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Why QR Codes Still Suffer Lack of Adoption


While we can say that quick response codes are sprouting like mushrooms, especially in commercialized areas, and that more and more people are getting familiar with these codes, we can also say that there’s still an apparent lack of adoption.

True, various studies have found an increase in the numbers, as far as application and scans are concerned. But these numbers are rather insignificant, particularly if you look at them in terms of general populations. People who scan QR codes and businesses who apply them in their marketing campaigns still make up the minority.

So what’s really stopping most people from adopting QR codes? Here are our tops 3 suspects:

1. QR Codes are physically difficult to scan. You need to have the code in an appropriate size, you need to have the appropriate lighting, you need to position your mobile phone at the right angle, and you need a super steady hand in order to successfully scan a QR code. Admit it, how many times have you seen a QR code and successfully scanned it in one go?

2. QR code reader apps or software are not preloaded on all mobile phones. This could very well be the number one reason why most people are not keen about scanning a QR code. We think it’s part of human nature that if we need to take extra steps – like download a reader application – in order to access something that we do not even understand fully, then we end up just not doing them.

3. There are too many code variations. There are many types of codes. Even two-dimensional codes have different types. And these different kinds of codes require different things in order for us to decipher them. So we cannot blame people if they find all these codes confusing and just not bother with them at all.

So knowing the top reasons why people do not embrace QR codes as openly as marketers would want them to, it would help us plan our QR code campaigns better. It would also help us take steps that would make it much easier for people to scan QR codes – like make sure our codes are just the right size, that we give instructions on how they could download QR code reader apps quickly and easily, and that our QR codes are customized and thus greatly distinguishable from other types of 2D codes.

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One Response to Why QR Codes Still Suffer Lack of Adoption

  1. CAELAN HUNTRESS December 29, 2011, 9:50 am

    An easy workaround for this would be to encourage QR code use within contained environments.

    Throwing a QR code into the corner of a newspaper ad is like throwing a fish hook in the ocean and hoping for some fish. The good fishermen will watch to see where the fish are captive, and provide them with what they already like.

    People on guided tours, in large structured environments like zoos and museums, are ripe for a quick 5 minute tutorial on how to use a QR code.

    Until we start training people on how to use QR codes, in environments where they are willing to learn the information, we won’t have heavy adoption.

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