QR Codes are two-dimensional bar codes with unlimited potential for embedded information. The Quick Response code was developed by the automotive sector for tracking parts and data associated with the parts. Unlike traditional bar codes commonly used in retail, the QR code is capable of storing mass information and links to digital media.
The code is multifaceted and can function as a link or storage system for information. The codes are scanned by a digital device and the user is either provided with the information embedded in the code or routed to the link associated with the code. Link codes are common but the reach of QR codes is unlimited and the codes are gaining popularity in retail, web and mobile applications.
QR codes have a mainstream presence in Japan where they were invented by Toyota. The codes are quickly spreading through the mainstream business and mobile technology sectors in Europe and the United States. The QR bar code is gaining ground as a standard on business cards and flyers that are easily scanned by mobile devices.
Benefits of QR Codes?
The codes are not a necessity for any business but the response time between scanning and receiving data is a major benefit for businesses with mobile savvy customers. The codes are effective for advertising sales and directing customers to an important webpage in seconds. The mobile user can store the codes and revisit the data at any time until they choose to delete the code or the data expires. The codes allow retail operations to communicate pricing, product information and specials with mobile customers and they allow retail operations to track and store the progress of individual code campaigns.
QR codes have unlimited range and the major benefit is response time for the user. The QR connects the digital world of information with the physical world using smartphones as an intermediary. The codes are easy to generate and capable of being molded into custom designs.
The future of quick response codes appears bright in Japan and Europe. The technology is gaining attention and has the potential to spread quickly. The primary reason for the rapid growth in QR marketing and use is related to the low-cost and easy implementation of the codes. Using and experimenting with QR campaigns requires very little capital and the technology is easy to integrate with existing physical and digital media.
QR codes do come with some limitations and downsides. The basic black and white codes are susceptible to fraud by overlaying a different code. The codes are also limited to smartphone users. Customers without smartphones are not capable of using the codes and will not respond to QR campaigns. Although a portion of the population has not adopted smartphones, the codes blend with traditional advertising banners and do not prevent the individual from reading and participating with the business or code creator.