The Return of the QR Code

09 Jan 2017
by John Foley

We’d like to lay a rumor to rest. Yes, it’s true. QR codes are back in. And this time, they’re really working.

QR codes provide a quick and convenient way to link customers to a wide variety of content, They’re trackable too, which means you can see at a glance how well they’re working for your business.

The problem with QR codes?They’re often misused. This time around, several big businesses (we’re talking Amazon and Netflix) have caught on to how wonderful QR codes are when done right.

Let’s take a look at some of the brilliant uses of QR codes that we’ve spotted recently.

Amazon Grocery Makes Shopping Extra Convenient

idea_lightbulbAmazon has found a way to use QR codes to do away with waiting in checkout lines. The Amazon Go store in Seattle is the most convenient shopping experience around. Shoppers simply scan a QR code on their phone on the way in, and Amazon does the rest. Computer vision technology and sensors keep track of what shoppers pick up, so they can shop, leave, and be charged automatically.

Amazon Go is currently only open to employees but hopes to open to the public this year.

Why it works: Scanning a QR code offers a much simpler alternative to not scanning it, so it’s worth the customer’s time.

Tosh.0 Links Viewers To Exclusive Content

Tosh.0 is definitely an acquired taste – but his fans have been loving the mysterious QR codes that appear at the end of his recent episodes. Viewers can simply scan the code to be taken to exclusive videos that they won’t find anywhere else.

Tosh.0 isn’t the only TV show making use of QR codes, either. Mr. Robot, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Gilmore Girls, Hairspray, and The Girl On The Train have all used Snapcodes (Snapchat’s own version of QR codes) to link viewers to exciting exclusive content.

Why it works: Viewers know they won’t get the same content any other way.

Texas Museum Makes Exhibits More Accessible

The Fire Museum of Southeast Texas realized that some of their visitors were just not enjoying their visits as much as others – and QR codes were there to solve the problem. Deaf visitors who were unable to partake of the audio tour were missing out on information about the exhibits. The museum added QR codes, each of which linked to a YouTube video with sign language content about each exhibit.

Why it works: The codes offer visitors something that genuinely enhances their experience.

Parks and Trails Add Valuable Information

Parks and trails around the country have been trying out QR codes. Sites such as Fort Smith in Arkansas, Williamson County (Texas) trails, and even Bute Park in Cardiff, UK, are using QR codes to connect visitors with helpful information. From flora and fauna notes to historic information to walking trails, QR codes offer visitors valuable information that would take a long time to look up any other way.

Why it works: The QR codes instantly connect visitors to relevant, valuable content that would have taken a lot of effort to find any other way.

If you make sure your QR codes genuinely enhance the customer experience, you’ll find they’re a convenient and useful tool for your business.

What’s the most exciting use of QR codes you’ve seen lately? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

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