How Class Providers Can Effectively Use QR Codes
October 5, 2022
7 min read
We're all living in the digital world. Technology is evolving at an unfathomable pace, and the pandemic has only accelerated this process. We, as a species, have been getting used to accessing everything in a matter of seconds – from quick-commerce apps like Amazon, Zepto and Dunzo guaranteeing 10 minute deliveries to instant payment transfers on Google Pay or Apple Pay – we are growing accustomed to the comfort and ease that technology is bringing us.
QR Codes are just another development in the series of technological revolutions that are making their appearance. Moreover, with Covid-19 demanding contactless services and operations, QR Codes are seeing more integration into daily human activities; from adding friends on messaging apps, to ordering at restaurants, to making contactless transactions, they are becoming the norm.
QR stands for Quick Response. QR Codes or Quick Response codes are a type of barcodes that typically store information as a series of pixels in a square-shaped grid, arranged using a pattern of black squares and dots against a white background. These patterns can be scanned and translated into human-readable information, with the help of an imaging device, like a camera. QR Codes are capable of storing large amounts of data, and are meant to allow access to this information instantaneously; thus the name Quick Response Code.
Scanning a QR Code is as uncomplicated as can be. Most smartphones and tablets come with QR readers built into their cameras. On older devices which may not offer this feature, QR scanning apps can be downloaded from the App Store or Play Store. All you have to do is place the scanner - by pointing your camera lens - over the QR code. The scanner automatically interprets it and shows you the content it is meant to show.
QR-Codes are usually very small in size. They can be scanned and used effectively regardless of their size, thus requiring minimal space to fit.
Unlike barcodes, QR-Codes do not need a special device to interpret data stored on them. They can simply be scanned using the cameras on our smartphones. They are also very easy to generate.
QR codes can store a good amount of information within the limits of their square-shaped grid. While standard barcodes can only be read in one direction - top to bottom, a QR code can be read from both - top to bottom and right to left, allowing it to house significantly more data and in different forms like image, video, URL, etc.
QR codes are known to be resilient and reliable. While even slight damage to barcodes can render them useless, QR codes will work even after being damaged up to 30% before becoming unreadable.
Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of QR Codes is that they can be edited and updated even after being printed or circulated online. This enables great savings as posters or other material with QR codes displayed on them need not be reprinted. The content on the codes can simply be updated and the same prints can continue to be used.
Analytics is perhaps one of the most invaluable tools for businesses. QR Codes are a great way to gain valuable insights into the customer behavior by allowing you to track scanning activity. UTM Codes allow you to track the source of traffic to your website, allowing you to gauge the effectiveness of your QR Codes.
"The customer experience is the next competitive battleground." – Jerry Gregoire.
With customers having constant access to a sea of data, one of the most challenging tasks is to keep them hooked on to what you have to offer. QR codes can lead to different types of engaging content such as online games, promo codes or online magazines that have the power to captivate audiences.
Additionally, QR codes are great for the environment as they are a paperless solution. Digital menus, brochures and catalogs save a ton of paper and are also extremely convenient to use - making them a boon for the environment as well as for us all.
QR Codes can be used to lead customers to a sign up page or any landing page or website. This is a quick and easy way to direct customers to access and navigate your website. Scanning QR Codes can also direct customers to your social media pages or to the download page of your app on the App Store or Play Store.
Using QR codes can really blow your ad campaign up. They are a terrific way of making your advertisement more engaging and humanizing the customer experience. Time and again, companies are finding innovative ways to engage customers using QR Codes. Chinese game developer Bilibili used 1500 drones to form a giant QR code over Shanghai’s night sky on the first anniversary of the China release of the game Princess Connect! Re:Dive. Scanning the code with a phone would instantly take viewers to the game's download page.
QR Codes have revolutionized the way transactions are made. They can eliminate the need for conventional payment systems - cash or card - and the hassles of collecting change or processing credit or debit cards that come along with it. QR Codes make payments faster, easier and more convenient - it's no wonder this payment method is preferred by most millennials, considering that making a transaction is now as easy as taking a selfie! All you have to do is point your smartphone camera and you are good to go!
QR codes make great digital business cards. Interested persons can simply scan the QR code to receive business contact information. While business cards can be easily lost, QR codes also offer another advantage in the way that contact details on the QR code can simply be updated when required instead of having to reprint business cards.
QR codes can be scanned to receive details about products and services. Most restaurants attach their menu to a QR code on every table through which customers can order directly. QR Codes are also displayed on product packages to communicate product details, its benefits, and its uses. For example, QR codes could be displayed next to products at supermarkets and scanned to check the products’ nutritional facts.
Pro tip - You could use just one QR Code to do this all by directing it to link builders like linktr.ee which offer a single landing page containing multiple links.
LevelUp Gym has placed a pop-up display of their QR Code at the entrance of their gym to enable customers to access class schedules, registration and trial forms, and trial bookings online. This saves the team hours of administrative hassle and in turn, saves them administrative costs. Let's say, the time taken to fill, file and sort one form takes around 7 minutes on an average. If customers fill around 70 forms a week, LevelUp Gym saves almost 500 minutes i.e. up to 8 hours of administrative effort. That would amount to a good deal of administrative cost, which can now be retained, thanks to this paperless, mobile-friendly solution.
The QR Code also provides people with a one stop destination for all business contact details and access to different social media accounts with just one scan.
Archibald Sports Academy’s QR Codes link to a landing page where customers can find all their products and services - tennis and squash lessons, tournaments, leagues and court bookings - and also catch the link to their website.
Moreover, these codes are smartly displayed on their tennis and squash courts, thus targeting the right audience at the perfect time and place. Simply by scanning the QR Codes, racquet sports enthusiasts now have access to court bookings and other related services at the click of a button.
It's always better to display your QR Code with some context - a short written explanation of what your customer would gain or learn from scanning the code. Adding a call-to-action in your QR code is important as it piques curiosity and gives the customer an idea of what the code will offer them when they scan it.
A call-to-action should urge them what to do and what to expect, for example, ‘Scan the QR Code to find out’ (to know more about the brand or products) or ‘Scan to receive your promo code’ or ‘Scan to get 30% off on your purchase’ (to offer discounts or promo codes).
You could incorporate your brand logo or image at the center of the QR Code to give customers a sense of security about the legitimacy of the code. Moreover, branded codes garner a higher conversion rate and also leave an imprint of the brand on the customers. QRTiger is one website which allows you to add a logo to the QR code for free.
QR codes need to be easily recognized by smartphones or scanning devices. Making them too large would make them difficult to fit into frame, while making them too small could make them difficult to be recognized by smartphones, or even unnoticeable to the eye. Place them where they can be clearly noticed and seen and scanned properly.
Your QR Code will only perform well if it is placed in a favorable setting. They should be displayed in areas where the internet can be accessed, and where people actually have the time to stop and scan.
Tracking the progress of your QR Code marketing campaign is of utmost importance to gauge whether your idea is doing well or not. You can garner insights about consumer behavior and performance rating, and accordingly make the necessary changes. These insights also help in planning and modifying future initiatives.
Well, pretty much anywhere. QR Codes can be displayed on anything that can be seen and scanned with a smartphone - from flyers to billboards, business cards to product packages, and reception desks to magazines and webpages; on paper or cloth, on building walls or bathroom stalls, or as we saw above, even in the open sky.
However, a good way to think about placement is by asking two questions: Will the target audience be able to conveniently scan the code? And will they have the time to do so? Hoardings on a highway may not be as effective as a standee at a station - as your audience is most likely to have their phones handy and a few minutes to kill while waiting for their transport.
There are a number of websites that allow you to generate QR Codes just by following a few simple steps - like ForQRCode, QRTiger, QRCode Monkey, to name a few. All you have to do is enter your URL and customize the QR code which can then be saved to your device.
Another really convenient way of generating QR Codes is on the Google Chrome app on your mobile devices.
This automatically generates a QR Code which you can then download or ask someone to scan.
Year after year, technology is progressing and bringing along with it the need to adapt and evolve. QR codes are now almost ubiquitous owing to the convenience and speed and multiple other benefits they offer to not just users, but business owners as well. In fact, 45% of shoppers used marketing-related QR codes in 2021. It is only a matter of time until they become the new normal. Using QR codes can definitely help you skyrocket your marketing strategy, facilitate your operations and finally, boost revenue; all for minimal effort and investment. So it might be a good idea to give it a shot!