What Happened to QR Codes?

You probably remember a time not too long ago when you could easily spot QR codes all over the place – on store windows, print ads, and social media. These codes became a way for marketers to give users quick access (QR stands for Quick Response) to information. Mobile users can use an app to capture a QR code and quickly get brand information that the company wants to provide (company info, promotions, etc). Sounds like another great tool to deepen relationships with brands and consumers, right? For one, they look pretty cool and they also are relatively easy to implement. But are consumers using QR codes like we expected?

QR Codes

Our research from GlobalWebIndex  shows that QR codes never really “took off.” That only a sliver of consumers have used a QR Code provided by a company or brand over the past couple years.  Using data provided by GlobalWebIndex, we measured Adult US usage of brand QR codes going back to 2012 (the question varied slightly starting in Q2 of 2015) and found that on average, only 4.8% of US adults use QR codes. The propensity for use has also been eroding over time with the most recent results (Q4 2014-Q1 2016) showing that adults are less likely than average to use codes. Not quite the explosion we first anticipated. So if there is question as to whether or not to make QR codes a core piece of your marketing efforts, you may want to think again based on current use and try out a different strategy. It’s a great concept but isn’t gaining high traction.

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