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Thursday, January 26, 2012

What Will the Future of QR Codes Look Like?

Are QR codes on their way out? I have been giving this some thought, and here is my take on the matter. Like everything else involving modern technology, QR codes will continue to evolve. Over time, they will likely become more specialized and user-friendly.

When QR codes were introduced, marketers seemed to take to them right away. Consumers, however, were slower to embrace this type of communication. Part of the problem with QR code marketing is that consumers cannot tell from looking at it what the benefit of scanning it with the smart phone would be for them.

It can be argued that QR codes are a more sophisticated version of a barcode, and we are all very familiar with those. When someone goes into a store to buy an item and a cashier scans the barcode to ring up the sale, it is a very straightforward process. The customer knows that the barcode contains a description of the item and its price. With QR codes, however, the consumer is not familiar with how scanning it will provide a benefit for him or her, and that makes QR codes a tougher sell.

However, the creative uses for QR codes exist, and the potential is almost limitless based on evolving smartphone technology. QR codes can drive leads, deliver customized content, unlock special offers, and more, marketers just need to start thinking creatively about how to use QR codes to really engage the consumers snapping them.

In all likelihood, QR codes will continue to exist in some form, but they will need to be become more specialized if consumers are going to embrace them in the way that marketers are hoping. They might need to offer the benefit to the customer in a specific situation, such as being able to scan and pay for an item on the go, before they become more mainstream.


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