QR Code Usage in US Surpasses UK, Says Survey

As new technology hits the market, its watchdogs study the movement to understand how deep the technology has penetrated or how badly it is rejected by the audience. The number game affects a lot of business analysts and is a key factor in deciding whether the technology will be adopted by companies on a mass level or not. QR code technology is no different. First used in Japan in 1994, the QR code technology has spread itself across businesses and is slowly replacing the traditional 1D barcodes used by manufacturers.

QR Code Usage

Image Courtesy: Pitney Bowes

According to the leading postage firm, Pitney Bowes, on an average “15% of people have used a QR code” across the US, UK, France, and Germany in 2012. However, the usage across the US (19%) exceeds that in the UK (15%) and other European countries surveyed. High QR code usage stems from the fact that almost a third of the population in the US owns a Smartphone – a handy way to scan a QR code. Brands and communicators can tap the myriad benefits of QR codes and reach out to consumers who want more access to detailed information about products, schemes, offers, and rewards through this relatively inexpensive tool.

Where are QR codes most seen?

Applications of QR codes are unlimited but most QR codes captures are associated with printed material. The survey also shows that captures of QR codes from magazines is the highest (15%) followed by mail (13%), packing (13%), and poster (10%). QR code scanning within digital context is less evident with websites accounting for 8%, emails for 5%, and TVs for 4%. According to a study from ScanLife, 60 percent of the people scan QR codes from their homes. The technology allows customers to scan a unique QR code and avail latest offers sitting at home.

Who uses QR codes?

Scanning QR Code Through Smartphone

QR codes are scanned mostly by the young consumers (photo by picpinky used under a Creative Commons license)

It has been gathered that on an average 27% of people aged 18-34 use QR codes; however, the usage is higher among those aged 18-24 in each surveyed country. Even though, the mass users of QR codes are in this age group, considerable usage has been witnessed in people aged 25-34.

QR codes have moved on from the “next big thing” to the “it thing”. Popular with marketers, QR codes are an inexpensive enhancement to any campaign. Some popular apps that allow Smartphone users to scan a QR code include QR scanner, QR Reader, QR Droid, RedLaser. You can also see some of the most innovative uses of the QR code here

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