There’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic collapse disrupted business. Large and small companies struggled to find ways to connect, communicate, and serve their clients. Apps like Zoom and ecommerce platforms like GrubHub and Postmates helped many businesses stay alive.
Use of QR Codes increased during COVID-19 quarantines
While newer technology may have grabbed the spotlight, a bit of throwback tech from the early 2000s steadily made a comeback. The innocuous QR code started popping up again for a variety of uses. Short for Quick Response code, this little square of code was introduced in the late 1990s to provide more information than a traditional bar code. First used in manufacturing, it slowly spread to other applications but never really got much traction. Until recently.
As smartphone cameras and technology improved, the QR code became easier to access. Without the necessity for special apps, those little blocks became easier to read, making it possible to quickly link consumers to online sites like product videos, menus, signup forms, and more. In fact, when the Connected Commerce Council conducted a survey in 2020, 76% of U.S. small businesses indicated that they relied more on digital tools and software than before the COVID-19 crisis and economic downturn.
QR can be used in new ways
QR codes provide another way to connect to consumers for a variety of purposes. Just recently, PayPal announced payment processing through their platform using a Scan/Pay QR code. As more people worked remotely during quarantines, some WiFi providers began using QR codes as a way for users to easily scan for access without requiring them to type in lengthy domain names and passwords.
As retailers and other businesses begin reopening post-pandemic, many rely more frequently on QR codes to continue to connect, communicate, and educate consumers. QR codes are great ways to encourage online engagement, to provide additional product information or to suggest related products. Cross-selling and upselling using QR codes can be an extremely effective way to increase sales without high-pressure selling.
- Point of Purchase Signs
- Product Packaging
- Catalogs & Sales Sheets
- Rack Cards & Handouts
- Posters & Banners
- Menus & Mailers
QR Codes don’t have to be boring
As QR codes evolve, they no longer need to be the simple black and white block we’ve grown accustomed to. Designers who know the QR code “rules” can create unique codes that will get noticed.
QR codes continue to demonstrate their utility. As their popularity grows so will their impact. Far from being a novelty, QR codes will become an expectation of consumers and a way for businesses to augment their sales and marketing efforts.
AlphaGraphics Franklin has a team of design and marketing professionals who can help any business find creative and effective ways to use QR codes.