QR Codes - A Gimmick, Or Are They Helpful?



What's a QR Code?


QR stands for Speedy Response, fundamentally a new form of barcode that's scanned by your camera software installed on your smart phone. You will find a number of simple techniques QR Codes can embed information which, once scanned, will display and retailer in your phone instantly. Generating your individual QR Codes is free and definitely simple for most people having a smart phone. Just Google the information, it is all around and easy to find. Get additional information about qr code


Invented in the 1990s by Denson-Wave in Japan, QR codes have taken off within the Far East, but the benefits are producing a slower impact in the USA & Europe. However, once again the US is forging ahead of Europe in its take up of Fast Response technology. Many large companies in the US are using the benefits of QR technology to add value to their business, and it really is only time before the smaller business community recognise the benefits of the Quick Response code as a business application that can enhance sales, with the bonus of print and marketing costs kept to a minimum.


The smart phone has seen a recent massive surge in popularity and now most people have the info and the technology to scan a Quick Response code. The smart phone owner simply needs to visit their online apps shop to download the QR scanning software, which then enables them to instantaneously get scanning. The uses of this scanning technology are endless, and we're starting to see Speedy Response codes in print on aircraft liveries, huge billboards, magazine covers in fact, anywhere someone can point a phone to scan something, a QR code will probably soon appear. As people begin to recognise the QR symbol with its rise in popularity, many extra will let curiosity take the better of them and start scanning especially as it is cost free.


Some uses of the QR technology


A simple application would be to have a QR code that's hyperlinked to a page on a website. This saves people having to discover the page using regular methods online. The QR code could be used to highlight a specific offer on the seller's website and entice the reader to visit the online retailer. I would predict that getting the end user to scan your Rapid Response code is going to be a tough challenge unless you put some serious thought into how you instantaneously get people to scan for your data. Manufacturers and resellers are going to find the technology helpful for such things as adding extra product facts to packaging and I'm sure a number of other uses.


A QR code that links to a YouTube video, that might be featuring product info, or maybe a 'how to' etc., would be extremely valuable to the seller and would be a creative use of the technology, even far more so as QR codes are free to generate. Printed matter such as business cards, product brochures, letterheads, labels, envelopes - can all enjoy the benefits from QR codes technology with links back to the sender's website.


You can even get a QR code to immediately dial a telephone number on your behalf, I haven't seen this myself but have read about it on a marketing website. I suppose it is all well and good if you're a business owner taking advantage of Swift Response technology, but what about the average guy inside the street, how will it help him? Well one way would be to offer Joe Bloggs a freebie of some sort, a promotional voucher perhaps that can be used to save money. As the QR scanned promotional voucher is downloaded to the phone, then it's easily retrieved when the need to 'cash in' arises and the user then just follows the link to the online website.


With the rising popularity of Quick Response codes another area I can see strides being taken towards implementing QR technology is on social bookmarking sites such as Facebook, et al. Gone are the days when your barcode has to be printed in black ink. QR codes can be printed, or simply viewed on a website, in a variety of colours however, care needs to be taken as certain colours don't scan well so the user should check out the facts first, with maybe a phone call to your print shop to instantaneously come across out how your code will be printed.


It would be no surprise to see Google involve itself with Quick Response codes and there has been talk of Google exploring payment gateways using the QR technology, so I'm sure you will discover many people waiting to see what transpires with the online discussions.


QR technology - costs little to implement


I think when the marketing community latch on to how straightforward sales can be created with the number of uses available for Fast Response codes, then it is only a matter of time before we find the QR code become as familiar as the humble barcode. The average business likes to stay in tune with technological advances, so I'm sure Quick Response codes are going to make a lot more of an effect some time soon.


Another huge benefit, often overlooked when considering the use of QR codes in your marketing, is the fact that from a print point of view, there should be no extra costs involved with having your free QR Codes printed, as it is basically just a 1 colour logo which adding to artwork is very easy. If your local print shop wants to charge you for adding the code to your stationery, then consider taking your business elsewhere.

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