August 31, 2018 By Cecile Amalfi,

Last year we wrote an article on The Death of QR Codes and the Rise of New Technology, it would be an understatement to say that Quick Response Codes didn’t live up to the hype despite their usefulness to get information and trigger actions. The fact that you had to download a separate app to scan a code, their aesthetic, and the sometimes odd placement chosen to display the codes, quickly made them irrelevant to the public.

Are QR codes making a comeback?

In China, QR codes have always had a tremendous success, partly due to China’s largest social network, WeChat, that has a built-in QR code reader. According to CNN Tech, the Chinese market registered $1.65 trillion in transactions using the codes in 2016, accounting for about a third of all mobile payments in the country. In China QR codes are everywhere and you can do everything with them, from making payments to connecting with others, or linking to a specific page or piece of content, the sky's the limit. Now that Apple has integrated a QR code reader in the iOS 11 camera app, could QR codes make a comeback in the US? We think so.

A recent study by Juniper Research estimated that QR coupons redeemed via mobile will reach 5.3 billion by 2022, in comparison coded coupons redeemed via mobile in 2017 approached about 1.3 billion. But that’s not all, the QR code evolution is also driven by major brands like Porsche, Amazon, Instagram, and Spotify.

How major brands are using QR codes
  • Porsche - Customization of the 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo

    During the 2018 Digital Signage Expo, Porsche launched a new immersive and interactive experience that allowed attendees to customize a Porsche Cayenne Turbo and interact with the model through mid-air haptic cues. The interactive display allowed users to customize the car with a myriad of options, from color to dashboard features. All the user had to do was scan a QR code that would create a dedicated microsite featuring their personalized vehicle, which can be personalized even more online.

    Porsche - Customization of the 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo Image via BusinessWire

  • Amazon - Amazon Go check-out process

    Amazon will soon be entering the world of convenience stores with its first non-checkout stores. Using QR codes to come and go in the store, the technology will allow for convenience, security, and rapidity. No need to wait in line, all your shopping items will be logged in to your account by tracking cameras across the store.

    Amazon - Amazon Go check-out process Image via UQR

Social Network that created their own QR code versions

  • Instagram Nametags

    Similar to the Snapchat code, Instagram is preparing to launch a new feature called Nametags, a code that can be personalized by users and can be scanned using the Instagram Stories camera to follow new accounts. Nametags would not only make it easier for you to follow new friends but it would also allow companies to post their Nametag across other social media handles, print it onto posters, handbills, or even make merchandise out of it.

    Instagram nametags Image via TechCrunch

  • Spotify Codes

    Spotify now offers its users a more direct way to share the music/artists they love. Using their own take on QR codes, Spotify is using QR code technology to increase engagement and shareability.

    Spotify Codes Image via CNET

    Spotify also offers companies the opportunity to create and download their own Spotify Code for advertising purposes. Here’s a link to create your own Spotify Codes.

Trends sparking up interest in QR codes

With our offices residing in San Diego, California, we’ve noticed a rise in interest in the technology this year.

During Comic-Con, a four-day event held every summer in San Diego that brings thousands of visitors into the city, parking options were offered to attendees of the convention using QR Codes to validate their parking permits, offering a rapid and convenient paper-free option to visitors.

Another trend that resurrected the interest in QR codes is the dockless scooter. The scooters have been the talk of the town since the beginning of the year, no one can decide if they are a blessing or if we are slowly being invaded by them. Either way, they have the advantage of self-locking automatically, are equipped with GPS tracking that allows them to be picked up and dropped off anywhere and most importantly they’re easy to use! Just pull out your phone and scan the QR code using the scooters’ mobile app and you can get on riding!

Bird scooter Image via Engadget

With major brands starting to incorporate QR codes in their marketing initiatives and social networks choosing to create their own codes to offer the same benefits but making them more fun and customizable, QR codes are definitely making a comeback, if anything because they are now so easy to scan.

Recent trends have also been picking up the technology to make their services more convenient and accessible to everyone. QR codes are returning from their digital grave and according to recent studies, they are here to stay!

You can include QR codes to offer a personalization option to your customer, encourage engagement, and shareability on your platform or just to make your service easy to use and convenient to access. If you want to discuss different ways to include QR codes to impact your bottom line or need help in implementing a strategy involving them get in touch! Our full-service digital agency based out of San Diego and Denver will help you create and implement your vision!

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