QR Codes Going Mainstream

The process of exchanging information just got a lot more sophisticated! QR codes have finally made their way into mainstream marketing tactics in North America and are beginning to spark curiosity amongst consumers and business people alike.

In countries like Japan, QR codes are used on everything imaginable to provide consumers with necessary information at their fingertips. Imagine, no more searching for a sales associate!

In mid-July New York City garbage trucks took the leap and began featuring QR codes on their trucks. The codes, when photographed with a mobile phone, will direct people to a video from NYC Media’s show The Green Apple: Recycling. QR codes like the ones used on New York City garbage trucks require users to download a special application in order to be re-directed. To read the code, the user simply takes a photo after launching the application and the software will trigger a specific response depending on the code. Some codes may launch a URL in the phone’s browser, some may download a video, provide a message etc.

Electronic retail giant Best Buy has managed to make their weekly circulars more interactive by including QR codes that do anything from linking to more valuable information to allowing consumers to view trailers for a new video game.

As more companies begin to adopt this technology, opportunities arise for new types of interaction and in turn, new types of QR codes. Text- message-based 2d codes may win the hearts of consumers in the long run as they require no downloading. When you look at the stats, it’s hard to ignore the fact that within the US cellular market alone, 68.7 million people use text messaging and 75% of mobile phone users have a standard phone, which wouldn’t allow them to download an application, but it would allow them to text message.

Only time will tell which QR codes will stick around for the long run. In the meantime retailers are beginning to explore their options and the ultimate result will be an enhanced experience for all consumers.


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