With the potential to enhance the customer experience and increase brand recognition, QR codes have become a popular marketing tool
The widespread use of QR codes has increased consumer familiarity and comfort with the technology, which is likely to continue to drive adoption
As QR codes become more widely used and familiar among consumers, they offer a versatile and measurable approach for businesses to optimise their marketing efforts
Quick Response (QR) codes have been around for over two decades, but they have recently become a more popular marketing tool. They were widely adopted during the pandemic as the world switched to a contactless lifestyle as a preventive measure. And now, three years since lockdowns were imposed, one question remains — are QR Codes still popular and relevant today?
They are two-dimensional codes that can be scanned using a smartphone camera to direct users to websites, videos, or other digital content. They are an excellent way to engage with consumers, and their marketing potential is vast.
According to a report by BARC India and Nielsen, QR code usage in India grew by 550% in 2020 compared to 2019. The report further suggests that these codes are widely used in India for mobile payments, contactless delivery, and digital menus. These findings suggest that Indian consumers are familiar with QR codes and are open to using them for various purposes.
In 2023, their use is growing rapidly and is likely to play a significant role in the future of marketing. With the increasing use of smartphones and the internet, QR codes have become a convenient and efficient way to connect with consumers and drive engagement.
Shorter Customer Journey. Better Customer Experience
They provide a quick and easy way for consumers to access information, such as product details, discounts, and promotions. They can be used in various marketing channels, including print ads, billboards, and product packaging. They can also help track the effectiveness of marketing campaigns by measuring the number of scans and conversions.
In an era where everything is just a few clicks away, and a user’s attention span has reduced to just a few seconds, brands need to make themselves visible in real-time to ensure engagement. QR codes, thankfully, can help engage customers by providing personalised content and experiences.
For example, a QR code on a product’s packaging can lead customers to a video demonstrating how to use the product. Additionally, they can be used to collect customer feedback and opinions, which can help companies improve their products and services.
GDPR Compliant Data Privacy
Data protection is the marketer’s top concern in 2023, and Big Tech is slowly shifting away from cookies. The end of third-party cookies will also change how digital marketing elements will act and how customer data will be tracked for advertising.
As we build and scale up a connected physical and digital world, brands and audiences must constantly interact in a safe environment. Moreover, in an online world, consumers are sensitive about their data, especially since data breaches have increased.
Safeguarding sensitive data is a critical responsibility brands have for their customers and maintaining trust. Privacy-first data collection practices will be the new norm, so brands must develop one-on-one relationships with consumers. We face a data revolution in which brands collect first-party data using new tools such as QR codes.
Other methods to collect first-party data include owned digital properties, loyalty programmes, dating apps, consumer websites, and even sponsored Wi-Fi hotspots. To ensure that customers are safe while using QR codes, new-gen QR brands have been offering GDPR and SOC-2-compliant data privacy and security in QR codes.
Higher Adoption And More Conversions
QR codes have gained widespread popularity in India in recent years as an effective marketing tool and have seen significant adoption, especially during the pandemic. The pandemic resulted in an accelerated adoption of QR codes, and brands contemplating using them also adopted them. Many businesses now use QR codes for contactless payments, ticketing, and other applications.
Their widespread use has increased consumer familiarity and comfort with the technology, which is likely to continue to drive adoption. As a result, marketers are now rushing to make the best use of it and establish a direct connection with their customers.
There are several success stories of QR codes in the Indian marketing domain. For example, Vodafone India used these codes to promote its SuperNet 4G service. The campaign included QR codes on billboards, print ads, and digital channels. The campaign resulted in a 2.3% increase in revenue and a 76% increase in website traffic. Similarly, KFC India used these codes to provide customers with personalised offers and discounts, resulting in a 15% increase in sales.
QR Codes And The Future
As technology continues to evolve, QR codes will evolve right alongside it. The technology will offer even greater functionality and convenience in the years to come.
Here are some of the most promising ways QR Codes will be beneficial to marketers:
QR codes are relatively inexpensive to create and distribute, making them a cost-effective marketing tool. They can be printed on the packaging, flyers, posters, or even digital screens.
This versatility means that these codes can reach a wider audience without a significant investment.
A research report by Epsilon found that 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase when brands offer personalised experiences. QR Codes are an excellent tool to provide personalised marketing experiences to consumers.
By directing users to specific pages based on their interests, brands can provide a more personalised experience that resonates with the user. This personalisation can increase customer engagement and loyalty while improving the overall effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
Augmented Reality (AR)
The AR market is projected to reach $88.4 Bn by 2023 at a CAGR of 35% across commercial and healthcare sectors. QR Codes can also be used to incorporate augmented reality (AR) into marketing campaigns.
By scanning a QR code, users can be directed to an AR experience that allows them to interact with a brand’s products or services in a virtual environment. This approach can provide a unique and memorable experience for customers, which can increase brand recognition and loyalty.
A Phygital World
QR Codes are becoming more accessible and convenient for consumers with the increasing adoption of smartphones and digital payments. Dynamic QR Codes offer more personalised and engaging experiences, changing the future of marketing by providing a cost-effective, interactive approach. With the potential to enhance the customer experience and increase brand recognition, QR codes have become a popular marketing tool that cannot be ignored.
QR codes provide numerous benefits such as customer engagement, tracking campaign effectiveness, and personalised experiences, leading to increased sales and revenue. As they become more widely used and familiar among consumers, they offer a versatile and measurable approach for businesses to optimise their marketing efforts. Their future in marketing is bright, and businesses must leverage this technology to provide the best possible customer experience while achieving their marketing goals.