What are QR codes? Well, they’re similar to the barcodes used by retailers to track inventory and price products at the point of sale. The main difference between the two is the amount of data they can communicate.
Traditional bar codes which I’m sure you’re familiar with use vertical lines and can only hold up to 20 digits, whereas QR codes are two-dimensional (2D) and can hold much more information.
When a customer scans or reads a QR code with their iPhone, Android or other camera-enabled Smartphone, the phone can automatically:
- Be linked to a web page (for your shop, or business)
- Activate a number of phone functions including email, messaging or SMS
- Directed to an online video (Youtube, etc)
- Display prices or other data about a product, etc
Really it makes it EASIER for a customer (or potential customer) to obtain further information about a product – WITHOUT having to enter in information (e.g. your website address). It’s a good marketing and sales tool.
I’ve recently seen a big electrical goods retailer use QR codes as a ‘teaser’ for advertised specials. So it will be interesting to keep tabs on the varied (and creative) uses for QR codes in retailing and business.