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Consumers Get Little From QR Codes?


According to a new survey conducted by Russell Herder, 72% of American consumers have spotted quick response codes at one time or another, but that almost 30% do not know what the two-dimensional black and white matrix codes are. The survey involved 500 respondents.

The study found that younger consumers were more likely to see QR codes and recognize these as scannable barcodes. Specifically, 80% of respondents belonging to the 18-24 year-old age group said they recognize QR codes, while only 60% of respondents aged 45+ do.

Additionally, around 25% of the younger consumers have scanned a QR code using their smartphone. This, according to the research firm, is the highest rate for any consumer age group.

Not worthwhile???

However, when asked whether they are getting value from the time and effort they spend scanning a QR code and getting directed to an online content, the consumers have these to say:


  • Always : 3%
  • Usually : 28%
  • Sometimes : 52%
  • Rarely : 15%
  • Never : 2%


The results of the survey, particularly to this specific question, is not as good as we would have hoped. However, this should not discourage companies or businesses who have or who are planning to embark on a QR code marketing campaign.

Instead, this should be taken as a challenge. Marketing people who plan to utilize these pixilated square codes should look for more creative ways to present these codes and should make sure they take scanners to valuable online content.

It can be a page peppered with text, a video, an image, or a website that is of importance to consumers. Make sure they get something worthwhile out of spending a few seconds to whip out their phones and scan the code. Let the experience be rewarding for them in one way or another. Make sure you make scanning a good experience for them, and not a total waste of their time.

But how do we make the QR code worth their while? Valuable content can be any one, any two or all of these: informative, educational, and entertaining. The important thing is to know your goal and to know your target audience. This way, you will know what kind of value both you and your target will get.

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