What are QR Codes?
QR or Quick Response codes are two-dimensional matrix barcodes that contain data or information directed to a website or an application. The data is stored in standardized encoding modes and URLs in the form of black-and-white squares that can be read through QR code scanners or any other imaging device with a camera. For example, all smartphones now come with an in-built QR code scanning capability that enables the end-user to read the information in just a few clicks and without paying any additional QR code cost.

QR Code - An Innovative Solution for Businesses
Businesses are using QR codes as a powerful weapon to perform a wide array of activities/functions ranging from brand promotion, customer engagement, and marketing to offering payment facilities to customers or even ordering food in restaurants using digital menus. Especially with the pandemic companies generating and selling these codes, provide an effective and easy-to-implement QR code solution to serve their varied business needs.

QR Code Cost
The rise in the sales of smartphones and easy availability of high-speed internet has increased the popularity and usage of QR codes in our daily lives. It has led to considerable variations in their price in the commercial world. The monthly or yearly QR code cost varies for different types of codes generated by QR code creators to provide a cost-effective QR code solution to the businesses. While static codes are generated online for free, dynamic QR codes come in various price ranges or subscription packs, determined by the customer’s usage and demand in the market.

QR Code Use-cases in 2020
Since the onset of 2020, the world is witnessing a radical change in the way people live, interact with each other, and run their businesses. Though introduced and employed since the mid-90s, QR codes are making a comeback during the ongoing COVID-19pandemic. It is the safest and innovative techniques available in the hands of business owners to propel their businesses. The ‘no-touch’ technology of the QR codes have proved to be a life-savior for small to established businesses by providing contactless solutions to their needs.
Here are some of the best QR code use-cases in 2020.

Marketing and Advertising
QR code solutions are getting used by marketers and advertisers extensively. The QR scan helps perform various functions such as creating brand awareness, promoting brands, providing information about the product and the business, attracting, or grabbing the attention of potential customers and constructively engaging with them to influence their buying behavior hence increase the conversion rates.

Some of the most distinctive uses of QR codes for contactless marketing and advertising in 2020 are -
To direct users to download the app of the brand - Brands such as Angry Birds and Instagram are widely using the QR code advertisement technique in 2020 to direct or encourage customers to download the app of their brand. It is significantly helping in creating brand awareness and stimulating demand for their products/services.

To provide an experiential shopping experience to the customers by connecting to the Wi-Fi of the store - Reebok now sends specially curated Spotify playlists to the athletes to deliver an exclusive musical shopping experience to them while shopping at their stores and to simulate the overall shopping environment for customers. By scanning the QR codes, the athletes can select songs of different artists, languages, and genres. It helps enrich their in-store shopping experience and, at times, influencing their shopping list as well!

Likewise, Amazon Go introduced QR code technology at its online grocery stores to allow the customers to enter and check-out from the store (using the Amazon app) without waiting for the cashier. It charges the customers through their Amazon account and sends them proof of the payment.

Divulge details about special offers such as discounts, coupon codes, freebies, etc. to the customers - Burger King launched a unique scheme during the lockdown period to woo its customers. The customers had to scan the QR codes showing on three TV commercials of Burger King to win the QR Whooper bargain. They were then directed to the webpage of Burger King through its app and could avail special coupons to buy a Whooper free of cost.

Mobile Payments
The novel coronavirus pandemic has pressurized the need for ‘touch-free technologies’ and has pushed the world to contactless transactions requiring no physical or human interactions. Sellers are now employing digital or cashless payment methods to not indulge in the physical exchange of currencies with the customers. They create QR codes that the customer scans using their banking apps to transfer the money to the seller’s account digitally. Some of the renowned mobile wallet brands such as Apple Pay, Paytm, PayPal, PhonePe, Google Pay, and others are offering QR code contactless technology to the customers for making mobile payments at supermarkets, shopping stores, grocery stores, beauty salons, restaurants, and other diverse areas.

Social Media
Businesses use QR codes to redirect existing and potential customers to the social media pages of their brands to increase customer awareness and drive traffic. The new QR feature on Instagram allows businesses to increase visits to their profiles by giving them a scannable code. Likewise, Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Google Chrome are using this technology to allow users to follow accounts by scanning the code and elevating their social page experience.

QR code solutions are being extensively used in 2020 in almost every field, from contactless delivery, payments, marketing, and other allied services in healthcare, hospitality, and e-commerce. With the probable sustained presence of coronavirus for the rest of the year 2020, the market for QR codes is likely to bloom further, leading to an overall increase in the application of this incredible technology by businesses.

Author's Bio: 

Apoorva Hegde is a Content Marketer at MobStac.