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QR Codes- What Are They?

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by | Jun 13, 2013 | Digital Marketing, Web Design

QR or Quick Response codes are a type of matrix barcodes (two-dimensional) that were originally developed for the auto industry in Japan.  Toyota originally designed this coding system to track vehicles during the manufacturing process.  More recently, however, the system has become the most popular type of barcode scanning.  This is largely due to the fast readability and large capacity storage of the QR code, opposed to standard UPC barcodes.

A quick response code consists of black modules or dots that are arranged in a square pattern on top of a white background.  Information can be encoded in four standardized varieties: numeric, alphanumeric, byte, and Kanji.  However, through supported extensions, virtually any kind of data can be transferred.

Main Advantage– Versatility:  QR codes can provide a great deal of information for a fraction of traditional marketing prices.  The consumer saves time and energy by simply scanning the code rather than searching for information.  Alternatively, the company saves money by cutting advertising budgets and bridging multiple marketing gaps such as eCommerce and mobile commerce with a single code.

Main Disadvantage– Unfamiliarity:  Although QR codes are popping up everywhere, a great portion of the population still does not understand what they represent.  This is generally typical for older generations, although they are not the only ones.  Without proper understanding, these codes look like a foreign language.  Another disadvantage to these codes is the requirement of smart phones.  Again, that portion of the population which does not have this technology will render any QR code useless, and may result in potential profit loss to the organization.