How To Use QR Codes Effectively for Your Business

QR Codes—the scannable, black-and-white squares that have popped up everywhere—are versatile by nature. They can link to just about anything, and they contain an unbelievable amount of data in such a small package. 

But while most people know how to scan a QR Code, many don’t realize just how dynamic they can be as business tools. Beyond linking to websites and resources, you can use QR Codes to engage your audience, streamline systems, make sales, and more.

Below, we’ll explore how businesses can leverage QR Codes for more powerful, effective marketing, customer engagement, and operations.

Benefits of QR Codes for any operation

QR Codes (short for “quick response codes”) are deceptively simple. Just scan and go, right? But the simplicity of how QR Codes work—and their history as an inventory tool—belies the major benefits of connecting the physical and digital world through a code that anyone with a smartphone can use.

Better customer experience

Quick and contactless, QR Codes make it easy for customers to connect to a URL. Customers just have to point their phone’s camera and tap. QR Codes can help them:

  • Browse restaurant menus.

  • Open websites.

  • Visit e-commerce shops.

  • View social media profiles and connect.

  • Download PDFs. 

QR Codes can even provide a smooth payment experience. Their convenience has made them highly popular, with the QR Code payment industry set to grow to $51.58 billion by 2032.

With the ever-present risk of contracting malware, it’s understandable that customers may wonder if QR Codes are safe. This is where branded QR Codes can be so valuable: They allow businesses to create QR Codes with brand colors and logos so customers can confidently scan QR Codes from trusted companies.

You can even collect feedback via QR Code, giving you more valuable insights into your customer experience so you can make data-driven adjustments to your processes.

Improved data and analytics

QR Codes collect data when people scan them. You can get more insights into your customers when they visit your landing page via QR Code than via normal web traffic. 

This is widely used in marketing, allowing companies to track the locations of scans, scans over time, the devices used to scan the QR Codes, and scan data for unique and total scans.

You can also use QR Codes for forms to digitize collecting information from people in person. Simply ask people to scan the QR Code and fill out the form. This results in more accurate, streamlined data collection than paper systems.

Scalability and versatility

One of the reasons QR Codes have exploded in popularity is that they’re easy to scale. You can print or digitally display QR Code images almost anywhere. They’re also highly affordable, meaning companies can easily generate hundreds or thousands of them if needed. For example, companies using them to track inventory can generate a unique code for every single item for precise tracking. 

The beauty of QR Codes is that their possibilities are endless! A farmer’s market vendor might use a QR Code to direct buyers to their Venmo page to make a digital purchase. Nonprofits can use them to direct people to a donation page, and hotels can use them to easily share the WiFi password. Doctors’ offices can even use QR Codes in medical brochures to direct patients to videos or additional information. 

How QR Codes can influence businesses of all types

As touched on above, there are use cases for QR Codes across just about every industry. Let’s look at a few ways that QR Codes can be used across a few verticals.

Retail: Shopping and promotions

Imagine that your ad gave customers a way to act on your message immediately. QR Codes are the solution. You can print them on billboards, subway ads, coupons, and anywhere you reach your audience. Then, customers can use that QR Code to automatically open a product page and make a purchase.

Customers are more likely not to buy if the process is too difficult or has too many steps. Using a QR Code eliminates the need for customers to enter a website URL, search in Google, or visit a store. In one step, they can use their mobile device’s QR Code scanner to open a product page and seamlessly start the checkout process. 

Hospitality: Service and information access

QR Codes can solve the problem of outdated service menus, event information, WiFi passwords, and more. Who wants to go to every room to swap out paper materials?

With Dynamic QR Codes in each hotel room, customers can easily scan and open the live website with the latest information. Hotel QR Codes can link to digital menus and ordering, room service request forms, tourism information, and feedback surveys. 

Healthcare: Patient information and appointments

QR Codes can be a great way to provide patients with more dynamic healthcare resources. For example, a QR Code on a medication pamphlet could direct patients to a webpage with translations into different languages. QR Codes could link patients to further reading, videos, or other supplemental resources to support wellness and patient engagement.

QR Codes can also offer new ways of providing traditional services, like appointment setting. Imagine a fridge magnet with a QR Code that directs patients to an online appointment-setting form or payment portal. 

Education: Resource sharing and navigation

Schools have to be multi-modal in communicating with students. They use both digital and traditional methods to promote events, share critical information, and more. QR Codes can help combine those methods for the best of both worlds.

For example, event posters around campus could have a QR Code directing students to the digital event page so they can get more information and buy tickets. Physical maps throughout the school grounds can display QR Codes that link to interactive digital maps that are always up to date.

QR Codes can offer an alternative method of learning. Print materials, like textbooks, can use a QR Code to offer an audio version of the same information.

Teachers will find uses, too. A QR Code on their ID badge is a quick way to share a vCard with new contacts they meet at academic conferences and meetings rather than carrying physical business cards around. They can even include their LinkedIn page to connect online.

Event management: Ticketing and engagement

You can promote ticket sales by printing QR Codes on event posters—and if you use a Dynamic QR Code, you can update the event information without changing the QR Code and reprinting materials. This saves time and money for event managers dealing with budget constraints and limited timelines.

Event attendees can have unique QR Codes printed on their passes with a vCard containing their social media handles and contact information. When they meet, they can easily scan, exchange information, and connect online. This can contribute to the event’s overall success if the goal is to provide a space to network.

QR Codes can also capture in-the-moment feedback from event attendees. When they’re posted throughout the event, attendees can quickly scan QR Codes, open the feedback form, and enter their thoughts. 

Not only is it convenient, but you can also get more accurate feedback throughout the event instead of asking attendees to remember their impressions days later. This feedback is incredibly valuable for event managers to know what was a success and what they need to work on for the next event.

How QR Codes can impact your business

QR Codes have a lot of customer-facing applications, but it doesn’t stop there. The advantages of QR Codes ripple through every sector of a business. In the sections below, we’ll explore how QR Codes can streamline and enhance your operations— inside and out.

QR Codes in marketing

Brand visibility

Advertising campaigns across mediums can use QR Codes to engage customers and increase their visibility. QR Codes on subway ads, TV ads, and more can prompt customers to scan and access more information about the brand and products.

Social media integration

Use a QR Code to connect with your customers online, combining the best of physical and digital media. In-person ads with QR Codes that direct customers to your brand’s social media profiles make it easy for them to engage with you online so they never miss an update. It also makes it easy for them to share your brand’s updates with their network, which expands your reach to a wider audience.

Marketing campaign tracking

QR Codes give you the ability to collect detailed data about how they’re used. This allows you to get new customer insights from people you normally wouldn’t be able to track. For example, you can understand where people are scanning from (city and country-level), which operating systems they’re using, and scans over time (total and unique). 

QR Codes give you extra data that you can use to gauge the performance of ads, understand user behavior, and optimize future campaigns.

QR Codes in customer engagement

Interactive experiences

Bring dynamism and movement into previously one-dimensional experiences. A poster with a QR Code can become more than a poster; customers can scan it and experience video, sound, and interactive elements.

Loyalty programs

QR Codes can increase the adoption and usage of loyalty programs. For example, you can post QR Code coupons in-store or on an ad. When the customer scans it, they go to the digital coupon they can use when making a purchase. 

This creates an in-the-moment, impulsive shopping experience and helps integrate your loyalty system across platforms.

Feedback or reviews

Providing feedback can sometimes be inconvenient for customers. Often, they’ll only go out of their way to leave reviews for extreme experiences—whether it was positive or negative.

Feedback QR Codes can increase customer feedback rates by making it simple. Customers don’t have to call a number, type out a web address, or request a feedback form—they simply scan the code and fill out a quick survey.

QR Codes in operations

Better internal processes

QR Codes can be used to speed up day-to-day tasks across a variety of processes. For example, you can print them on an invoice so that your customers can use them to access your payment system without typing in a URL. Track attendance with QR Codes by asking employees to scan them. You can even track employee training and certification by assigning each person a unique code and printing them on employee IDs—one scan will let you know who has the qualifications for a particular task.

Inventory management 

QR Codes can contain detailed tracking information about each part, piece of equipment, product, or delivery. Printed on company equipment, they can be a quick link to information about maintenance history or model. They can even be linked to quality control databases. When scaled across the entire supply chain, they can streamline precision tracking and management.

QR Code scanning is also easier and quicker than scanning traditional barcodes, which increases business efficiency. Many businesses use tablets or smartphones to manage inventory, and QR Code readers are already built into these devices—no need for a separate piece of scanning equipment. 

Employee training and resources

Posted in break rooms, QR Codes can be a great way to share information with employees about their rights and benefits. They’re also a great way to share relevant training and information with employees. 

For example, imagine a bottle of all-purpose cleaner with a QR Code leading to a recap of safety guidelines for using it. Or, a food safety poster in a kitchen with a QR Code linking to more training and information.

Pave the way for innovative business solutions with QR Codes

Whether you need to capture customers’ attention or streamline your internal processes, QR Codes have a place in every sector of your business.

With QR Code Generator PRO, it’s easy to take advantage of all the benefits QR Codes can offer. One of the best QR Code generators available, QR Code Generator PRO is an all-in-one platform for connecting with customers and inspiring action. Create QR Codes, track and report on data, manage and edit your codes, and more!   

Ready to take your business to the next level with QR Codes? QR Code Generator PRO can help—sign up for a free account today.

Tobias Funke

Tobias Funke is Bitly’s Vice President of Product. With a background in software engineering, he has a decade of combined experience in product development and the QR Code space. Tobias leads a team that developed one of the most successful and popular QR Code generators available. His entrepreneurial and growth mindset helps build products that continuously disrupt the market. You can connect with Tobias on LinkedIn.

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