The first question you’ll probably ask is: “What are QR codes?” QR stands for Quick Response and they have actually been around since the mid 90’s but, before now, they were really a solution looking for a problem! The advent of smartphones has opened up a world of uses for these codes.A traditional barcode is usually read with a handheld scanner or “reader.”…not something you usually carry in your purse or pocket! A QR code is read with a Smartphone so they can be read by anyone wherever they happen to find them.
What makes these codes different from other barcodes—like the ones on just about every product you buy—is the amount and type of information they can hold. The bars, dots, and dashes within the square (see the sample at the top of this post) can do things like:
- Take you to a website for more information
- Play a video
- Deliver a special, personalized message or offer
- Present a sign-up form for a loyalty club
…and so many others!
Once you understand the concept, let your creativity take off to find ways to use them to communicate with your customers and keep them coming back. They are an effective marriage of print media and online media with hundreds of ways you can use them.
Watch for an upcoming post with lists of ideas for using QR codes. Here’s just one:
Print a QR code on your carryout menu. That code will take the user to an online page showing a “weekly special.” Each week you can change the special or offer but you never have to reprint your carryout menu…just the web page that describes the offer.