QR codes, or Quick Response codes, are everywhere these days you’ve likely spotted one of these black and white patterned squares already, even if you didn’t know what it was. In the last 18 months, QR codes have popped up on everything from product packaging and labels to magazine advertisements and in store promotional signs.
Just what are these crazy looking patterned squares, and how can you use them? Read on for some insights on how to put this emerging technology to work for you.
What are QR Codes?
QR codes originated in Japan and are a form of enhanced bar code created by a subsidiary of the Toyota Company. When you purchase an item in a store, the scanner at the checkout can quickly read the UPC bar code and come up with the product price. A QR code is a more advanced version of this technology.
Read a QR code and you can instantly see not only the product name and price, but view an informational video, listen to tips or tutorials about using the product or be taken to the products main web page.
One of the advantages of a QR code is that it can be read by any smartphone. A consumer doesn’t need to haul around a big scanner or cash register to get the information. Simply point your smartphone at the code and scan it, and you’ll be rewarded with information in an instant.
Need to know what colors and sizes a t-shirt comes in? Scan the tag and you’ll go right to the manufacturer. Getting medicated in the hospital? Don’t be surprised when the nurse scans your wristband to confirm your identity before giving you the prescribed dose.
How to Use QR Codes for Your Small Business Marketing
- Generate and attach a QR code to your labels or tags, when you ship or sell merchandise, your customer can find you again instantly, even if they lost the receipt or can’t remember your website address.
- Put QR codes on your business cards that link to your website, online portfolio or other useful information. Business cards can be printed in small batches, or printed with one of several unique QR codes for your small business marketing plan.
- Reward your customers with point of purchase discounts, special offers and coupons that can be accessed by scanning the QR code.
Where to Get QR Codes:
You don’t have to worry about drawing up a complex QR code on your own. There are several websites that can generate them for you. You’ll just need to know the URL you want to link to and enter some basic information and the code will be generated for you to instantly download. Best of all, the process is free! Popular QR Code generator sites include:
Don’t be scared off by new technology; QR codes are fast and easy to generate. They can be just what you need to attract a whole new group of tech-savvy customers.