You may have seen them in ads, direct mail, in-store displays and product packaging They’re the odd bar codes with a maze of black boxes instead of the usual straight lines. Called Quick Response Codes (QR’s), these unusual bar codes allow companies to connect directly to customers on the go.
By scanning the little squares with their smartphone cameras, customers can access menus, discounts, websites and videos and place orders directly to the company. Imagine the convenience and savings this brings to customers!
A coffee company in Vancouver, British Columbia started putting quick response codes in its train ads. When customers scan the little squares, a coffee menu pops up on their screen from which they can order a cup of coffee on the train. It will be waiting for them at the train station when they arrive at their destination.
A landscaping company in Bellevue, Washington, created a scannable direct-mail postcard which links customers to the firm’s mobile site. The site features a video of the owner discussing his work and offering a free tree with any installation.
For both of the above companies, business increased dramatically once the QR’s were in place. Although big corporations have been using QR’s for a while, small companies in the U.S. have recently flocked to the technology because of services that let them easily create codes free of charge. Generating a QR code can be as easy as visiting a website and choosing the type of content desired for customers to view.