAYTM, PHONE PE QR codes for digital payments, in India. Our former finance minister certainly didn’t. The use of QR code based UPI for digital payments across the nation of 1.3B people is a success story that needs different telling than this blog post.
People are paying rent, purchasing groceries and even donating by using QR codes.
QR code applications in marketing and digital advertising:
Marketing firms are also using QR codes to their advantage, creating sale brochures, discount coupons and product descriptions in a second. These are then printed physically and shared across various channels, some in newspapers, some on entry gates and some are slipped through the apartment doors.
QR code based advertisements are also shared digitally, on social media platforms, through emails and through direct messages as well. Users can get the schedules of a music concert they were longing to go to, get discount coupons and even entry passes in the form of QR Codes.
QR code applications in retail business:
Retail is also a great beneficiary of QR codes. Many retail channels use UHF RFID tags and QR codes in combination but QR code is mostly used to contain product information since it can store more data (say 272 words.
Some QR codes can be edited and reused as well, which gives a great feasibility in using QR codes in retail businesses where demand and supply is ever increasing.
In Retail, QR codes can be used for identifying and tracking assets as well.
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- Last updated on Apr 18, 2023