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5% of American Adults Scan QR Codes, Up From 1% A Year Ago, Study Says


A new study by Forrester Research revealed that 5% of adults in the United States with a mobile phone now scan quick response codes using their smartphones. This number is up from 1% last year.

According to the study, 15% of smartphone users scan barcodes, up from 5% in 2010. The study further found that Android users scan 2D barcodes most frequently, mainly due to the native integration of a barcode scanning software. Specifically, 23% of Android users scan QR codes, compared to 19% of iOS users and 5% of RIM and Windows Phone users, respectively.

Other studies have earlier found that most barcode users are typically younger, affluent adults. In fact, of the recent bar code users involved in the study, 66% were within the 23-45 age range. The largest income category – with $100,000+ earnings – has gathered 39% of respondents.

The study also gives pointers and suggests some key ways for business owners to utilize quick response codes in order to lead consumers. The study points out that QR codes help consumers find out what to buy by linking to contextual content, and in turn helping them decide between alternatives. The study also notes that 23% of smartphone owners use their handsets to find pricing information, and two-dimensional codes are a good way to give it to them.

The study warns, though, that businesses should use two-dimensional bar codes only if they support their overall mobile strategy. Having the bar codes everywhere will raise awareness about the codes, however, smartphone users will only adopt QR code technology if it gives them a pleasant and an efficient experience. The study’s findings further encourage business owners to think of this experience beyond its scale and then incorporate the codes to make the experience a complete and fulfilling one.

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