QR Codes stand for quick response codes.
To make this easier to explain, think of UPC Codes in the retail and grocery stores. We’ve grown so accustomed to these codes we barely notice them anymore. The codes are created for the retail stores so they’re able to quickly and efficiently scan the product information (and get us through those lines faster!) You can’t get a product into a store anymore without one, and manufacturers and retailers alike have accepted this form of accessing and storing product information.
So, a QR Code is just another form of coded information. Something creates it and then something reads it. So, what creates it? There are web-based QR sites where anybody can create a QR Code. The code can either represent a URL (your website, or specific page on your website) or information; think business card info. After entering the information you want revealed in your QR Code, the programming will create a scrambled box (the QR Code) that you can use in print and when scanned will link up to the information your code is connected to. So, how do you scan an QR Code?
There are applications available you can download by smart phones, ie, web-connected phones. (if you don’t have a web-enabled phone you can’t use this technology) You download these applications for free and then with your smart phone use that application to scan QR Codes you see and it will automatically link (take you) you to the information on the web that the QR Code represents.
Wow…or, hmmm, or whatever, you might think, but, marketers are beginning to use QR Codes. They’re certainly not for everyone, but, what if you had a catalog that normally prints 36 pages and the cost to print and mail is getting too expensive? As a marketer you could create a smaller version of the catalog in say, 8 pages (saving money on print and mailing) and use QR Codes in your shortened version of the catalog to make it easier for your customers to link directly to your website for additional products, colors, sizes. Wow.
Or, a QR Code could be used by Realtors. Using this technology would allow a potential client to scan a QR Code printed on a sign and enter a website directly taking a tour of the home they’re standing in front of. Hmmm?
Or, how about a customer completing a questionnaire after a purchase? (Those pesky instructions for example…maybe somebody could offer up a better way, and the QR Code could take them directly to that suggestion page in your website.)
Okay, I think you get the point. There are many great applications for using QR Codes. Right now their only limitation is our limited experience. I wouldn’t recommend using them to replace something, but to enhance, to grow, to expand. That’s my take anyway…expanding the mind is a good thing even if it means embracing another new technology. whatever. It’s going to happen anyway.