Though QR codes have a great deal of potential for both marketers and consumers they still don’t seem to be catching on, because many people have yet to know what they actually are and how to go about using them.
Many people assume that everyone must know what the two dimensional barcodes are and what they’re supposed to do with them, but a recent study has shown that almost eighty percent of college students don’t know what to do with one when they see it. This, from a demographic that is heavily bombarded by marketing and among which technology penetration is omnipresent.
The study was performed by Archrival, a research firm that concentrates on marketing to youth demographics. It involved the participation of 500 students from 24 universities and colleges across the country. They determined that while approximately 8 out of every 10 college students owns a smartphone and have seen a QR code somewhere before, only 20 percent of those device owners were capable of successfully scanning a sample barcode when it was presented to them.
Moreover, approximately 75 percent claimed that they would be unlikely to use one of these codes at any point in the future.
According to the Archrival brand manager, Don Aguirre, “Students simply struggled with the process. Some didn’t know a third-party app was needed [to scan the QR code].” He went on to say that many of the students wrongly believed that their device camera was all that was needed to activate the code. Another significant group simply gave up, saying that it took too long to figure it out and use it.
It appears that the use of QR codes is going to need to become faster and simpler or consumers will remain apathetic toward them.