QR codes are everywhere, and we mean everywhere (they are even on ketchup bottle labels when you go out to a restaurant and they are featured in artwork displayed in galleries). Their presence is undeniable, but the real question is whether or not they are being put to good use.

The most popular way to use a QR code is to point it to a website. Just to throw our opinion out there — it’s just a tiny bit overdone. Giving your QR code a more meaningful existence could mean more for your company in terms of ROI.

Many companies spend more time and energy creating clever ways to display or create their QR codes but forget the most important part — giving their customers a GOOD reason to scan the code. The most important aspect of using a QR code is what happens after it is scanned, not the theatrics put into creating the QR code (despite the fact that it may be impressive). Almost everyone is using QR codes to direct users to a website and as a result, users are becoming less interested in scanning them. A QR code can store so much more information than the average barcode, so why waste that potential?

Let’s face it, who wants to open the QR reader application, wait for the code to scan (which sometimes takes a while if it happens at all), only to finally get transferred to the internet browser to see a website that could have been more easily and immediately accessed if they opened the browser and entered the url instead?

In short, give customers an incentive for taking the time to scan your QR code!

“Scan this code to get a coupon available for immediate use“

“Join our rewards club by scanning this code and get an extra point just for becoming a member!“

“Exclusive videos (or photos) available by scanning this code!“

“Watch a video on how to use [xyz product]“


There should be a reason to scan a QR code, and that reason should be better than being automatically forwarded to a website — as I said before, your customer could have gone to the website on their own if he or she really wanted to and they didn’t need the QR code to do so — and it should be a way to engage others with your company (or product or services).

Check out some of the cool things people are doing with QR codes for some inspiration:

  • Bakon Vodka uses QR codes to give its users badges and create an online community for its customers
  • Photographers use QR codes in lieu of signatures to get the credit they deserve (and people can see more photos of that genre or from that particular photo shoot)
  • JCPenney created Santa tags which allowed gift givers to record voice messages for those they were sending gifts to (a great way to share your holiday spirit with family or friends that are far away)
  • Some companies allow customers to make payments with QR codes on their mobile devices
  • A few bakeries created edible QR codes that send customers to a Facebook fan page or to coupons (the photo above)
  • Tell us about some interesting QR code uses you know about in the comments!

If you want to know more about QR codes, you can read this article on using QR codes.

If you are interested in finding out more about our company and what we do, visit our website to find out more about industrial data solutions.

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