Recently, the utility of QR codes has been gaining popularity in various fields.
Businesses and organizations use these two-dimensional barcodes for internal and external processes and activities.
Worldwide, companies and retail stores continue experimenting with ways to make their business more effective and improve their overall revenue.
One of these is through using QR codes.
This technology is one of the most direct and cost-efficient ways to boost your overall company revenue and create a solid customer base for future projects.
What is a QR code, and how do companies use it?
QR codes are popping up everywhere. Maybe you’ve seen some at your local grocery store, billboards, or product packages.
The first question most people ask is, “what exactly is a QR code?” Others may think QR codes are just a fad. The short answer to the question “What are QR Codes?” is that QR codes are machine-readable graphics.
QR codes are a two-dimensional type of barcode developed in Japan in 1994.
It allows the storage of much more information than traditional barcodes. Because of this, they have recently seen a surge in popularity, with brand marketers and small businesses wanting to get more out of their marketing efforts.
Still, there are companies who stick to the traditional barcodes when it comes to manufacturing products.
On the other hand, QR codes in manufacturing can be scanned by any standard mobile device allowing the mobile device users to be redirected to a website, a video, a string of text, or even a contact directly from where they are.
Brands and companies use QR codes for identification purposes in access control, such as in high-security cards, passports, driver’s licenses, and event tickets.
QR codes might seem like a hip and incredible technology that’s just beginning to become mainstream, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. QR codes have been around for over a decade now.
But don’t let their long history fool you – they’re still considered one of the latest tech tools these days.
What company created QR codes?
Denso Wave launched the QR code in 1994. It was intended to make vehicle telematics systems more efficient.
The first widespread use of QR codes was also in Japan. The supermarket chain, Ito-Yokado, used a two-dimensional barcode for a campaign that saves paper from flyer distribution.
They offered instant discount coupons for those who scanned the barcode.
This has led to higher sales and increased customer involvement since the task of following the print ad is no longer needed.
Fast forward, QR codes have brought an exciting twist to marketing and how the business operates in this digital era.
With the explosion of various modes of online ads, QR codes are beginning to make waves in the marketing and business world.
They are now being used by almost all major companies, from Nike to McDonald’s.
COVID-19 derived the adoption of company QR codes
QR codes have been around since the 1990s, but their popularity has surged.
Following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, companies using QR codes began using them more frequently.
QR codes can carry vital information about the business, such as contact details, directions, and emergency contacts. This makes them very valuable during such times.
The crisis has pushed QR codes to the forefront.
While everyone in the Middle Ages was worried that the plague would spread, people in the Middle Ages weren’t concerned they could find out the latest medical news using QR codes.
But in the 21st century, you can.
And the surge of QR code usage is only just beginning. The crisis has forced people to discover just how useful QR codes are.
Using QR codes, you can share information quickly, with little effort. And that’s a good thing because the information is now more valuable than any other form of wealth.
QR codes are surely an exciting phenomenon. It has the power to change the way consumers interact with brands.
In a 2021 Statista survey, it was found that 45 percent of shoppers from the US scanned a QR code. 59% believed that QR codes would be a permanent part of their mobile phone in the future.
For business owners, it is crucial to remember that QR codes differ from their predecessor, barcodes. The use of QR codes should be more on-point and on-target.
Related: QR code statistics: Latest numbers and use-cases on global usage
What company uses QR codes? Use-cases of industries using QR code technology
In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers such as Walmart, Target, and Best Buy turned to contactless payment options for in-store purchases to decrease physical contact between staff and customers.
At the same time, these codes were used to elevate brand marketing campaigns despite the restrictions.
In this case, QR-code use solved a problem for retailers: They could make their menus available online and process digital payments without handling cash.
Point-of-sale and peer-to-peer mobile payment providers also began using QR codes to encourage contactless payments.
QR codes have revolutionized innovative packaging in retail stores too. With a simple scan, consumers gain access to more information than they could from a printed label.
QR codes are easy to scan, and it’s easy for retailers to use them. Stores can print them on the packaging, hang them on the shelves, or print them on receipts.
QR codes help retailers gather customer behavior data, including what shoppers are interested in.
QR codes are also suitable for shoppers. Instead of rummaging through product labels, shoppers can scan a QR code in the store to find out the product’s price, ingredients, and nutritional information.
Consumers can also check QR codes on product packaging to find out reviews.
Related: QR Codes in Retail: A new shopping experience
Pharmaceutical companies have started implementing QR codes on their products for better tracking, ensuring authenticity, and elevating brand marketing campaigns simultaneously.
For instance, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed pharmaceutical companies to put QR codes on drugs to track the medications from the manufacturing plant to the end-user.
For example, the pharmaceutical company Novartis uses QR codes to track the manufacturing process for marketing.
In 2013, Novartis set up a QR code that, when scanned, played a video showing how aspirin is made from raw ingredients to finished tablets.
Novartis’s QR code campaign worked so well that in 2014, the company expanded it to its entire product line, including treatments for mental illness and gastrointestinal ailments.
The codes also help pharmaceutical companies improve the quality of their products, making it easier for them to meet regulatory standards.
This technology also reduces the cost of making products because pharma companies can reduce the number of labels. And they help with quality control because there are no gaps in the supply chain.
Related: How to use QR codes on pharmaceutical packaging
QR codes are a critical technical tool in the petroleum industry, which is of aesthetic interest to customers and practical use in customer care.
Today, petroleum companies are using this technology as a countermeasure against counterfeiting.
Petroleum companies such as Petrolimex, Shell, Sinopec, and Total use QR codes to combat counterfeiting and give their customers detailed information about the lubricants they buy, such as quality, user guide, and origin fully.
The petroleum companies using QR codes on packaging could include the product name, brand, contents, viscosity, usage, etc.
Electronic companies use QR codes for different things. They use QR codes to link their social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to their sites to attract customers and elevate brand marketing.
They also connect customers to their internal information through training videos.
Electronic companies use QR codes on packaging, demo guides, and digitizing manuals and guides to provide information about their products.
For example, an electronic company can place QR codes on its packaging or demo guides.
If the code on the packaging is scanned, the buyer will receive product information, including videos, images, and specifications.
Moreover, QR codes can be scanned on electronic products. If the code is scanned, the buyer will receive information about how to use the product.
In 2012, when Apple launched the iPhone 4S, it made a big deal about its new camera. The 8-megapixel camera was, Apple said, the best on the market. But that wasn’t the best part.
The camera also came with something called augmented reality capability.
The camera could scan a QR code, read the text in the QR code, and display the image or video contained in the QR code.
The example Apple gave was a video from a department store showing you how to put together that new couch.
Electronic companies not only have QR codes on their packaging but also place QR codes on their digitized manuals and guides.
If scanned, the QR code on the manual or guide will prompt the buyer to download and access the app.
Electronic companies use QR codes to simplify a complicated process, making it faster and easier for shoppers to find product information.
The QR Code has also been adapted for use in healthcare applications. The healthcare industry has started using QR Codes to identify patients.
Because mobile devices automatically scan QR Codes, patients can quickly identify themselves, eliminating the need for time-consuming medical documentation.
QR codes are integrated into mobile applications, such as patient identification for hospitals, pharmacies, and medical centers.
It also facilitates patient management and tracking, drug administration, and online medical consultations.
QR codes are top-rated in-hospital emergencies when the system provides patients and doctors links to their medical history.
For patients, these QR codes are a way of accessing their medical records without going to the hospital; they can also be used to access personal data such as allergies, emergency contacts, and next of kin.
For doctors, they can give faster, more reliable access to patient records.
The growing use of QR Codes in healthcare applications enables healthcare-related industries to analyze usage patterns to improve patient care.
Related: How to use QR codes in hospitals and in the healthcare sector
How Businesses are Using QR Codes during COVID-19
The sudden surge in QR code usage is not a coincidence. It results from people’s desire to share helpful information and elevate brand marketing for many businesses.
The spread of QR codes is closely linked to the spread of smartphones. Early consumers of QR codes were users of feature phones, which did not have cameras.
But with the spread of smartphones, QR codes have spread beyond Japan. These days, most smartphones can scan QR codes.
QR codes have been re-imagined as a new way to interact with technology.
The most famous recent example is the QR code Google sent out to tell people to stay indoors because it wanted to protect them during the Covid-19 pandemic.
But QR codes have been used for marketing for a long time.
Procter & Gamble, for example, used QR codes to send coupons to shoppers in Japan.
The surge in the use of QR codes for advertising reflects the importance of smartphones to marketers.
Businesses also use QR codes on business cards, advertisements, posters, product packaging, business cards, books, and receipts.
They are also now used mainly in promotional material and on smartphone screens.
More use-cases of QR codes for companies
The best decision to use QR codes for your company is to consider their uses.
The QR code has evolved extensively to cater to the demands of businesses.
It allows for effective marketing, operations, and even company events.
QR codes for giving discounts and giveaways
Consumer brands are using QR codes when running their discount and giveaway promotions.
Instead of printing 20% off (a little tricky since it requires you to print the number twice), you can encode that into a simple QR code.
Brands displayed QR codes on food packaging, drinks, or tickets to entertainment where customers can scan for discounts.
QR code for product authentication
The fashion and luxury industry uses QR codes for product authentication and marketing.
The QR codes contain information about the manufacturing process.
The garment manufacturers can use QR codes to learn about production and packaging.
QR codes have been widely used for product authentication in the fashion industry.
For example, some fashion brands, such as Burberry, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Dolce and Gabbana, use QR codes on their products, e.g., Chanel’s lipstick, Burberry’s scarf, Louis Vuitton’s shoes, and Dolce and Gabbana’s bags.
In the luxury industry, such as jewelry, watches, and perfume, luxury brands use QR codes on their products, e.g., Rolex watches, Louis Vuitton bags, and Dior perfume.
QR code registration for company events
Some companies are already using QR codes for check-in at conferences and trade shows.
You walk up to a kiosk, put the code on the reader, and tell you which session, booth, or meal you want to attend.
The code is stored on the readers’ servers, and you don’t have to do it again when you return.
And the same technology is now being used at outdoor events.
At big concerts or sporting events, fans scan the code on a wristband or shirt and get access to particular areas or freebies.
Related: How to Use QR Codes for Your Event
Grow your company’s network potential using QR codes for business card
QR codes are also used in internal processes. At Nikon, for example, employees use QR codes on business cards to get information about their colleagues or on office walls to find meeting rooms.
The codes also let employees record their time, which managers can check.
Related: How to use a vCard QR code generator
Generate your company QR codes now with the best QR code generator and elevate your brand marketing campaign
QR code for companies is a promising technology that can elevate brand marketing. They promise to be cheaper and more convenient than bar codes and may be as reliable.
QR codes are becoming a go-to tech tool by big companies, and their usage is expected to grow.
If you want to use QR codes for your company, feel free to contact us now and we’ll be happy to assist you.