You’re probably seeing them on a daily basis but you don’t necessarily know what QR Codes exactly are and what they’re good for. So here we go for a brief on QR Codes and how QR Codes could be of use in your business.
Invented in 1994 QR Codes – Quick Response Code – are two-dimensional matrix-like barcodes e.g. 2D barcodes – initially designed for the automotive industry to track vehicles during the manufacturing process. As a matter of fact QR is a registered trademark of Denso Wave – a subsidiary of Toyota – which has decided not to exercise their patent rights on QR Codes. QR codes are not to be confounded with Data Matrix codes (developed in 1989).
Whereas a traditional barcode can hold up to 20 numerical digits, depending on its datatype, version and ecl (error correction level) a QR Code can store up to 7,089 numerical characters or 4,296 alphanumeric characters.
Considering the amount of data QR Codes can hold a QR Code has a wide range of usage including tracking, ticketing, product/service marketing, in-store product labelling, etc.
QR Codes are especially useful to link digital content (website), store contact details, activate a function on a smartphone such as dialling a number to call or send a text message to. The landing page a QR Code links to could hold a short video of your business and other promotional material such as ebooks, social media buttons to make it easy for people to “Like” your business on Facebook or “Follow” your business on Twitter or LinkedIn or “Map” your business on Just Mapped! You can have specific QR Codes say one for each social network your business is active on, one to share your contact details and one thsat links to your business website. When linking to digital content – e.g. webpage – depending on the nature of the content QR Codes can be printed on business cards, leaflets and brochures, products packaging, event nametags, restaurant menus, etc.
To scan a QR Code a QR Reader is required. There are many QR Reader Applications that can be downloaded for free on your smartphone from the Android Market, the iphone app store or other sources depending on the operating system running on your mobile.
To create a QR Code a QR Generator is required. QR Codes can also be generated for free on the Internet. URL shortening services such as goo.gl or bit.ly facilitate QR Codes and analytics for shortened URLs.
Before you go on and print QR Codes on your leaflets, brochures, other marketing material, your business cards or even your company vehicles there is one critical question you have to ask yourself.
Is your business website mobile friendly?
Considering 61% of mobile users won’t return to a website they’ve had trouble accessing and that 40% will even turn to a competitor instead you’d better make sure your company website is mobile friendly before sharing QR Codes that link to your business webpages.
It is a common misconception to think any website looks good on a smartphone. If you’re not sure whether your company website is mobile friendly or not and if you’re interested in having your website mobile friendly – if it’s not – contact us today or give us a call and we’ll be glad to help.
Services of interest
My Linked In Card. A free Digital Business Card & QR Code web service. Based on a user’s LinkedIn profile My Linked In Card automatically generates a digital business card online accessible via QR Code scanning. The QR Code linking to your digital business card is also automatically generated.
goo.gl. Google URL shortener which allows you to track the clicks and referrers of any shortened URL – including QR Code scans – in real-time. The service also offers QR Code generation for shortened URLs.
bit.ly. Another URL shortener service which provides analytics for shortened URLs and QR Codes.