QR Codes Are Back and Stronger than Ever!

Scanning QR code with mobile smart phone.

By this point, it’s no secret that quick response codes, AKA QR codes, are here to stay. Even before the pandemic, stores, restaurants, and even the likes of public transportation were using them to connect users with the information they need.

Currently, they’re one of the best tools we have to limit contact with things like menus, touch screens, and more. Since they allow you to simply scan them with your phone to connect with application pages, forms, and pretty much anything that can be viewed on a screen, they’re a must during the COVID era.

This article will go into some of the top uses for QR codes and how you should be incorporating them into your digital signage.

What is a QR code?

A QR (quick response) code is a two-dimensional, square-shaped, scannable code—basically a cousin of the bar code. However, QR codes can store up to 100 times more data than a bar code. QR codes make it easier to distribute information to end users. Your phone’s camera app (all mobile phones since 2017 have built in QR code readers included in in your camera app) scans and reads the code, which then directs you to a website.

History

The QR code was invented in 1994 by the Japanese Company Denso Wave. Its purpose was to track vehicles during manufacturing. Its popularity spread due to its fast readability and great storage capacity compared to standard bar codes.

Resurgence

In September 2017, Apple released an iOS11 update that integrated a QR code reader in all camera apps. It became a huge hit, and other mobile operating systems followed. Usage still remained low though, until COVID-19 hit. Suddenly, every business needed a way to get information to their customers with social distancing in mind (6 feet away) which minimized contact. The humble QR code, once used to streamline auto parts manufacturing, began streamlining interactions everywhere.

How to Use QR Codes Gain Valuable Customer Data

QR codes are actually a two-way street. Users receive the information they need, while you get some key info about the way they interacted with your link. To be clear, it’s not that the scanning of the QR code itself gives you information about the user. It’s the way they engage with the content you direct them to that allows you to potentially gain information.

This could be anything from the answers they put into your forms, to how long they stayed on a page or which parts of your site they viewed for the longest. Gaining input data can be incredibly insightful as to how users react to your offerings or your website itself.

Learning where your kinks are can become obvious through collecting input data. Not to mention that you’ll learn more about what interests your customers the most.

Contactless Viewing and Signing up

Without reiterating what we covered in our introduction, you can use QR codes for this purpose in a wide variety of settings. For example, in doctor’s offices, patients can use QR codes to check in and fill out forms through their mobile device. In restaurants, users can view the menu without actually holding one in their hand.

You’ve probably experienced this already, but the point is that this touchless workaround to handing things to people can apply to many, many scenarios—some of which you may not have even thought of yet. So, if you have pamphlets, forms, or any other type of papers or orders that you can accept digitally, QR codes are an excellent alternative.

In addition to using QR codes for checking in, they can be used to promote products and services, community events, transferring money, sending business cards, generating coupons, promoting events, playing an MP3 file, sharing a video, and customer or patient surveys.

Increased User Engagement

QR codes actually increase user engagement. Their convenience encourages users to interact in situations that they might otherwise pass up. Those who are familiar with them understand how much of a shortcut they are to get directly to the page they’re looking for.

QR codes also provide you with the unique opportunity to engage with users’ mobile devices directly. Users will often input data, take screenshots, or save links. Squeezing your way into their phone’s content is a big step that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Even if it means being a random screenshot in their camera roll, your brand’s presence among their saved content serves as a valuable reminder of your services, at the very least.

All Smartphones Come Equipped with a QR Reader

Any smartphone on the market these days will certainly come with a QR reader built-in. And users can easily download and use third party QR reader apps if they need to. QR codes are a super convenient solution that can be used in just about any scenario.

Linking customers to payment or donation pages is great way to expedite and smooth out the payment process. Obviously, as a vendor, the less clutter in the way of making a payment, the better.

Incorporating QR Codes with Digital Signage

For your digital signage, you should incorporate QR codes that allow users to interact with the content being displayed. For example, a slide in your digital content playlist that gives info about a third-party vendor can include a QR code to direct users to their site.

A slide that shows a new drink special can have a QR code that links the user to the exact part of your menu that tells more about it, and even lets them order it straight through their device.

A slide that tells users about a new location or a branch that provides related services can have a QR to link users to its Maps location.

Running promotional coupons or sharing exercise videos is easy with QR codes. Gyms, physical therapists, chiropractors, spas and much more all use QR codes regularly.

Advertisers embed QR codes in promotional videos, people put them on flyers, the list goes on. There are endless possibilities, so use your imagination and generate QR codes for the related sites, pages, and documents that people should have easy access to.

Conclusion

If you aren’t already taking advantage of QR codes and their convenience, you should start now. Adding them to your digital signage content will save users time, provide you with useful data, reduce the need for physical contact with objects at your place of business, and increase engagement.

For more info on how to use QR codes properly in your digital signage content, get in touch with RidgeLogic now!

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