Basically, QR codes (a pixelated black-and white square) are bar codes that enable touchless electronic transactions.
Anyone with a smart phone camera can scan the QR code and be taken to the sponsor’s site and/or other information. These codes can also store valuable digital marketing information regarding where, when and how often a scan has occurred. Additionally, these codes can create a database of customer’s contact information and purchase history.
This allows customers to be contacted electronically with marketing offers and related incentives as a byproduct within the QR code payment systems. Many do not realize that when you use a QR code, it registers you for online tracking and you become part of the online advertising industry.
Apple was the first pioneer to the creation of camera-based technology in their iPhones to recognize QR codes. This breakthrough was the beginning of QR code ordering systems for retailers, restaurants, and a host of other businesses. These days Nike, Foot Locker, CVS, and about one million small businesses utilize QR codes.
Obviously, the marketing benefits of special offers can be bundled with QR code systems. The facets can be displayed on Smart Phones, along with the information on customers spending patterns. This is an immensely attractive feature to any brick and mortar, and online retailer.
As opposed to traditional media, like TV, radio, or billboard displays, where views are only estimated, a QR code menu allows you to get actual recordings of scans for a much more accurate evaluation of the ROI of your marketing investments.
According to a New York Times article published on July 26th, 2021, QR code menus in restaurants have been proven to save between 30 to 50 percent on labor costs by eliminating or reducing the need for servers to take orders or collect payments. Digital menus also can generate incentives to add more items to your order with enticing images of additional appealing menu items. “Recommendations” based on your previous orders can also be shared on your phone.
While privacy experts worry about these digital capabilities, the revenue generating and labor saving advantages of the QR code technology outweigh their concerns with retailers and other online marketers. Provided in the previously stated New York Times article, a recent example of the value of QR codes was demonstrated at a Sports bar where nearly 65% of the bar’s orders, during televised sports events, were made through their QR code system.
I’ll wager that somewhere you too have scanned a QR code on your Smart Phone.