Are QR Codes Dead in 2020?

Do people actually still use QR Codes in 2020? Are QR Codes dead? Here at QR Code Generator, we know that QR Codes are still heavily in use and quickly rising in popularity all around the world. Customers find them convenient and companies enjoy the benefits they bring to marketing. What exactly still makes QR Codes relevant? Keep on reading to find out more!

Are QR Codes still relevant?

The short answer? Absolutely yes! QR Codes are becoming increasingly popular in every part of the world and we’ve got the stats to prove it: 

  • In Thailand, over half of the people who used smartphones for online activities did so for the purpose of scanning QR Codes. (Statista, 2019)  
  • Twice as many respondents in Europe and North America scanned a QR code in the past month (2018) compared to Q3 of 2015. (Global Web Index, 2019)
  • The use of these Codes is also gradually increasing in the Middle East and Africa, from a low of 12% in Q1 2017 to 18% in Q3 2018. (Global Web Index, 2019)
  • In Brazil (98%) and Europe (73%), consumers are ready to scan QR codes more for brands offering transparent information. (Packaging Insights, 2019)
  • In China, 50% of users scan QR Codes on a weekly basis. (Packaging Insights, 2019)

Top 5 QR Code solutions and why they’re useful

Consumers and marketers alike are wholeheartedly embracing QR Code technology on a global scale. Although there are a wide variety of QR Code solutions, we’ll introduce our 5 most popular to give you an idea of why they work so well.


PDF QR Codes convert a PDF into a QR Code and enable them to be viewed and shared from a mobile-optimized PDF page. You can either upload the PDF directly or link to it, as well as customize your page with unique colors and even a website link. This QR Code solution works great on resumes and business cards to make it easier to share image-based portfolios and other content.

A PDF QR Code on a photographer's resume and business card leading to his portfolio.
An example of how PDF QR Codes can be used on business cards and resumes

App QR Code

An App QR Code displays all relevant app store links on a mobile-friendly page. You can showcase elements like your app’s video trailer or in-app images. There’s even an option to add a CTA (call to action) button to direct users to a website or landing page. This QR Code solution works for basically any marketing materials because it makes apps downloads easier. Users scan the QR Code with their smartphone so they no longer need to look up links from the desktop or print materials later on. For example, App QR Codes work perfectly for billboard ads, because even passersby can download the app immediately.

QR Code on a billboard advertising a mobile gaming app.
An example of an App QR Code on a billboard ad

vCard Plus QR Code

vCard Plus QR Codes are the equivalent digital business cards. They’re super handy because you have space to add more information than a print business card, such as a description, all your social media links, your contact details, and even a Google Maps location. Your contact data can automatically be saved and shared via email. This makes networking events like conferences more convenient because you no longer need to buy and carry around huge stacks of print business cards. Companies like business consultants, finance companies, and real estate agents find these QR Codes particularly useful.

Business card name tag with a VCard QR Code sharing contact details.
An example of a digital business card (vCard Plus QR Code) used at a business conference

Social Media QR Code

Social Media QR Codes display all of your social media profile links on one convenient, mobile-friendly page. QR Code Generator’s Social Media QR Codes support 20 of the most popular social media platforms globally, so you’ll never miss a chance to gain another follower. You can also customize your display page for brand colors, a headline, and a description of the benefits of following your social media profiles. There’s even an option for users to share your links directly and click on your website link. These QR Codes work perfectly for product packaging, clothing, tickets, and much more!

An example of a fashion retailer using Social Media QR Codes on product packaging

Video QR Code

A Video QR Code converts a Youtube video into a QR Code so users can view it and share it from a mobile-ready display page. An optional CTA button also directs users to your website or landing page. Furthermore, each Video QR Code converts your Youtube link into a short URL, which speeds up loading times. Video QR Codes can be placed on any type of marketing material, but they work particularly well for print marketing. For example, you can add them to brochures, newspaper and magazine ads, and even electronics packaging to conveniently connect users with the product set up and tutorial videos.

QR Code on product packaging that takes consumers to a video tutorial
An example of a Video QR Code connected to a tutorial of how to use an espresso machine

Why QR Codes are the perfect marketing tool

QR Codes have endless benefits because they work for a wide variety of industries and on many different types of marketing materials – both print and digital. Their growing popularity among users, increase in safety for short URLs, flexibility for linked content, QR Code tracking benefits, and opportunities for customization make them absolutely ideal for any marketing strategy.

Track and optimize print marketing campaigns

When you use Dynamic QR Codes in your marketing strategy, you never have to guess about ROI (return on investment), even for print marketing. This is because QR Code Generator has developed unique QR Code tracking software for campaigns. You can view data on QR Code scans such as location by city and country, unique vs. total scans, time scanned, and operating device used. This gives you all the necessary tools to compare and optimize QR Code campaigns across locations, time, and even marketing methods used.

Different charts showing QR Code tracking metrics
Demo version of QR Code tracking data for campaign optimization

Pro tip: Integrate QR Code campaigns with Google Analytics and track the entire customer journey from QR Code scan to purchase.

Conveniently direct users to mobile

This is an advantage that simply can’t be ignored. QR Codes have brought life back into print marketing because they connect print to mobile. Here’s a prime example: vehicle ads. While great for branding, without an easy connection to a digital platform, marketers have no way to track whether they made any sales, and users likely just ignore them, because it’s too inconvenient to take a photo or write down a long and complicated link. Instead of losing money and customers, put a QR Code on your vehicle ad and the entire process becomes simple.

A moving track with a QR Code on the side inviting people to download their app
An example of a QR Code on a vehicle ad

QR Codes work just as well on digital platforms and can easily be integrated with multi-channel marketing strategies. Each QR Code comes with a short URL that you can use for digital platforms, such as social media posts or in email marketing. This way, you never miss a user due to the type of device used or how they view your marketing campaigns.

A gym studio newsletter advertising their new app with a QR Code
An example of a QR Code used in email marketing

Comprehensive customization opportunities

When you use QR Code Generator to create your QR Codes, you have access to full-scale customization options. Whatever content you link to your QR Code and use on your display page can be customized, including brand colors, CTA buttons, and loading screen images.

Furthermore, QR Codes themselves are also fully customizable. They too can include brand colors, unique edges, custom frames with editable CTA buttons, and your logo in the middle. What’s more, you can download them in four different image file formats: PNG, JPG, SVG, and EPS to ensure that they meet all your design requirements. Scale-up their size as large as you need or maintain the minimum size of at least 2 x 2 cm (around 0.8 x 0.8 in) – the choice is yours!

Demo of QR Code Generator's customization software page
Demo version of QR Code Generator’s customization software

Pro tip: Check out all the ways QR Code designs can be customized here.

Flexible and editable QR Code solutions

There’s another benefit to using Dynamic QR Codes: their content can be edited once printed. This means that if you need to update a link or even change your type of QR Code solution (for example swap out images for a video), you can do so without ever having to redesign a new QR Code! It doesn’t get more convenient than that!

Examples of QR Codes in marketing strategies

Curious about how real companies are using QR Codes for marketing? We regularly showcase awesome QR Code campaigns on our social media channels. Here are a few we’d like to highlight.

A GoFundMe campaign for koalas with QR Codes

QR Codes were used to help raise money for the koalas who were affected by the tragic bushfires in Australia. By adding QR Codes to koala plush toys, they managed to raise over $22k!

Jameson Whiskey celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with QR Codes

Jameson Whiskey used QR Codes to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The QR Codes enabled users to sign up for a chance to win a bespoke bar sign by customizing their own bottle label. Cool stuff!

McVities uses QR Codes on food products to be marketed at the Tokyo Olympics

McVities added QR Codes to their digestive food product packaging as a part of their sponsorship for the Tokyo Olympics. Customers can scan the QR Code and vote for their favorite. A win-win situation all around!

The versatility of QR Codes to boost product engagement and increase brand awareness means they are not quite ready for a funeral procession. So tuck your eulogies away for now and check out more of our blog and resources to see how you can incorporate QR Codes in your industry, on marketing materials, or in your personal life.

Adriana Stein

Adriana Stein is a Freelance Content Writer for Egoditor GmbH and is originally from Oregon, USA. She is now based in Hamburg, Germany, and specializes in creating and managing SEO and content marketing strategies for businesses across a variety of industries. Feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn!

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