Quick Response codes, or QR codes, have increasingly grown in popularity and usage over the past decade, especially with the increase of social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In past years, you might have occasionally seen a QR code that led to an app download or social media account. But over the past several months, QR codes have been everywhere, from restaurants to college campuses.
QR codes are read by digital devices which then translate the code into some form of media, such as a website or photo. With the widespread use of smartphones with QR code reading capabilities, it’s easier and more efficient than ever to use QR codes for your business needs. Continue reading to learn more about QR code benefits for businesses.
Why You Should Use QR Codes for Your Business
It’s possible that when you think about QR codes for businesses, you think about social media promotions or a code that simply brings you to a homepage. But QR codes can do so much more for your business than promote it. Especially if you’re in the retail or manufacturing industries, you’ll be amazed at how QR codes can make your business processes more efficient.
Here’s why you should start using QR codes for business ASAP:
- Information has never been more accessible: QR codes make getting information much quicker and easier. By scanning the code, you’re immediately shown the information you need, rather than having to click through several apps or type a search. This ease of use is something customers love to see.
- Everyone has a smartphone: Nowadays, everyone has a smartphone — even your grandparents. Why waste time and resources trying to find out what your customers want when a technology that tailors to everyone’s needs exists? Catering to your customers’ needs is always a win.
- Minimizing waste is crucial: For restaurants in particular, waste can be a significant issue. With QR codes, you eliminate the need for paper menus — displaying small QR codes at each table or bar that customers can scan to see your menu reduces waste while making life easier for hosts and servers.
How to Use QR Codes in Your Business Operations and Production
QR codes have recently changed in the production process, making things easier than ever before. Many industries are switching out traditional UPC barcodes for QR codes because of their advantages — the cons of QR codes compared to UPC barcodes are few and far between.
The pros of QR codes include:
- Store more information: UPC barcodes can only be read top to bottom, whereas QR codes can be read in multiple directions. QR codes can hold up to 4,000 characters of data — in one code! This means that QR codes allow for more than 300% more storage than traditional barcodes. QR codes can show all product information in one place.
- Ease of use: Because QR codes can be read in any direction, they can also be scanned at any angle. There’s no more time wasted trying over and over again to scan a pesky vertical UPC barcode. QR codes can be read with a smart device camera in just seconds.
- Printing capabilities: QR codes can be created and printed in seconds, saving you a lot of time when trying to get products ready to ship or sell on the retail floor. In addition, QR codes can hold all product information including product name and information, serial number and lot ID. With QR codes, you can pull up all of the information about a product within seconds. Then, with a QR code printer, you can have the product information printed and placed on the product in less than a minute.
- Digital tracking: Gone are the days of leafing through papers or clicking page after page to find old product or company information. QR codes will store all data and make it simple to find, saving time and energy. Use QR codes to help you pick and pack more efficiently and reduce errors.
QR Codes for Small Business Marketing
Did you know you can use QR codes for marketing, too? Aside from more functional uses like restaurant menus, you can use QR codes to promote your business in numerous ways. Here are a few examples:
Marketing and Branding
It’s incredibly simple for people to scan a simple code that takes them to your website or social media, so they’re much more likely to do that than write down a phone number or take a business card. QR codes have been proven to increase the likelihood of someone completing the code’s desired action, such as visiting your website, filling out a form or making a purchase. Plus, creating a code that links to your social media promotes more engagement and sharing of your brand.
Along with this point, QR codes also help you measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. By using a code rather than sharing your website’s URL, you can measure how many people scanned the code, clicked on your website or made a purchase. By using QR codes for business marketing, you’re able to see their effectiveness firsthand.
Promotions and Measurement
Another idea for applying QR codes to your business operations is to utilize them for limited-time promotions or discounts. If you publicize that scanning the QR code will gain customers a $10 off discount, they’ll be more likely to make a purchase. Consider creating separate codes — one for a promotion and one for your normal website, for example, to measure the effectiveness of your promotion.
QR codes can also be used in business branding for sharing customer testimonials and reviews. Many people are slow to trust businesses when they first encounter them. However, by reading good reviews of your business, customers become reassured they can trust your business to follow through on promises, gaining you more business.
When you start using QR codes for business purposes, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how they can positively transform your operations and efficiency. Why continue to spend time looking through pages of information when you can simplify your business processes with QR codes?
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