Are QR Codes Still Relevant? Yes, and Here's Why

Update:  July 26, 2023
Are QR Codes Still Relevant? Yes, and Here's Why

Are QR codes still relevant? Do people still use QR codes today? The simple answer is yes! They are relevant and will continue to still be relevant in the coming years.

In fact, QR codes are only making a huge comeback during the COVID-19 pandemic.

QR codes have been around for many years already.

This 2D barcode type was developed and designed in Japan in 1994 to track vehicles in the automotive industry during the distribution and manufacturing process, and not as a useful marketing tool (and as a life-saving tool), we used it today.

How do QR codes work?

Google form QR code

QR codes are generated using a QR code generator online.

This advanced tool can hold different types of data, such as numerical, alphabetical, binary, and control codes.

The content encrypted in QR codes is detectable using smartphones, which natively support QR code scanning or reading.

To scan QR codes, the smartphone user only needs to point his camera steadily to the QR code for 2–3 seconds and tap on the notification that appears to access the information associated with the QR.

This process is similar to decoding QR codes in the QR code reader apps, which you can opt to use if your smartphone device does not have the option for QR code reading.

Two types of QR codes: Static vs. Dynamic QR

The information encoded in Static QR codes is permanent, and you cannot edit it to other information.

Moreover, it is also not trackable.

However, they are free to create using a free QR code generator and do not need your subscription to create one.

On the other hand, Dynamic QR codes are advanced QR codes with many features, such as tracking your QR code number of scans, and they are also editable.

Do people use QR codes today?

The use of a QR code in 2022 remains relevant and will continue to do so in the future.

It didn’t take long for QR codes to be solely realized- not until COVID-19 shook the world to its core.

This smart tech tool has opened opportunities for business owners to implement QR codes as a preventive tool during and even in the Post COVID-19 pandemic when the world has slowly resumed under the ‘new normal’ society.

QR codes were deployed in various services both in public and private industries, particularly in business sectors.

Its use skyrocketed for contactless payment, no-touch menus, raising charity funds through digital donations, contact tracing, contactless registrations, and more.

QR codes in 2023: Dead and gone?

QR code uses

Definitely not.

There has been a buzz that QR codes are dead and unuseful, but this pandemic proves the critiques wrong.

In fact, QR codes are just making a comeback during this pandemic and have gained deserved recognition as a useful tool to prevent virus contraction for having a contactless approach.

Moreover, QR code scans have a staggering increase in South Korea, and the US market has also embraced QR codes for digital payments.

So if you’re asking, do people use QR codes even after the pandemic? The answer is clearly yes.

Other countries such as Ghana, Brazil, Sri Lanka, and Russia are embracing payment through QR code technology.

According to Juniper Research, by 2022, 5.3 billion QR code coupons will be redeemed by smartphones, and 1 billion smartphones will access QR codes.

QR code 2022 statistics

QR codes, per country, vary in usage statistics.

In America, it is projected that more than 11 million households will scan QR codes by the end of this year

China, on the other hand, which is one of the perfect demonstrations of the QR code hype in the world, records a whopping 1.65 trillion worth of transactions in the financial sector alone.

Europe also estimated that 10.1 million QR codes will be used by the end of the year.

6 examples of innovative uses of QR codes during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Contact tracing

Contact tracing QR code

Countries like South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, China, New Zealand, and others are using QR codes for contact tracing individuals who may be potential virus carriers.

First off, each respective country implemented contactless registration to collect the data of each guest.

It helps the local government to do easy contact tracing and verify an individual who has been reported to be infected by the virus.

Furthermore, this allows the concerned officials to get accurate information about the person.

This also goes to show how relevant QR codes are when it comes to contact tracing.

Related: Contact Tracing Form Using QR Code: Here's How

Contactless registration

QR code for registration

Before contact tracing happens, contactless registration in high-risk avenues such as bars, hospitals, restaurants, malls, and other establishments is required to enter their details using a Google Form QR code.

Guests scan the QR code to enter their data using their smartphone device and submit it.

This process also avoids multiple hand exchanges of pens and paper, and it helps the government verify the data of the reported individual easily.

Digital menus

Menu QR code

One way restaurants are safely re-opening during the Post COVID- 19 is by transforming their menus digitally by using a PDF QR code.

Guests who opt for dine-in or take-outs can scan the digital menu to order and avoid touching the physical menu.

Restaurants in New Orleans, New York, and Chicago are serving up a contactless menu for their guests.

Digital money transferring

To negate handing out physical payments like cash and cards, digital money transfers using QR codes have skyrocketed.

Banks and payment companies like SafeCharge rely on QR codes in their transactions to make money transfers faster and safer at the same time.

Digital donation drive

Who would’ve thought QR codes could be this relevant for donation drives?

During the Coronavirus outbreak, non-profit organizations and charities from all over the world were challenged to raise funds due to social distancing implementation brought about by the virus.

But QR code came to its rescue by making donations go digital!

For example, Melbourne-based payments technology company, Quest Payment Systems, developed Donation Point Go, where they use a QR code to engage with donors.

The company printed out the Donation QR code along with posters, t-shirts, signages, and badges.

Once the QR code is scanned, the user will be redirected to the Donation Point Go website to make a donation.

Furthermore, they also displayed the Donation Point GO QR code online for a broader reach.

QR codes on TV

Another innovative use of QR codes is its emergence in television commercials during Covid-19.

It is notable how the American multinational chain of hamburger fast-food restaurants, Burger King, gave out some entertainment and levity to people’s day who were stuck at home during the pandemic.

Burger King rolled out moving QR code on the TV screen during breaks.

The users had to scan the moving QR code to get a whopper, which was a smart initiative to implement!

Advertisement QR code

On the other hand, the global fashion tv company Fashion TV also found a way to increase its website traffic and boost its marketing tactics by displaying QR codes that appear on TV during appropriate display moments.

Upon scanning, it will lead viewers to their website, encouraging them to browse over their high-end fashion videos and watch campaigns of various luxury brands.

A smart way to increase their traffic while advertising the brand.

Why are QR codes still relevant?

Easy access to information using a smartphone device

QR codes are designed to be accessed by smartphone devices, which makes them convenient to use in any facet of service for a non-contactless interaction.

Ability to hold different types of data

QR codes are flexible.

You can encode different types of information in a QR code using alphabetical, numerical binary, control codes, etc.

Ability to resist damage

QR codes can resist damage even though it has been slightly worn out or defaced; they can still function.

It can resist up to 30% damage to the total structure without affecting its readability.

Security using dynamic QR codes

Having an editable QR Code or dynamic QR code ensures you constant control.

If you need to change the content of the QR code or update it, you can do this even if your QR codes have been printed or implemented without the need to regenerate another QR code.

This is a handy and crucial feature if you need to print your QR Code on marketing material.

Editable and trackable

QR codes are not only editable, but they are also trackable using a Dynamic QR code.

If you are planning to use QR codes in your marketing campaign for a contactless approach, you can see the data scans of your QR code, such as the number of scans, when you get scans, and where you get the most scans.

This allows you to understand the flow of your QR code marketing campaign and come up with a better strategy if you are not getting the traction you need.

It can be advertised in printed materials or online

QR codes can be scannable in print or online display, making them flexible to use practically everywhere.

It streamlines the process from desktop to mobile and print to digital, allowing users a varying degree of QR code experience and engagement.

How relevant are QR codes in marketing? How are they used?

Even before the coronavirus outbreak, brands have used QR codes to engage customer experience and engagement to boost the company’s sales. These prominent brands are:

Victoria’s Secret to launch the latest lingerie collection

Website QR codeImage Source

L’Oreal uses QR codes inside taxis. They link the QR code to the shop’s website allowing passengers to shop while in traffic!

URL QR codeImage Source

Diesel is using QR codes for product authentication

QR code on product labelImage Source

Ralph Lauren to combat counterfeit products

QR code on tagsImage Source

Zara used QR codes in display windows to let window shoppers avail sale items

QR code on store windowImage Source

Lacoste rolled out a QR code ad on tv that let viewers shop from the comfort of their home

Shop QR codeImage Source

Why QR codes don’t work

QR codes fail to work for these various reasons:

  • QR codes are inverted in colors
  • The colors used in QR codes don’t have enough contrast
  • The QR code is blurry
  • The QR code is pixelated
  • The size is not appropriate for the advertising environment
  • Wrong QR code placement
  • Broken Link
  • Expired QR code
  • The URL where the QR code links to is deleted or no longer exists
  • The QR code is over-stylized

What is the future of QR codes?

The future of QR codes this year and beyond are not just simple guesses but are based on statistics.

QR codes have become very handy in different aspects of people’s lives and even in the business and marketing sectors.

With the current pandemic, QR codes have been very useful in delivering timely information in the form of contactless ways.

So, are QR codes still relevant today?

QR codes are absolutely relevant and will continue to be useful in the coming years.

This smart tech tool has been used for many years, and even more so today that the world is facing a difficult challenge in the health sector.

QR codes bridge the gap from the online world to the online dimension and give quick and accurate information in a scan.

Moreover, it is convenient in this fast-paced world where people need quick and convenient solutions and swift and advanced services, and QR codes can simply provide this.

So are QR codes still relevant? Do people use QR codes? The simple answer is yes!

Frequently asked questions

What are the best free QR scanner apps for Android and iPhone?

In case your smartphone device does not support QR code reading, you can download QR code scanner apps as an alternative.

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