By Mike Auger
While sitting in traffic, drivers often find themselves behind construction and freight trucks. Besides the company name and telephone number, they might not notice much about the company. However, if a truck displayed a bold QR code on the back of the vehicle below the phone number, it might attract a little more attention. A QR, or Quick Response, code is a barcode that provides rapid access to information through a smartphone app. Also known as mobile tagging, the barcode contains data that can be read quickly when the phone is pointed towards it and scanned. Different industries and vertical markets have been using these fuzzy, square shaped marks for a number of years to drive customer engagement.
QR codes can provide a huge opportunity to business owners, and bring potential customers directly to an online store. Worldwide mobile payment transaction values will reach $235.4 billion in 2013, a 44 percent increase from 2012 values of $163.1 billion, according to Gartner Inc. The number of mobile payment users worldwide will reach 245.2 million in 2013, up from 200.8 million in 2012. With mobile and tablet use continuing on an upward trend, QR codes make a lot of sense for various business types.
Including a QR code on a commercial truck turns that vehicle into a potential entry point to an online store, via a mobile device. Sitting in traffic, potential customers can scan the QR code from their car with their mobile device, and view information about that construction company. While all scans will not turn into transactional activity, they do share information about a company and create a connection with potential customers.
How to get started
To start using QR codes in your business, you must first create a QR code. QR code generators do this by converting your URL into a code that can be added to any type of marketing collateral you are utilizing, such as coupons, direct mail and email promotions. Many free QR code generators are available, such as goqr.me and the-qrcode-generator.com. To get the best results and make it easy for mobile devices to read the code, keep the URL below 300 characters. Use a URL shortener like is.gd and j.mp, if necessary. QR codes can drive customers to a specific page on your site, or to a specific product. Brick and mortar businesses that seek to engage visitors in their physical store with their online shop can place QR codes on their signage. These QR codes can drive customers to a product page on your online store that has special pricing not available in the physical store. Business cards, too, can include QR codes.
There are a multitude of uses for QR codes, from business cards to company trucks. Even retailers who tend to be a bit technologically challenged at times can leverage QR codes to drive customers to their online stores.