New research studies and surveys on the QR code forecast this 2023 prove that this digital innovation is here to stay.
From its sudden surge in 2020 during the pandemic, this two-dimensional barcode will linger more in global industries such as healthcare, education, business, and marketing in the forthcoming years.
Various industry experts, professional QR code generator insights, and the latest statistics will prove that in this article.
- QR codes are here for the long run: experts say
- Are QR codes still popular? (Global QR code popularity statistics)
- The QR code forecast in 2023 for global industries
- The verdict: QR codes are here to stay
QR codes are here for the long run: experts say
The 2020 pandemic brought QR codes back to mainstream media and caused a surge in usage.
However, experts say other factors led to its success as well.
QR code expert Benjamin Claeys saw great potential in the 2D barcodes’ functionality which accelerated its recent growth.
“Industries now see QR codes’ versatility and how beneficial they are in various fields,” Claeys stated.
“For example, restaurants now use interactive menu QR codes as an alternative to physical menus, marketers use QR codes to lead target markets to online campaigns, and businesses deploy QR codes for payment systems.”
Claeys also cited how the healthcare industries leveraged QR codes to streamline contact tracing initiatives during the height of the pandemic.
People can simply scan QR codes to view and interact with the digital content encrypted within the code.
In simpler terms, it’s a digital tool that makes information dissemination and acquisition more convenient for users.
Insider Intelligence (eMarketer) even published a report revealing that QR code scanning will expand to 99.5 million in 2025—a 19% difference from their 2022 data.
Moreover, the recent increase of smartphone users with access to better internet is also considered one of the reasons behind the QR code popularity.
In a survey conducted by the Data Reports on October 2022, the total number of internet users already grew by 5.07 billion worldwide.
Unique mobile phone users are also recorded to have reached 5.48 billion—over two-thirds of the world’s total population.
These two factors directly affect the global users’ capacity to scan QR codes. Users can already access any QR code-embedded content using up-to-date smartphones with a decent internet connection.
In fact, Claeys’ QR code generator recorded a 443% increase in QR code usage statistics in 2022. And the numbers just keep on growing.
Bitly, a link management platform, also saw a 750% increase in QR code downloads during their 2021 report, showing active and widespread usage.
Are QR codes still popular? (Global QR code popularity statistics)
Yes, QR codes are definitely popular, and the chances of it going downhill are closer to nil.
As of writing, the global (Google) search volume of the QR code keyword has reached 2.5 million, according to Ahrefs.
This clearly shows a dense traffic potential, implying that more and more people are getting curious about the 2D barcode technology.
Based on Ahrefs’ database, here are the top 5 countries with the highest QR code search volumes:
- United States – 281K (11%)
- Brazil – 274K (10%)
- France – 177K (6%)
- Taiwan – 159K (6%)
- India – 152K (6%)
Additionally, QR code generators’ Google Search Consoles prove the same thing.
QR TIGER, a professional QR code generator online platform, recorded a remarkable growth in their traffic in the last 12 months.
Here are the top countries with dense QR code generator-related searches according to QR TIGER:
- The United States – 22.74%
- India – 6.24%
- Indonesia – 5.08%
- Vietnam – 3.44%
- United Kingdom – 3.22%
- Turkey – 3.13%
- Philippines – 2.76%
- Mexico – 2.05%
- Germany – 2.02%
- Brazil – 1.98%
Though it’s clear that the US contains most of the QR code market, this does not automatically imply that it’s not a booming industry in other countries.
Are QR codes used in the USA? Yes, says 89.5 million Americans
Statista revealed that by 2023, about 89.5 million Americans would scan a QR code using smartphone devices. And it’s even projected to reach 99.5 million in 2025.
The US industries’ growing integration of contactless payment, digital menus, and online retails caused promising QR code forecast and trends statistics in the country.
With this digital integration, it’s no longer surprising to see restaurants or bars, retail stores, and hotels flourishing in the US.
Flagship stores and brands in the US saw better engagement in their campaigns when they incorporated QR code technology.
Restaurants and bars also see better table turnover after using QR code-based services.
In a similar report published by Statista, about 37% of respondents claimed that they are willing to scan a QR code for payment when it’s in a restaurant or bar setting.
Uses of QR codes in Europe: Payment and CoViD certs
European banks and healthcare authorities are really in for the QR code ride.
The European Central Bank (ECB) recently announced its plans to launch a QR code-based digital euro app.
ECB executive board member Fabio Panetta stated in an interview with NFCW News that the app will foster a convenient paying experience for both the intermediaries and the consumers.
Panetta also stressed how QR codes make online and contactless payment a lot easier for customers considering that it will be more portable.
On another note, the European Union (EU) tightened the CoViD-related security measures as they proposed extending their EU CoViD certificates until 2023.
Now, if you’re planning on traveling to Europe anytime this year, you better not get rid of the EU CoViD cert. International and even domestic travelers will definitely need them at hand.
Asia’s booming QR code statistics
The East and Southeast Asian countries not only popularized QR codes but are also constant users leading to the technology’s continual growth.
- Japan’s QR code payment market will grow up to 6 trillion JPY
Fun fact: QR codes originated in Japan. Denso Wave engineer Masahiro Hara invented them in 1994 to track car parts.
This is why it’s no longer news to hear that Japan is one of Asia’s leading users of QR codes.
A JMA Research Institute survey showed that Japan’s overall QR code market value would increase to 6 trillion JPY by 2023.
This is directly related to the widespread use of payment mobile apps such as WeChat and Alipay.
- China spearheads mobile payment app with QR codes
Two of the largest mobile payment apps in the world originated in China: Alipay and WeChat. And both apps integrate the QR code technology into the software.
China’s overall mobile payment transactions surpassed $5.87 trillion. All because of the spike in WeChat and Alipay QR code payment usage.
- Southeast Asian countries to integrate QR code payments
Five SEA countries, namely Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand, are set to link payment systems with QR codes.
This decision aligns with the global acceptance of using QR code-based payment options.
According to Bloomberg research, these five countries will link their payment systems together so that travelers from each country can easily purchase and pay for services using a centralized app.
For instance, Thai travelers who want to purchase items in the Philippines can seamlessly pay through the app.
The software will automatically convert the baht into the Philippine peso.
The QR code forecast in 2023 for global industries
Here are the top industries that leverage and will continue to leverage QR codes:
Since the onset of the pandemic, 88% of restaurateurs already want to switch to a contactless digital menu over a physical menu (Wakefield Research).
And 61% of restaurant owners opt to use and offer contactless payment options for their customers in the long run.
Indeed, QR codes greatly impacted the hospitality industry on a very positive note.
In a CNBC article, the food and beverage services industry experts agreed that QR codes improved and streamlined their operations.
Bo Peabody, executive chairman of Seated, said in the article that QR codes helped them run restaurant reservations and guest sitting efficiently.
Additionally, QR codes also allow restaurant businesses to enjoy the following perks:
- Cut low on printing costs for physical menus
- Allow sudden changes in menu items caused by changes in supply, inflation, and prices
- Facilitates diners even with minimal staff or workers
- Quick payment process
- Increase table turnover due to fast service
In the same light, hotels saw positive impacts in their businesses after incorporating QR codes.
HospitalityNet says guests can easily book reservations, pay online, order food and services, and leave feedback and review through a single QR code scan.
The financial sector has been one of the main driving forces behind the QR code’s fame since 2020.
The global acceptance of digital payment methods caused businesses and banks to integrate QR code-powered mobile apps like PayPal, WeChat, Alipay, and more.
Studies from Juniper Research show that global payments made via QR codes will exceed $3 trillion by 2025.
The same study claimed that the number of US consumers will skyrocket to 240% between 2020 and 2025, all because enterprises will link cashless payments with QR codes.
Payment QR code today gets linked to mobile payment apps, banks, and POS.
According to Forbes, this integration directly addresses the day-to-day pain points of consumers who need to use ATMS and share kiosks with other customers.
With QR codes, one scan and customers can pay up their bills without pulling out cash or cards and avoid queueing.
Classroom management, digital attendance checkers, and instructional materials dissemination are a few reasons why the education sector currently uses QR codes.
And with the blended mode of learning infiltrating schools worldwide, a contactless and portable tool is the perfect inclusion to the curriculum.
In an article published by Fierce Education, the students’ growing interest in the blended learning setup will allow this method to linger in the system by 2025.
Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals
Healthcare providers continue to use QR code-based travel and entry passes for locals and travelers.
This allows a quicker tracking operation despite lighter but more vigilant health restrictions.
On the other hand, pharmacies found efficient ways of providing in-depth medicine information to customers using QR codes.
Here are how these industries use QR codes for their services and businesses:
- PANTHERx Rare Pharmacy dispenses customized medication instructions and education to patients and caregivers through QR codes
- CVS and Walgreens launched touch-free payment using PayPal and Venmo’s QR code features
- Healthcare facilities and hospitals continue to benefit from QR code’s technological features for effective patient tracking and identification
- Countries extend CoViD certification validity for 2023 as Omicron variants largely impact some countries.
QR codes powered the world’s most controversial and lead-generating marketing campaigns.
You got the Super Bowl ads, Marvel series, football jerseys, and even a QR code campaign made of over 400 drones.
Neil Patel, entrepreneur, and marketer, even branded QR codes for marketing as a genius strategy these days.
He highlighted that users could track offline marketing campaigns online through these unique codes.
Moreover, Benjamin Claeys mentioned in his Stay QRious podcast that QR codes’ versatility extends to any marketing campaign.
Here are the numeric values to take note of for QR code-based marketing projections:
- E-commerce transactions will reach 1.1 trillion by 2024 (Juniper Research)
The QR code payment rollout will drive the eCommerce industry to gain more potential markets and increase transactions and sales.
- QR code-based coupon redemption to surpass 2022’s 5.3 billion records this year (Juniper Research)
- QR code labels market value to grow by $2.1 billion from 2022 until 2027 (Future Marketing Insights)
Businesses use product labels to lead consumers to online information and other necessary product details.
Year after year, QR code labels become more and more prominent in that its compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is estimated to reach 8.9% in 5 years from 2022.
Additionally, Claeys cited examples of intelligent ways businesses used dynamic QR codes in their marketing strategies during his podcast.
Users can customize, include call-to-actions, and digitize offline marketing with a single QR code.
Manufacturers and retailers
According to a Digimarc report, retail store QR codes accumulated 63% of scans beyond the stores’ business hours.
This implies that businesses still actively generate sales even after closing time through QR code assistance in their campaigns.
But there are more uses of QR codes in this industry.
Manufacturers deploy QR codes into their items to streamline tracking during shipment.
The same codes also help retailers during product inventory and even for authentication.
On the other hand, retail stores also use QR codes for faster payment processes.
The convenience offered by QR codes for mobile payments in retails allows researchers to expect a $35.07 billion market size by 2030.
The verdict: QR codes are here to stay
Yep, there’s no denying that the QR code forecast this 2023 will continue to spread across the globe in the following years.
Since its rebirth during the pandemic, QR code usage has doubled, tripled, and quadrupled.
eMarketer already estimated that by 2025, QR code scanning would rise to 19% compared to statistics recorded in 2022.
And experts claim that the numbers will continue to incline.
“QR codes will stay successful for a very long time,” Claeys, QR TIGER QR code generator CEO and QR expert averred during his recent podcast episode.
“Their versatility now extends to business cards, Multi-URL for language functions, and even as a gateway to NFTs and AR.”
With the global usage and exposure of various QR code campaigns from multiple industries, it’s empirical that the QR code’s usefulness will keep growing.