GREEN light for the QR Code!
In wintertime, with all that wretchedness of snow and sleet on the road, we now know that we should not take the road with code Red in, for example, the Netherlands. Fortunately for the QR Code it is now code Green: it is allowed to scan again. Like even!
Critics of the QR Code claim that the QR Code is passé. After the QR Code, which has been introduced around since 1994, came from the Far East, many companies have used the free QR Code in their communications. From business cards to advertisements, on cars and trucks, billboards, window displays, clothing labels, packaging, wine bottles, think it all. Then there was usually a link to the homepage of a website that was not optimized for smartphones.
The ‘customer experience’ was actually zero after scanning a QR code. No added value, annoyance, all that effort to download an app in the app store, open the app, scan the QR code and then that magical moment …. Unfortunately, missed opportunity. We do not do that again. And then it happened soon of course. Many entrepreneurs did not even realize that such an action is bad for brand and image.
Then it is not strange to find that the QR code has not become popular.
Trends and developments QR code
We are now a few years further and we see remarkable trends and developments that seem to give the QR code a second chance. Rightly so. The QR code is too valuable to no longer apply. But put it in the right way!
We are increasingly seeing the QR code on admission tickets, at the entrance of theaters, cinemas, trade fairs, football stadiums, festivals and air tickets. Throughput speed and validation (paid, registered) are the most important features here.
In countries such as China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and India, the wallet is gradually being redeemed for the smartphone that is used as a wallet. With two-step verification, a payment is made more often with the smart phone. The QR code regulates the communication between the seller, the buyer and his bank.
No scanner needed anymore
A third development that is in favor of the QR Code is that Apple with the latest update of its operating system (IOS 11) has extended the camera function with a QR code scanner / reader. You no longer have to download a separate QR Code reader or scanner from the App Store. You just point your camera at the QR Code and you immediately see what is behind it. Android devices (Huawei, Motorola) have also equipped their latest models with this option.
When you consider that in the Netherlands the penetration of smartphones among the Dutch population (12 years and older) is already at 89% (Statistics CBS, The Netherlands, 10-11-2017) and the iPhone (Apple) has a market share of 32% (2016), then with a population of 15 million (older than 12 years) you can conclude that there is a great potential of users for the QR code.
Most websites are now mobile friendly, although there are exceptions from reputable companies and institutions. They suffer from outdated legacy, the law on the braking lead. But it is expected that eventually all websites will be made suitable for smartphone and tablets.
We can assume that many entrepreneurs have tested the QR code on the basis of ‘learning by doing’. And that the result was: that’s not how it should be. By reading more about it and understanding it, and by hiring professionals with knowledge and creativity of business, there is now much more thought about how you can add value to your target groups with QR Codes.
Better QR code applications
We are seeing more and more intelligent applications of the QR code. And in a number of cases, the dynamic QR Code is now also being applied (including the Smart QR Code). I mention a few smart applications below:
- QR code applications in museums: guided tour, video of the artist of the work you are viewing. Both applications provide the explanation in the language where the smartphone with which scanning is set is also set.
- On packaging or products: installation video, user instructions, ordering parts, reporting a fault, recording the maintenance history.
- On gifts: Scan the code and add a personal video message. The person who receives the gift will see your video.
- On a city map: scan the code on the road map and depending on where you are, you will receive other content. You can apply this to, for example, an art route, historic building route, cycle route, walking route, nice shop route, etc.
- On gift cards and vouchers: changing and exclusive offers every day / week / month. Of course you can then link directly to the webshop.
- In the newspaper: scan the code and you will see a live video report on the subject you are just reading, a final update, breaking news.
- On window displays: the daily offer, you can win … (after registration or Like Facebook page). Automatically click through to the webshop after closing time.
- On business card: put your videopitch behind the code, plus all your digitally available data such as Vcard, phone number, email address, social media, directions to your company.
- At clothing: at a time when everyone is wondering where the clothes are produced and whether clothing is authentic or fake, you can use the QR code to check whether the clothing is genuine, how and under what circumstances it was produced.
Oh yes, an important condition for success with your QR code campaign, add a ‘call to action’. Do not give everything away, make it interesting to scan.
Success with code GREEN!
Do you want to respond to this article? Please feel free. I am very curious about your insights.