Low cost associated with mobile barcodes has its good and bad sides.
The use of QR codes for mobile marketing and other purposes for bridging the gap between the real and digital worlds has become very popular due to their low cost, but this is producing both good and bad results.
The success of quick response barcodes is based on the amount of engagement they provide users.
These little black and white squares have become quite familiar among businesses and consumers alike. Their inexpensive nature for production and use makes it easy for virtually anyone to incorporate them into their strategy. As beneficial as this may be, it also carries a notable amount of risk.
Misusing QR codes can cause the entire method a notable amount of harm.
Companies that decide to use these barcodes simply because they are cheap, and pass them off as a mobile marketing strategy by linking them to a URL are actually causing damage to the user experience as a whole. All too many businesses are simply implementing QR codes to allow smartphone users to access the website without having to type out the URL.
Though this might have been an appealing purpose for PC users, mobile device owners are looking for engagement, not simply convenience. More often than not, if a quick response barcode simply leads to a standard mobile site homepage, the user will simply click away. They don’t simply want to have access to a website. They want to be engaged.
According to CEO Mike Wehrs of Scanbuy, a mobile specialist company, “People become engaged once they’ve scanned [the QR code] if the incentive is high enough…Not if it’s a low-value URL replacement.”
Wehrs explained that a scan of the code must lead the user to an experience that is not only optimized, but that is also relevant. Failing to do so will not only harm that specific experience for the user, but will also discourage him or her from scanning the barcodes as often as they might have before the irrelevant or disappointing experience.
QR codes do have a great deal of potential for mobile marketers, but misuse is holding them back far longer than was necessary. Though the low cost could mean that it is an opportunity for businesses of all sizes, it also, unfortunately, opens the door to improper implementation, as well.