QR Code: Can It Benefit Your Business?

Before you can understand how you possibly can benefit from a QR code, it helps to know what it is.  The images  below are three (3) different samples  of how a QR code might look.

What is QR Code?

It is a two-dimensional matrix barcode that is readable by…

  • Scanners
  • Mobile phones (with a camera) 
  • Smartphones

The QR code is a black on white module arranged in a square pattern where the information encoded can be a URL, text or just about any other data.

This code – which originated in Japan – is short for Quick Response.   It is unique in that it can be read quickly and then the  information that was just scanned is  put into your cell phone. Pretty amazing stuff.   That being said, you may soon be seeing these codes in magazines, on billboards, printed on T-shirts or even company cars and trucks. We’ve already seen QR codes being used in some television shows and on NASCAR racers.

Their popularity comes from the fact that not only can they store more data than a barcode but also  the information presented can be more detailed.   This information might give the URL (website address) to your business, directions to local store locations, link to a movie trailer or song snippet, or even offer a money-saving coupon redeemable at a local restaurant.

How does a cell phone read these codes?

They are read via a QR code reader which can be installed easily into the phone. There are several sites online where readers can be found and downloaded in about a minute. One such site is Kaywa *.  This site offers services for the ‘mobile internet’.

If you think a QR code might be something you could use, you’re probably wondering where and how do I get one? You can find several sites online that generate this code. One is ZXing * . 

ZXing defines themselves as, “ZXing (pronounced “zebra crossing”) is an open-source, multi-format 1D/2D barcode image processing library implemented in Java. Our focus is on using the built-in camera on mobile phones to photograph and decode barcodes on the device, without communicating with a server.”

No matter how large or small your business, you may find that using QR codes will benefit your website.   For example, have one next to each product; have one pointing to directions; have one on your contact page, etc.

What About Search Engines?

QR code is so new it would be difficult to say what the bottom-line effect will be or how it can be of benefit with regard to search engines. However, by simply having it on your website pages, the search engines will see a new image which in turn will be indexed and show that the page is not dormant.

Who knows, at some point in the future,  the search engines maybe configured not only to recognize QR code simply a ‘new image’  but also to index the content.

QR Code Uses

We’ve discussed a few ways a QR code could be used on your website, but when you think of using them on printed material and other types of advertising, the possibilities and the types of information you can share are almost unlimited.

  • Business Cards – Website URL, Product Info, Coupons, YouTube Videos, Directions
  • Printed Advertising (Magazines, bottles,etc.) – Contact Info, URL, Product Info, Coupons, Special Offers, Directions
  • Company Vehicles – URL, Local Locations, Special Offers
  • T-Shirts – Social Sites, Club or Fraternity URL, Benefit or Fund Raiser Details, Event Details
  • On Promo Items (Give-aways) – Cups, Note Pads, Calendars, etc.

Final Thought

Whether your ready or not to move into the future of digital advertising, at the very least having a basic knowledge about QR code and what it does may help you make a more educated business decision down the road  –  especially if you’re planning on cashing in on the huge  mobile Internet market out there.   

* These links are for informational purposes, we’ve not tried using them so cannot make any recommendations or comments.

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