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QR Strategy Guide: What You Need to Know to Get Them Right

Do you have a plan in place to meet the newfound demand for mobile, frictionless consumer interaction? We’ve created the definitive guide to making your QR code strategy your most effective marketing channel.

QR codes’ role in the shift to mobile-first

The pandemic has accelerated the shift to virtual and mobile-first experiences. We’re using the Internet to conduct more and more of our daily activities. From picking out groceries, to ordering our morning latte, visiting the doctor, or refilling a prescription.

QR codes present a prime opportunity to streamline that shift, and create smooth experiences as users move between the physical and online realms. A well-executed QR code strategy will create well-designed, positive experiences and transactions for your customers, ultimately driving more revenue for your business.

Why the resurgence of QR codes?

QR codes are making a massive comeback for three reasons:

One, the technology has evolved.

A few years, ago QR codes overcame a major barrier: Apple finally integrated the QR scanning functionality into the camera. Soon after, it became as easy as one swipe for users to scan and engage with a code. When Apple integrated QR support into the iOS native camera, it effectively gave instant and universal QR support to what is now 1.6 billion iOS device users around the world.

Android followed suit a few months later. This meant you did not have to trudge through the rather cumbersome process of visiting the App Store, downloading a QR code scanning app, and then opening it just to scan someone’s code on a marketing flyer (which often linked to a website that was far from mobile friendly). Talk about frustrating experiences from a marketer and consumer standpoint.

Flash forward to 2021 and marketers have done a much better job making their web sites mobile friendly. Many also have apps in their channel mix, which made huge gains during the COVID-19 crisis and which consumers overwhelmingly prefer.

Two, the pandemic accelerated adoption.

One result of the Covid crisis is that people are now comfortable using QR codes. The business data platform Statista predicted pre-COVID that an estimated 11 mil- lion households would scan a QR code in 2020 in the US alone, up from 9.6 million. Why? The pandemic has shifted a whole culture and how consumers are condi- tioned to use mobile devices and to use them for new tasks and to get things done. It is now second nature to scan a code, which is an incredibly important thing to keep in mind when thinking about the success of your QR code campaign.

COVID introduced us to the perfect use cases for contactless commerce — ordering food on a menu, scanning a code in a car lot for pricing information, checking in at the airport and more. This has pushed marketers and consumers in the U.S. over the edge to finally embrace QR codes as a great mobile-friendly option for engagement.

Three, a dramatic increase in the use of apps.

Consider the gains apps made during the COVID-19 crisis. In 2020, app adoption significantly increased as consumers communicated, learned, and shopped online. In fact, they spent $143 billion while interacting with apps, a 20 percent increase over 2019, according to The State of Mobile 2021 report by App Annie.

Contactless commerce trends combined with increased app usage are propelling QR adoption. For companies that have an app, QR codes present a low-friction way to increase installs and engagement while creating new ways for those brands to engage their customers.

In addition, apps are used today to manage nearly every aspect of our lives. This impacts all brands, including those that do not have their own apps. From social networking and ecommerce to banking to healthcare, there’s an app for it. Whether your QR code opens your brand’s website, or a third-party destination like Amazon, or your brand’s social profiles, apps and websites both play key roles in your customer’s experience. Winning QR strategies are flexible and intelligent to accommodate both...

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