What Is QR Code
QR (quick response) code is a 2-dimensional barcode which was created in 1994 by a subsidiary of Toyota and was primarily used to track auto parts and store information that could quickly be retrieved by scanning the code. Since then, though, QR codes have become much more widespread and can be utilized for a full range of content. In fact, the codes used today are geared more towards smartphone users and apps that they can capture the QR “image” via a picture and decode the QR through a reader application. The images of the code looks like a bunch of ink-blotches with black and white squares here and there, but it generates a significant amount of information extraordinarily quickly.
QR Code Reader Apps
For the smartphones out there, there are a slew of apps which are meant to read the QR code images. The general idea behind each of the apps is that you take a picture of the QR code and allow the app to decode the image/code. With that said, here are each of the top smartphones and their respective apps:
- iPhone — Barcodes — This app, when activated, automatically directs you to camera mode which allows you to quickly and easily capture the code and decode the QR immediately. This is, according to the QR gurus out there, the top app for the iPhone if you are looking to decode the QR codes which is definitely something that you will want on your phone in the very near future.
- Blackberry — BeeTag — As a free app, you cannot lose with this download. As you capture the image via your phone, you are prompted to decode the QR, and then prompted to follow up on the information (similar to the Barcodes app for the iPhone). In other words, if you decode a phone number you will be prompted to dial that number, etc.
- Droid — Barcode Scanner — Not only can you decode the QR image, but you also have the opportunity to find related information with this app. Along with this, it is one of the easiest apps to share contacts, URLs, etc. Overall, this is a fantastic app for the Droid if you are planning on using QR codes (which you should start planning to use either way).
Why Do I Need A QR Code
Yes, I will agree that not a lot of your clients use the QR code right now, but that is because it is truly the new kid on the block and people are still learning the full spectrum of possibilities for the QR code. With that said, though, there are a significant number of uses that you can currently implement to help set the trend and show your clients that you care about making things easy for them:
- Your Contact Information — Include your name, phone number, e-mail, fax, address, and really any other piece of information you think to be pertinent with regard to your contact (ie. web URL). With the reader apps, your visitors will be able to scan the image to decode and automatically upload your contact info to their phone. Remember, it is all about ease for your clientele, and this is a phenomenal way to make things easier.
- Product Information — There’s a potential for people wanting to just window shop (either online or offline) and learn more about that product later. Well, instead of the person having to sign back on to your website or visit another store, you have the opportunity to include as much product detail as your heart desires to allow your potential buyer the chance to decode your QR code and quickly return to that information. Not only does this make their life easier, but it also has the potential to increase your return.
- Event of Offer Details — Similar to the product information, you can add discounts or coupons for people who have decoded your QR code. Along with this, you can include the event day/time/location which would be automatically uploaded to their phone with an auto-inserted alarm to remind them of the event or offer (with certain apps).
- Social Networking Information — This is one of the best uses, in my opinion, because you are able to merge everything that you do amongst your social networks into one QR code which (when decoded) reveals and shares your social network profiles and links. So, instead of having to go through the trouble of continuously telling people to visit, you can have smartphone users scan and decode the image to automatically upload the social network information to their phones.
As you can see, the possibilities of the QR code (and similar barcodes) are absolutely endless. There is a caveat with this, though; you need to take advantage of this article and jump on the opportunity early to start the trend for your clientele. It is little to no work on your part as these barcodes are easily generated, and all you have to do is promote that you are now going to be utilizing the QR codes to benefit your clientele. As always, if you need help please feel free to leave a comment below or contact us today.
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