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Thought Leadership & Enablement
June 22, 2022

How to Increase Consumer Engagement with QR Codes

“QR codes will become key to data collection” — Insider Intelligence, 3 Retail & Ecommerce Trends to Watch in 2022

Jenna Galletti
Content Marketing Specialist

You’ve likely noticed more and more square, pixelated boxes showing up everywhere you go, especially over the course of the last few years. 

qr-code-example

We’re talking about these little pixelated boxes:

Aka, QR codes.

What are QR Codes?

QR codes, or Quick Response Codes, are small, pixelated images that enable consumers to access content immediately. Simply put, QR codes are just like scannable barcodes. They are able to store large amounts of data and work as a connector at any stage of the consumer journey. 

QR Codes simplify the consumer experience by shortening the amount of time and clicks it takes to access a quiz, article, survey, image, menu, app, game, and so much more. 

In other words, a QR Code reduces the number of touches needed to get from Point A to Point B. Given their convenience, QR codes are expected to replace barcodes in retail by 2027.

Why are QR Codes Gaining Popularity?

QR codes have been around for a while.

In fact, the first QR code system dates back to 1994, when the Japanese company, Denso Wave, were looking for a better way to track vehicles and parts during the manufacturing process.

Flash forward two decades to 2015 when the popular social app, Snapchat, introduced ‘Snap Codes’ in order to better facilitate the process of adding new friends on the app.

Since then, QR codes haven’t exactly been the first weapon in a marketer’s tool box when it comes to increasing engagement.

That is however, until the pandemic hit, which is why many businesses are now jumping on the QR Code bandwagon.

And for good reason.

According to PYMNTS, QR code-enabled payment methods have surged by 150 percent in the U.S since March 2019, which, in turn, boosted QR code adoption by 11 percent since the pandemic.

According to a survey conducted by Brij, a leading platform that powers QR codes, 90% of respondents have scanned a QR code in the last month. This speaks largely to the easy and intuitive process of using a QR code. The only thing that people need is a device with a camera to be taken directly to a website—there’s no need to type in a long URL.    

Many people scanned their first QR codes during the pandemic, and according to a June 2021 YouGov survey, 75% of users would be willing to use more QR codes in the future. 

The pandemic made QR codes ubiquitous for health reasons, but retailers are quickly discovering how they can use QR codes in other ways. The ease of use of QR codes makes them useful and adaptable for use cases beyond payment and menu scans. The same Brij survey revealed that 91% of customers want to see QR codes used more broadly in the future. Already, we’re seeing QR codes being used in creative ways to connect businesses and their consumers.  

QR codes, and overall contactless marketing, makes the communication process between businesses and end-consumers simple, convenient, and effective.

Contactless Marketing is any communication that eliminates a direct interaction between a brand and a consumer.  In other words, think of contactless marketing as a form of self-service.

The pandemic was a wake up call for business owners and marketers alike, as they faced the particularly challenging hurdle of maintaining strong, engaging connections through different forms of contactless marketing, and primarily QR codes.

How do Marketers Use QR Codes?

As QR codes become widely adopted, the process of promoting, engaging, and converting consumers becomes easier than ever before.

Marketers use QR codes to supplement campaigns by launching on product packaging, billboards, in-person, through print materials, on-site, via email, and so much more.

QR codes on television have also increased in popularity since more and more people are streaming content rather than consuming television traditionally with regular advertisements. 

Marketers have seen immense success. During this year’s Super Bowl commercial break, for example, a cryptocurrency company called Coinbase launched a live QR-code campaign that drew over 20 million visits to their website in one minute. This massive influx of traffic temporarily crashed their app. For the user, it was a fun and unique first interaction with the company.

One powerful feature of QR codes are their ability to capture first-party consumer data, which includes a customer’s email, purchasing history, and other insights. First-party data is unique to an individual business and collected with consumer consent. A study by Google and Boston Consulting Group found that businesses that use first-party data in their marketing strategies saw up to a 2.9x revenue increase and a 1.5x increase in cost savings. 

In the past, marketers relied on third-party cookies to target customers, but as we make the shift towards cookieless browsers and a privacy-centric approach, there is an increasing need for brands to develop their own in-house capabilities to source first-party data. 

This is where QR codes shine. Brands can encourage their customers to interact with their products via QR codes with incentives such as signing up for a rewards program or accessing more product information. Upon registration, brands receive first-party consumer data that they can use to create personalized experiences for their customers. By leveraging QR codes to remove common hurdles in the interaction process, brands are able to open a new line of communication and strengthen relationships with their customers.

QR codes are undoubtedly a new avenue for marketers to explore and develop better connections with consumers. 

 How to Build Genuine Connections & Implement QR Codes

One of our wonderful clients, the Allionce Group, recently launched an on-going campaign at zoos across the United States and in partnership with Nutella.

This fun campaign combines the power of digital engagement with in-person engagement, and QR codes.

The ‘Breakfast with Animals’ campaign takes place in person at select zoos across the United States. Attendees are offered breakfast, featuring pancakes with Nutella of course. Following each breakfast, guests will meet with a zookeeper to hear all about the amazing animals at each historic zoo and some of the events will even have animal ambassadors in attendance as well!

These events highlight the power of out of home marketing, especially now that many businesses and consumers are able to meet in person once again.

Before registering for the event, consumers are prompted to take a fun, interactive quiz to learn a little bit more about some of the famous animals at each zoo. At the end of the quiz, consumers are entered for a chance to win an exclusive behind the scenes tour among other exciting prizes.

But the fun doesn’t stop there…

During the actual in-person events, Allionce and Nutella have sprinkled in QR codes across their marketing materials in order to continually drive greater value and connection.

Get started today

QR codes are an effective way to launch experiences, share information, and simplify the consumer journey drastically.

When you build a Jebbit experience, you have the option to launch via QR Codes as well!

That’s right. Your brand can bring personality quizzes, product finders, lead capture forms and MORE anywhere your consumers are digitally and physically. 

Interested in learning more about how to use QR Codes to capture first party data, offer discounts, and provide your customers with additional product information? Check out our partners over at Brij and feel free to schedule a demo

Jenna Galletti
Content Marketing Specialist