Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Quick Response (QR) Code Technology

Quick Response codes are like bar codes but can reveal much more information. They are square, checkered symbols that can be scanned with a smartphone. They are beginning to appear in stores, for information and for things like contests. One company, Skanz, began selling bracelets with these codes where you could load your contact information and many other things and it basically functions as a business card at a get-together. With this kind of technology you can share a lot more information than business cards can hold and you can begin to collect different information on your phone and it is much easier to search and keep track of than using business cards. Skanz lets you set up tons of contact information by making your profile. You have contact information, photos, videos, links to social pages or other webpages , resumes, and also any other information you want to put. The codes are much stronger than barcodes and when they are called upon they can pull up a web page, text or geographic coordinates in mere seconds.

Various stores, including Macy’s, Gap, Home Depot, Staples, and Bloomingdale’s are beginning to incorporate QR codes throughout their stores. It helps with advertising and can direct consumers to online contests, games, book excerpts, and how-to videos. A serious negative with these QR codes is you need the right phone and need to know what to do to scan them. Many people continue to ignore the codes and over 60% of the scanners are men with a household income of over $100,000. You also need to download a lot of apps to use this if your phone doesn’t have a built-in QR code reader. Microsoft and AT&T only let you scan their QR codes with their own apps. Also it is easy to mess up the scan because your hand could be slightly shaky or it could be too dark. Overall it takes patience and the right phone and most people don’t understand the benefits of it compared to the time it takes to set it up. Although once you set it up it takes mere seconds to use QR codes and they can be highly beneficial.

Best Buy is a great example of a store that has begun to incorporate QR codes. It lets shoppers get details about electronics without waiting for a sales clerk and this could completely change the whole routine at a store. 82% of shoppers use mobile phones during their shopping trips and the QR codes can enhance the whole experience if they begin to embrace these QR codes. Best Buy and these other companies using these QR codes are a step ahead and made a good call incorporating these QR codes. The QR codes in the stores can do much more than the tag at the store can do, you can read consumer reviews, make a cart like you were shopping online, and begin to build up rewards for something Best Buy has called Reward Zone. And most companies see the benefits of putting the codes in magazines or newspapers to show you a video of their advertisements and try to have a step up on other companies advertising without QR codes. Many shopping channels, like HSN, now have the codes physically on the corner of the television and if you are interested in something you can scan it and it takes you right to the webpage to buy the product and makes everything so much simpler.

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