QR code usage – still room to grow.
QR code awareness is a somewhat serious issue for marketers looking to reach out to mobile consumers. The codes have been very proficient in helping establish the mobile marketing industry, but many consumers around the world are still unfamiliar with the black and white blocky patterns. Indeed, consumer awareness of the codes is believed to be quite rare outside of Japan. This may not be the case, however, according to a new survey from GMO Japan Market Intelligence, a business and market research firm.
The firm surveyed 4,000 smart phone users in four East Asian markets. These consumers were over the age of 19 and lived in Japan, China, South Korea or Taiwan. The survey was conducted in February this year, and GMO Japan has recently released the results. The firm expected to see that QR codes were well known in Japan and the results of the survey did not disappoint this assumption. Japan is, after all, the birth place of QR codes. What was surprising, however, was the number of people that knew about QR codes outside of Japan.
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The survey shows that 96% of Japanese consumers were aware of QR codes, followed closely by South Korea (95%) and China (92%). The survey shows that most mobile consumers scanned QR codes to receive a digital coupon and to receive more information on a specific product. Most consumers in these markets also scanned QR codes they found on websites (62% average), with only 28% of consumers scanning codes associated with outdoor marketing campaigns.
The survey also shows that QR codes are somewhat popular in China as a means of mobile commerce. Approximately 32% of Chinese smart phone users have scanned a code to make a purchase of a product. China is leading the way in East Asia in terms of QR code purchases, which may be due to the country’s increasing interest in mobile commerce as a whole.
QR codes have fared well outside of Japan, according to the survey. This could mean that they would do well in other markets, if given the opportunity to grow and become more familiar with consumers.