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Should Your Business Use QR Codes?

For a while there it seemed like QR codes were falling out of fashion. Some years ago, scanning QR codes often required an additional application and was prone to problems due to poor data connections. Many brands found that their customers thought of the codes as more of a nuisance than a convenience.

Then, the Covid-19 pandemic happened. All of a sudden, contact became taboo. Consumers wanted to avoid talking to others and touching things that might be contaminated. Technology companies put the pedal to the mettle and took advantage of this trend, putting QR codes back on the tech map and everywhere we go.


Contact tracing was a major requirement that rose from the pandemic. In the beginning, it was important for disease controllers to find and notify people that might have been in contact with Covid-positive individuals. Today, check-ins for malls, restaurants, and more have become a way for administrators to implement vaccination-based entry measures.

Some facilities require pre-registration via QR code to ensure compliance with social distancing and maximum capacity guidelines. Other events may need guest information to be filled in before they can secure the relevant permits. Whatever the motivation, using QR codes is an easy way to collect visitor information without multiple physical exchanges of pens and paper.

Using QR codes for venue registration and check-ins can help businesses to record valuable information about their customers. Peak visitor times and average visit lengths are just examples of the data that can be gathered from a QR registration system. Since this data is already in digital format, it can effortlessly be analyzed to improve service performance.

Digital Menus

Digital menus and ordering systems are other features of the post-Covid retail environment. Not restricted to food and beverage operators, digital menus can be applied in a variety of businesses such as beauty salons, hospitals, bookstores, and karaoke bars. Customers simply scan the menu QR code to view the list of offerings and submit their order through the digital ordering system.

Since most consumers are now familiar with the online shopping experience, using a digital menu in a physical setting is not a challenge. Customers can enjoy a more relaxing shopping environment because service staff are not hovering around. Best of all, customers use their own devices to access the QR codes, meaning that there is no tablet or physical menu to disinfect when they leave.

Contactless Payments

Digital in-store shopping carts can be expanded to produce invoices to expedite payment or to lead directly to contactless payment options. These contactless payment options often use QR codes as well. Payment information such as the amount and transaction ID is automatically generated and encoded into dynamic QR codes that customers can scan.

China’s mega digital wallet apps WeChat Pay and Alipay fueled the rise of contactless QR payments and created the model that other digital wallets such as Google Pay and PayPal are following in the West. Country-focused offerings have proven successful with India’s Paytm and Southeast Asia’s GrabPay capturing a large market share.

The appeal of digital wallets and paying via QR code is clear—users can pay merchants without having to make physical contact or even take out their wallets. The benefit for small businesses and individual traders is huge as well. Dynamic QR codes can be used to pay any transaction, big or small, from on-the-spot plumbing services to donations for an animal shelter. 

Integrated Advertising

Finally, QR codes are an elevated version of the boring ‘read more’ link. Print ads, name cards, and television commercials can all be accompanied by a QR code that users can scan to find out more about a given promotion or product. Instead of having to manually enter a web address, potential customers just scan and go.

Because QR codes are so convenient, consumers are more likely to engage with brands. Furthermore, the QR code can lead to a specialized campaign landing page designed to capture data and convert leads. The beauty of integrated advertising is that the customers that scan the codes are already interested in the offering, allowing brands to convert with ease.

In art galleries, QR codes can let visitors read detailed information about each piece and submit their bids. On open house signs, QR codes can allow real estate agents to display image galleries of the property’s interior. You could have an ad on YouTube with a QR code for a discount subscription or a QR code for customers to submit feedback. The possibilities are endless.

Since Apple and major mobile manufacturers enabled native QR reading through their camera apps, the use of QR codes has become significantly simpler and more intuitive. It is now incredibly easy to create a custom QR code. Powerful QR code generators such as QrCodeChimp are at our disposal to create codes for event sign-ins, personal vCards, discount coupons, dynamic payments, and more.

QR codes are very current. They are a sign of better, modern customer service and are well-suited for the digital consumer. Brands should make the most of this technology and leverage the power of contactless services for their success.

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