QR Codes – The barcodes of the future

QR Codes – The barcodes of the future

Quick Response Codes are the barcodes of the future. They have become more and more popular throughout the retail industry in South Africa and other countries since their invention in Japan in 1994. But exactly what are they and how do they work?  In this article we provide you with a brief look into this and various ways in which they are incorporated into different industries.

They can be defined as a two dimensional, square shaped code that is able to be scanned by a Smartphone, they are made up of dots and squares. They actually work in the exact same way that normal EAN and UPC retail barcodes work, except that QR barcodes are scanned by a smartphone and not a handheld retail scanner and as we know smartphones are the centre of everything these days. They were first used in Japan and have spread throughout the world.

What information is stored on a QR code? A huge variety of information can be stored. For example, contact information like email addresses or phone numbers, or even a specific location, which is nice to be used on business cards. They could contain information about a competition or a promotion that you are running, to drive sales or direct customers to your website. Or even a link to a YouTube video or a social media page. However, the most common information to be stored on a is a link to a URL.

QR barcodes are a lot more useful than EAN’s mostly because it is possible to store a lot more data on them. Also it is very convenient to simply use your cell phone to scan the QR barcodes. You do not need to invest in a scanner. All that your clients need to do is to download a barcode reader application onto their phone. With this application, they can scan the it to access the information stored within, most modern phones also come with a built in reader, especially iPhones.

So, what are QR’s used for? Firstly, you can use them to promote your business and increase your client’s loyalty and offer discounts. They are used to share information with clients and inform them of what your business can offer. A client can come into your store and scan the codes which will lead them to your business website. Here they can view any specials or promotions or find out more information regarding your business. You can also use them to give customers a coupon to use in a promotion. In addition, they can be used on products to give more information about the individual product. For example, a QR placed on a bottle of wine could have information about the specific winery it comes from, the grapes used as well as the alcohol content and on health products to list the nutritional benefits. It is a trendy way to drive knowledge of your business and services offered.

Scientists have even used them to track bees to help them find out more information about their individual behaviour. This has played a role in conserving the bees for future generations and survival of our planet as a whole. The bees are collected and using a special vacuum and they are then placed in very cold conditions so that they cease mobility and then each bee gets a QR code glued to their back. The is called BEEtag. This allows for scientists to keep real time tracking on colonies of bees. They can closely study the natural behaviours of each individual bee from a distance instead of having to stand and watch over them as was the norm before QR barcodes.

They are also used in the events industry to inform the general public of specific events and give them all the information they will need to benefit from the event. Another use is on bus and train stations. Clients will be able to scan it  and find out about timetables and contact information should they need it. This allows for companies to not have to print large amounts of information they can load all the information onto a webpage and people can go online to read what they need to.

They can also be used at tourism destinations to share information to enhance the client’s experience. For example, at Cape Point Nature Reserve in Cape Town, South Africa, clients are able to scan a it to get a pamphlet showing a map of Cape Point as well as more information about what is on offer and what can be seen.  They can also be used in Art Galleries or Museums to provide information about each individual piece of art.  This comes in handy when learners go on field trips and are required to complete research papers thereafter on what they learnt. They can scan the codes and bookmark the pages to use as reference at a later stage, much better than having to either memorise all the information or scribble down notes as fast as possible while the guide is talking. An interesting fact is that QR’s can also be used for gravestones, the codes allow grievers to visit a website which is created as a tribute to the deceased.

You can use them in conferences to provide all the information the conferences goers will need to know to make the most of the conference.  You can even use QR codes during your wedding preparations for your friends and family to RSVP instead of using the postal service. They are used in many ways to save on paper usage. All these ways are also meant to intrigue the user due to it being unique, trendy and helps save the planet at the same time. Win, win situation.

As you can see, there are countless ways to use these barcodes in your business. Contact https://barcodes123.co.za to find out more about how you can promote your business through the use of QR codes.