5 Reasons Why QR Codes Are Worse Than Useless

5 Reasons Why QR Codes Are Worse Than Useless

It seems like everywhere you look there’s a QR code waiting to be scanned. If you look at common products you find at the supermarket, you’ll see QR codes all over the place (Proctor and Gamble seem especially obsessed). Are QR codes good for anything, or are they essentially unsightly wastes of space?

We’re not ones to sit on the fence – Here’s the top five reasons why QR codes are mostly worthless.

Nobody has QR Scanners

Scan Me, if you can

Scan Me, if you can

The first reason why QR codes aren’t particularly useful is that there aren’t that many people with QR code scanners. A lot of people have smartphones, which can scan QR codes, but can only do so with a specialty application, which people only have if they know they want to scan a QR code.

Only 19% of consumers have ever scanned a QR code.

If your customers have to download an app before they can actually scan the QR code, you are putting an unnecessary barrier between them and your marketing material.

It Takes too Long To Scan a QR Code

Let’s say your customers do have a QR code scanner app installed on their smartphone. In order to scan the code they have to open the app, point their camera at the code, wait for it to focus, then wait for the app to recognize what it’s looking at. Scanning QR codes takes a long time.

The supposed benefit of a QR code is to save time. If that’s the case, then one wonders which is actually faster: scanning a QR code or doing a manual web search. In my (highly unscientific) tests they came out about the same. The problem for QR codes is that you need an app, whereas you don’t need an app to search the Internet.

No Information Collection

Besides the time it takes to scan a QR code, there are logical disadvantages for marketers that you should be aware of. The biggest is that scanning a QR code is a one-way transaction. Information goes to the customer, while little actionable information is transmitted back to you.

If you use SMS direct response on the other hand, you can collect the customer’s phone number, which you can use for re-marketing purposes in the future. If you use email, you get their email address, and so on. With QR codes, you get no useful permission to re-engange that customer with future marketing efforts.


This may just be a personal observation, but QR codes aren’t aesthetically pleasing. They don’t really fit in with anything else unless you count a bar code, which is also unsightly.

This is especially a factor when you’re placing the QR code on your website. Where do you put it? It seems no matter where it’s placed it stands out like a sore thumb, which is the last thing you want.

Public Unawareness

What is that broken barcode on my wine bottle?

The last strike against QR codes isn’t that people don’t have the ability to use them, or the time it takes to scan one. Instead, it’s the simple fact that most people don’t know what a QR Code is or how to use it.

Ask most people (who don’t work in marketing or technology) what a QR code is and the only thing you’ll get from them is a blank stare.

Any Hope for QR?

In order for QR codes to be useful, they have to become mainstream enough that everyone knows what they are and how to use them. That will propel the major smartphone manufacturers to build in QR code scanning capability into their next smartphones.

Unnless all of those (not too likely) things happen, QR codes will just be an unsightly blemish on the history of the Internet.

  • Hugh

    Useful as boarding passes. And not all customers want to be re engaged with.

  • Paul Emm

    Here in the U.S. and Canada, QR codes are the “now” and the future. It is always interesting when I read articles by under qualified authors that would have zero use for a QR code but become experts on why they dont work. If they “dont work” why is Mercedez, GM, Home Depot, Heinz, countless branding companies ( P&G as mentioned in the article) American Airlines etc etc…In fact, there is a new medic alert bracelet coming quickly onto the market that first responders will scan with their QR code scanner and will instantly provide the patients complete medical history.ALL FROM THE BRACELET!!!!. QR’s dead? no sir…alive and well. I run an avdertising company that incorporates QR codes into a “scan to win” format.. so, unlike the article states, not only do we run “scan to win a free iPad2” contests and get countless scans, we also collect the data that the “scanner” inputs to enter to win. We then provide this information back to our clients. I also find it funny when people say.. ” nobody know’s what they are..”… my response to those people are, you didnt know what the internet was at one point either.. Nor what tweeting was..texting codes… As smartphones continue to grow, so will the QR future. Lastly, I read an interesting article years ago that spoke about including “directions” above or beside the QR code telling the consumer what will happen when they scan it. Scan to visit my website, Scan to like our facebook page,Scan to win!, instead of an ad with a lonely QR code where the author is right in one regard… nobody will know what to do. Cheers.

    • Thanks for your comments Paul. Our real concern here is that, in all the time that QR codes have been with us, it’s almost impossible to find case studies that show a strong impact on a business’ bottom line.

      I know plenty of big brands do use them, but as my mother used to say “If all the other buys put their hand in the fire would you do too?”

      New technologies like Apps and Social Media have all proven that they can have a significant, measurable impact on profits, either directly or indirectly.

      If I’m honest, I’ve never seen a case study showing real revenue growth (or new customers, or lowered costs or some bottom line KPI) in any meaningful way from QR codes.

  • One good point you make is that mobile operating systems would need to make QR scanning capabilities native. Once this is done, and scanning a code becomes as simple as Phone -> Camera -> Action, QR codes will be poised to go viral. We CAN enjoy tracking and data collection by setting up a domain structures that captures user data before redirecting. QR codes can be creatively and artistically implemented to lessen the “eye-sore” factor and in some cases, even create modern trendy ad art. The ability to communicate with user’s digital hand held devices via print media is a technology that enables so much potential. Additionally, QR codes offer an incredible solution to adding your contact profile to someone else’s phone by placing it on the back of your business card. No more manual entry. QR codes are definitely alive and well, it’s up to creatives like you and me to figure out how to implement them and, as you said, increase the bottom line.

  • David D

    Wait a minute….. Everyone is acting like QR codes are some new. This is old technology used in a different format. We used QR codes for tracking parts in the manufacturing in early 90’s. The use for QR codes will be endless, it takes up less space than a bar code. With the evolution of smart phones its know telling what can be done with them now… It would not surprise me if we start to use them as direct response marketing. I use them for Real Estate alone with SMS messaging. Everything is useless to those who can not find a use for something. Be creative, be free and most of all think for yourself! People comment are what they are. Opinions (including mine) are let arms and legs we all have them.

  • Cédric

    You say:

    “Lastly, I read an interesting article years ago that spoke about including “directions” above or beside the QR code telling the consumer what will happen when they scan it. Scan to visit my website, Scan to like our facebook page,Scan to win!, instead of an ad with a lonely QR code where the author is right in one regard… nobody will know what to do. Cheers.”

    If I want to go to a website, I will just type in the company in my browser bar. That takes only 3 to 5 seconds. If I want to like a Facebook page, I will just browse to that Facebook page. If I want to participate in a contest, I will just go to the coke.com/win website…

    QR-codes in marketing are a solution to a non-existing problem. With internet access being omnipresent, no one really needs the QR step.

  • Hi, it takes less than 10 seconds to scan a QR Code which is 3 times faster than manually entering an URL in the browser. This article gives a good comparison:https://blog.qrd.by/2015/09/06/advantage-qr-codes-scanning-is-faster-than-typing/

    • John Stuart Mill

      When someone has a QR scanner, knows what they are, and actually give a shit about using them. Read the article, marketers would be better off just making short urls.

      • Lee Dixon

        Short URLs are excellent tools for digital marketing platforms but for product marketing in the physical world, not so much.

        • John Stuart Mill

          So you think it’s better to have a QR code over a short memorable URL? Apologies, but I disagree.

          • TechCertIT

            Try to buy a ‘short’ URL now, short URL’s are hard to find at a low price. Domain resellers & ‘squatters’ have bought most logical names. 5-letter URLs have been gone for years now. I have clients that are using QR codes due to a terrible URL they must use. Also, Snapchat, Music venues & numerous msg apps have been bringing them back.

            Real commercial apps will stick with NFC from here out though. The major players love NFC security & convenience, but QR codes address issues better for small business needs. The new trend is for ‘searched’ domain names to be back-ordered or squatted. I have searched for a domain to buy, few days later it was bought and up for sale for $1200.00.

            Now in China reselling lucky number URLs is all the rage…selling for as much as 7 figures! Listed among the DNJournal.com top domain name sales of 2013 are 114.com for $2.1 million, 88888.com for $245,000 and 1001.com for $100,000.

          • Kenneth Shinabery

            Memorable URL for advertising.

        • Kenneth Shinabery

          Lee…. in a big agency they would laugh at that idea. The idea behind QR Codes was brilliant, but the not all brilliant ideas make it. Now, had cell phone companies integrated QR Code scanners directly into new phones… then maybe they would have flourished. But seriously ask people in your circle of friends and family how many of them have QR Code scanners….. and most will probably say no. Then if they do have a scanner ask how often they scan QR codes. Now make sure not to confuse them with scanning bar codes as I think that is completely different. But QR Codes are dinosaurs.

          • Lee Dixon

            Kenneth I meant for print marketing campaigns. QR codes hold more information than a bar code. I think it would be irresponsible of me to tell my Marketing designer to go ahead and leave out the QR code especially since it doesn’t cost any design or marketing capital to use it. I don’t think they are dinosaurs, bar codes are dinosaurs, as the QR code holds much more information that the bar code the problem with the QR code is that it doesn’t seem to have any real advocates. I fear NFC will suffer the same fate, to spite being a better technology.

          • Kenneth Shinabery

            All I can say is no one at a big agency would ever pitch the idea of using a QR Code now. You would look foolish to do so. That does not mean you can not use them if you want…. go ahead. Unfortunately, no one really installs QR Code scanners on their phones anymore. So you are actually wasting space in my eyes. From what I heard…. culturally you may find more QR codes in educational material now and even more QR Codes in Japan. But ask your friends who work in other industries if they have QR Code scanners on their phone. 95% or more will say no. So if no one is using them, then why add them to a campaign. It makes absolutely no sense.

            In Germany this year, there are no QR Codes on any of the campaign posters for the elections. It was funny for me as an American who knows that these are pretty much dead to see that German marketing people are finally getting this point. Because they really really loved them. But like I said no one not even here downloads scanners.

            Like I said, I have heard they are still popular in Japan. I know they seem cool, they seem like the good way to go…. but if no one is scanning them…. then why are you adding them? The trend died almost as soon as it was born.

            Not even for PRINT…… do not use them. Why would you even do so??????

            But you will be surprised to learn that there are two hidden QR Codes in the trailer for Ready Player One. Which is a futuristic movie that loves nostalgia so to speak. And one works. But hardly any traffic is coming from the QR Code. Just a hint of current usage. Also who scans a movie trailer????? You have to freeze the frame at the right second.

      • Kenneth Shinabery

        John…. exactly!

    • Reddy

      Lol, Peter, nobody scans QR codes. Nobody. I would rather enter a simple URL than even open an app to scan a code. And since you’re into citing sources, check out the one linked in the sentence “Only 19% of consumers have ever scanned a QR code.” I am one of those 19%, but I don’t even have an app installed to do it anymore, because I’ve literally never felt inclined to other than way back in the day when QR codes were new, and clearly I’m in the vast majority.

      • Robert Spies

        Part of the reason `nobody scans QR-codes’ is they don’t reveal much, and what is presented is not verified and bonded by a third party. There is no limit to the information that can be made available by QR-codes/URI/UPC code look-up. Of course what is made available has to be regulated, and will include mandated information, optional information, etc., largely determined by the `commodity code’ of the particular product. There are many advantages to the consumer with such a system, and little to no cost to sellers. To make sure the system is fully implemented, the WEBpage for each product should include `date of first sale’ and `date of last sale’. It should be illegal to sell product before `date of first sale’, and after date of last sale, unless date of last sale is marked `current product’. This requirement, and the requirement that the information presented be accurate will keep sellers interested in their product WEBpages. The URI/QR/UPC WEBpages are made part of a distributed database, similar to the present Internet. The existing Domain Name System will find the desired product WEBpage as easily as the existing system finds any WEBpage.

        • Sam

          I think you are just referring to the usage of QR codes in one limited environment as a resource lookup. In general they are a signpost with directions to a website or app – which sadly require an app to read.

          If I was rolling out QR codes in print I would include tracking info for my analytics package within the referenced URL ( or URI if you prefer ) and next to it have a URL ( or URI if you prefer ) shortener with the web address with its own tracking code – it would be interesting to compare.

          My guess that with a wide demographic mix you would see at least 10 times as many visitors using the shortened URL ( or URI if you prefer )

          • Robert Spies

            I am referring to QR codes in the grocery industry, as the link I followed to this `sparkpage’ was from a page about labelling of consumer products, particularly food products. So my comment is limited in this sense, yes. However, it is unlimited in the sense that URIs/QR-codes/UPC-codes pointing to a bonded WEBpage, my comment is unlimited; it applies to all products sold to consumers. I think it should be mandatory that there be a WEBpage (or series of WEBpages) for each product available for sale to consumers. However, it would be a pointless waste of time and resources to leave the construction and maintenance of these WEBpages to the manufacturers. They would soon descent to advertising. Instead, there should be bonded and licensed third parties that construct and maintain these product WEBpages and legally verify their content, based on detailed legislation and `commodity codes’ to `stadardize’ the `look and feel’ of the pages. These WEBpages would include record of all changes requested by the manufacturer, and possibly others, with the currently effective information always being displayed `on top’. There would be a `clickable flag’ if any changes had been made since the date of first sale, which would link to a list of the details of each change, including effective date, etc. The third party product WEBpage maintainiers would be supported by user fees paid by the manufacturers. The manufacturers would be required by law to support a product WEBpage (or series of pages), through a third party, for each product they intend to sell to the public. Since all the information to be presented on product WEBpages should already exists at the manufacturer, the actual cost to the manufacturers will be minimal. To `put some teeth’ into the product WEBpage idea, it should be made illegal to sell a product unless a validated WEBpage (or series of pages) is available for it. If errors are reported to the third party, the product cannot be sold until the error is corrected. A similar process is used for `re-calls’. There are more details…

      • Max Waterman

        > Lol, Peter, nobody scans QR codes. Nobody

        That is simply false. Demonstrably so.

        • abc man1111

          Most ppl I know think they are ridiculous and could care less to be bothered. I hear that a lot in a lot of different circles… that’s not a good sign.

        • Sasz

          Well, not ‘nobody’ but not enough to form critical mass, clearly

      • Hussein Nouri

        LOL… Where do you enter the ‘simple’ url? Don’t you have to open the browser app?

    • Sasz

      Getting people to do it is the thing, which they’re generally not. Which is too bad because they can be genuinely useful when used to provide location relevant info (way finding, adding context to something, etc)

    • La gran José macho

      My phone scans a QR code in like 0.25 seconds. (quarter of a second) It scans a QR code before I can even center the QR code in my camera.

  • Robert Spies

    A QR-code, like a URL/URI, points to a WEBsite. The content of the WEBsite can be changed at will by the maintainer of the WEBsite. QR-codes and URL/URI are unacceptable UNLESS they point to a WEBsite that is operated by a bonded third party. In this case sellers of QR-coded products should be required to furnish material the the third party operator.

    What’s the advantage of a QR-code– or URL/URI — to anyone? Why not just use the UPC code that is far more universally applied to products sold to consumers? A consumer (or anyone) should be able to key-in or automatically read the UPC code from the product — even more easily than using a QR-code or URL/URI. This could open a WEBpage that has lots of information, e.g., manufacturer contact info, distributor contact info, if food, the nutritional values, etc., etc.,etc. Exactly what information is REQUIRED to be available for a particular UPC code should be a function of what the product is, and mandated by law. Also, all such UPC WEBsites should be operated by a bonded third party. Ever seller that uses UPC codes should be required to provide the legally mandated information to the UPC-code WEBsite operator. The UPC-code WEBsite would be able to charge sellers a nominal fee to post their information. It should be made illegal to sell bar-coded items unless there is a valid, associated WEB-page.

    There are many other advantages to the consumer with such a UPC WEBsite system. For home appliances and home electronics, user and installation manuals should be available. In most cases the service information, including parts lists, and contact information for parts suppliers, should be available. The WEBsite should include the date of first sale to consumers, and date of last sale, if the product is no longer sold. If a product is no longer sold, the inclusion of service manuals and related material should be mandatory — for at least ten years after data of last sale plus length of longest warranty.

    The more you think about this approach, the more things advantageous to consumers can be implemented — at small cost to the manufacturer and/or distributor.

    • Reddy

      “QR-codes and URL/URI are unacceptable UNLESS they point to a WEBsite that is operated by a bonded third party. ”

      Your entire point falls down at this sentence, which is plainly untrue. Just because content can change doesn’t mean that a url/website address will. In fact, keep updated info is generally considered a good thing. I’m not at all convinced you have the slightest inclination about what you speak.

      • Robert Spies

        It’s the URI/website content that will change without notice if operated by the seller. The URI/QR-code/UPC-code will not change because it’s printed on the product or its package. There s nothing in my suggestion that suggests the WEBsite information cannot change. As you say, updated information is a `Good Thing’, but only if the new information is verified and bonded. The third party must maintain a log of all changes, that is available to WEBsite users. No company can be trusted to do this, as countless examples show.

  • Mihamina Rakotomandimby

    I find on advantage on QR codes: on cards (visit cards). I spend a lot of time entering a contact in my téléphone adressbook. With QR code it’s faster.

    • Kenneth Shinabery

      Bad thing is most people do not use QR Code readers. I think when they first came out people were like WOW! But shortly there after people were like why bother. Just share a remember-able link. Or use a unique Hashtag. They idea behind it was good, but not all good ideas survive. So even if it is fast….. I can tell you I personally would laugh my butt off if I saw it on business card. Like I said it is more interesting to come up with a unique hashtag that will connect several social channels to your company or brand.

  • Lars Edvart Larsen

    So now that I’ve got myself a phone that I can actually use to scan QR-Codes it turns out nobody uses the damn thing? Bummer!

    • Reddy

      If that’s the reason you bought the phone then your problems go alot further than not having any QR codes to scan.

      • Lars Edvart Larsen


  • zombietag

    love how people are still defending QR codes even in the face of these overwhelming statistics about how terrible they are

    • Lee Dixon

      Its not the code that’s terrible its the delivery and ease of use. If every cell phone came with a QR scanner they make sense, but who’s going to fight that fight other than marketers. When looking at QR codes to drive traffic to specific products while browsing a store, it’s an excellent tool.

      • zombietag

        QR codes are basically terrible. they do work in very limited situations for non-marketing uses, sure. i would say even with a built in QR code reader, theyre still butt-ugly and take up a lot of space on media. more than its worth when 95% of their use is just to direct you to a website or email anyways

        • If the QR code is a high quality vector inage, it can be scaled very small and maintain its clarity and scanability. They’re not always made for sending users to a website. Do you know what a vCard is?

        • Misnomer

          QR codes can be pretty http://bit.ly/2GCswmr and animated http://bit.ly/1Tae0zo

      • Apple should improve the scanning functionality they have under their “Wallet” app. If Apple including a QR app as a permanent feature – as they did with the podcast app in 2014 – it would get more attention and more use.

        • aeliayousaf

          you can now scan QR codes with apples native camera app – so no more 3rd party apps required.

  • Daniel Jadick

    Collect consumer email and phone numbers, then send them to your website or send them a coupon. This works with or without a QR code. http://www.cliikin.com
    What do you think about this?

  • David Bennett

    Wow, this article is so narrow-minded. QR codes are great for non-device-to-device session establishment and device-to-device session transfer. They also include reliable error correction. I have used them many times for this. Perhaps you just don’t get it. This is like saying UPC labels or 3of9 barcodes are useless. You’re just not a creative thinker and that’s OK.

    • code47

      QR codes are nice but there are a lot of issues with implementation for starters i think android and ios need to integrate scanning feature with a visit now or remind me later feature. this would help remove friction in the process of getting people to use QR codes.
      Another thing is abuse of QR codes by people with websites that aren’t mobile ready which may lead to bad experience for the users and thus keeping hem form using QR codes the next time.

      • iOs is integrating QR code scanners for version 11. Not sure about Android devices.

        • La gran José macho

          Google has done the same, I hear Samsung too

    • Kenneth Shinabery

      Actually David…. QR codes are the worst thing that you can use. Noboday has QR code scanners. So you can fall into the belief that they are so cool but there are several other reasons why they have failed epically. 1.) They are used inappropriately. Hanging in subway stations where there is no wifi or on signs hung to high for people to take pics. 2.) In 2014, it was said that only 21% of Americans had downloaded a QR Code scanner at one time. But only 2% use it on daily or weekly basis.

      Ask around your friends…. ask how many have a QR Code scanner on their phone. 90% will probably say no!

      So I think calling the author not a Creative Thinker is pure stupidity! As you obviously do not know the facts surrounding QR Codes.

      • Rohan Buntval

        Kenneth I dont think you know the facts surrounding QR codes. QR codes are used for more than just sending the average consumers to a website. Our wireless CMM probes use them to detect and identify which tool is being used for calibration. There are augmented reality solutions that use QR codes to associate data with certain paperwork. There are millions of uses that go beyond sending a smartphone a weblink.

        • Kenneth Shinabery

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/789a7a55f52ca023b2580501cbf8e1bcbc8b142648444730efc0684595e40ea6.jpg From and advertising standpoint… if you are using QR Codes on your marketing materials…. Posters, Paste-Ups, Brochures, Post Cards, Ads in Magazines, etc. Then that is the worst thing you could do. No one and I mean no general consumer in the US or most of Europe will scan one. Anyone in advertising say they should implement QR Codes into a campaign should be fired on the spot.

          • You’re a rather ignorant fellow Kenneth.

          • Kenneth Shinabery

            That is not very nice. I am only stating the fact. No big agency is going to suggest to a brand to put a QR code on something. Do you know how bad that would look? They are dated in that respect. Calling people names versus giving a good response is pretty childish. No offense. But would love to hear your view point versus calling someone ignorant.

          • I don’t completely agree with Kenneth’s point of view, but he’s right about the calling names aspect.

          • Kenneth strikes me as someone who never changes his mind about anything.

          • Kenneth Shinabery

            Geez man… Seems like all you want to do is attack a person now. First name calling and then trying to slam my integrity in another manner.

            I did take the time to read your article. First problem is you say “A 2012 study revealed most merchants (63%) were using them in printed catalouges.” Great, so what is the percent in 2017? 2012, is old news at this point as there have been major changes in media and technology since then.

            You then later list facts from 2013… still not relevant to today’s time. Reason I can say this, is I know the timeline for QR codes appearing in advertisements. I moved from the US in 2012 to Europe. In the US, that is about the same time that big agencies realized that QR codes were a waste of space. In Germany, they continued to use them for a few years… but no it is a big no no even here in advertising. Example, they were using them on posters for various elections… now they know better. Even Adobe, Europe was still saying they were cool in 2013…. they no longer follow that mind set.

            Now realize I am talking about ADVERTISING…. ads you would on Billboards, at Bus Stops, in magazines, etc. I have said… that you will find them in pamphlets for engineers and even in school books. And from my understanding they are popular in Japan.

            But realize I keep talking from a marketing aspect. I am not talking about pamphlets or books or small printed material that goes into specific people’s hands.

            What I do suggest is stop slamming people. Stop trying to “troll” me. We have established you like QR Codes. And I have said there are still uses for them. But do not expect to see them on an ad for Nike, Coca-Cola, Lindt Chocolate, or any product. As QR Codes are dead in advertising. Hashtags have a stronger effect (if properly created and used). Granted there have been big PR mishaps with hashtags too….. example Susan Boyle’s Album Release Party was #susanalbumparty (which for a British person they read it as Su’s Anal Bum Party). So one has to use the carefully! But Hashtags are much more effective in marketing strategies and ad campaigns.

            So what I would like to see you debate with is the statistics from a verified source for 2017. See how many Ad campaigns are currently using them. Then also see how many people in the US are scanning QR codes with apps. Now that information would be much more of importance to share. Not from 3 or 5 years ago.

            I am open to debates and open to discussions and if you show me more recent data… maybe I will say I was wrong. But from an advertising standpoint NO BIG AGENCY in the US would ever put them on their marketing campaign. I even feel that that the scan code Facebook has for users is not being widely used. Which we did talk about this at the conference I just spoke at this month.

            So again… be nice… stop trolling… stop trying to be nasty. Be friendly… have fun with the debate… and show current data!

          • Kenneth Shinabery

            You always have to be so negative. I am open to things when you can share relevant facts on how these are being used by big name brands in their campaigns in the US or Europe. But you never do. State facts, and be friendly doing so.

          • Martin Stepanek

            He’s arguing for the sake of arguing …. hmmm

          • Martin Stepanek

            Sorry Kenneth but I have to agree now with SmallBizGeek. You are not stating “the fact”. It might be “a fact” but not the only fact. Which makes you narrow minded and “ignorant”. FYI ignorant is not rude if that is what you are concerned with. SBG was referring to “uninformed” or not properly informed. Quite frankly, suggesting no firm is going to suggest to a brand …. again is a generalization at best, a blanket statement as such of itself is ignorant or uninformed. There are always different situations that might warrant what you cannot see.

          • Misnomer

            Which particular big agency have you talked to about branding? If you want real data to validate/invalidate your bias against QR check out (http://bit.ly/2FXes9b). <= see there proper use of url shorteners. Url shorteners for web refs and QR for real world refs to digital objects.

          • Mike Olson

            Kenneth must have read the book on how QR Codes Kill Kittens. It is beyond me why someone would put so much energy into ignoring what is really happening…

            The people at advertising agencies are not the jury for what is creative. Just look at how much bad advertising is created everyday! The agency people that are referred to in every weak argument that Kenneth presents are not very smart if they can’t see how the QR Code is a physical world touch point to quickly access the IOT opportunities by using the camera feature in their mobile phone. When QR codes were first introduced the American culture did not have the same acceptance of smartphones as did the markets in Asia. There is no doubt that QR codes are replacing cash in many countries. This is what will happen in America once we catch up to those in Asia. We in America have only to look at how many browsers offer a QR code reader option without the need for a special app.

            The supposed fourth industrial revolution will be lead by the omni-channel access to information in both the online and offline worlds. The fact the people in some advertising agency are going to fire you because you mention using of QR codes would only go to show just how limited the thinking of such an agency has become. This fear of technology would really be based on ignorance and the worry that QR codes make the advertising trackable.

            It would be the “for more info” and to watch a video or “call now” that an agency would fear the accountability of such measurement which is why I would say the entire agency should be fired! Is this not the 21st century?

            QR Trolls should go back under the bridge and realize they should grow UP!

          • Kenneth Shinabery

            You can go ahead and use them. I am just saying from a US and European Agency perspective they are not used. In previous comments… I even said in 2012 Germany was using them but then like agencies in the US they stopped. As no one takes the time to scan things. The cool factor has faded.

            I also said numerous times the are used in education, industry and even in Japan.

            Also asked those defending QR codes to ask the average Joe if they scan them… answer is most will say NO.

            It is not like they are a bad thing… they just are not overly used and most people do scanners… and if they do not have scanners built into their phone they will not scan them.

            Like I said from an agency view point it be a mistake to pitch them to a client.

            QR codes were a fad in the US and Europe that just did not take hold. And I doubt they will make a come back. Just like the Snapchat glasses cool for a second and then a downward spiral.

            Also not sure why you would call me a Troll. It is funny two people have turned to name calling in this discussion and to me that is not a nice way to debate things. I certainly would not call a person a name when defending my points. Simply is not friendly.

          • Mike Olson

            Just calling you out for ignoring all of those who have given you their facts and opinions as well as very justified evidence of large brands using QR code.

            If you have any fuel to continue your negative rantings on QR Codes, you should focus on the agency mentality that QR codes are a mistake, except in Japan?

            Just stating the facts… Not trying to insult you!

            In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting quarrels or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal, on-topic discussion,[3] often for the troll’s amusement. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll)

            As mentioned, many, many times… QR codes are not the problem. Its the people that do not properly use them graphically or support a pay-off such as coupon, discount savings or other trackable call to action from the advertising!

          • Kenneth Shinabery

            I haven’t ignored people. I read there statements. I have even viewed links they have shared.

            I am just stating my view. It is too bad the author has not really taken time to defend his position. This article now is s little old… I mean I only respond now when people reply to my comments. Just as you did. Had you not… I probably would have left the thread fade away.

            But yes… if someone repsonds directly to me I always respond that is what makes Social Medis/blogs so social so to speak.

            My responses are always friendly. I never try to slam the person. I state my opinion and the viewpoint of most people in advertising in the US and Europe. Nothing more… and the great thing is we do not have to agree. We are each entitled to our opinions.

            What I have yet to see is current figures on QR code usage in the US and Europe for 2017. How many people are implementing them in their campaigns… and how many people per capita are scanning them… that would be interesting for me to see… but I believe those numbers are low.

          • rwksict

            Some more recent articles about the actual relevance of QR codes (yes, even in marketing):





            and finally, some actual stats:


            It appears that nearly 28 million more people than “nobody” have scanned QR codes as of Spring 2017. The graph shows near-linear growth since Autumn 2013, suggesting that QR code usage is on the rise as the prevalence of personal tech that handles QR codes increases.

            Though I can already hear the argument that that’s only ~12% of the US adult population (or maybe about 10% of the smartphone-using population), the point is that as the ability to use them becomes more prevalent, the codes will become more useful and ubiquitous. One out of 800 people may qualify as “nobody”; one out of 80 might qualify as “almost nobody”, but 10-12% of the population is definitely “some”, even if it’s still a minority.

          • rwksict

            Cool! I (along with nearly 28 million other Americans) am “no one”!

            Seriously, we get it – you hate QR codes in advertising. Fine. Your clients can run the risk of missing out on my business. Not because of any pro- or anti-QR dogma on my part, but because if I have the choice of scanning a QR or typing in a URL for more info, I’m more likely to scan than type. To me, QR is the print-to-mobile equivalent of the hyperlink in desktop browsing. If you don’t see it that way, well, that’s your prerogative.

          • glassworks

            wow, another 3M stickers agency from LA i guess 🙂
            way to go.

      • Max Waterman

        > Noboday has QR code scanners

        Amazing. I am pretty sure that every single smart phone in China has a qr code scanner installed. I wouldn’t call that ‘nobody’ (or even ‘nododat’).

        Furthermore, I imagine quite a significant portion of those users scan a bar code every single day – for example that is how they hire bicycles in Beijing which many people use to get from place to place (the bikes have qr-codes printed on them) and pay for stuff in stores (the stores ‘all’ have qr code scanners, and they use an app on their phone to display the qr code which is then scanned by the store).

        I hear it is quite similar in Japan too.

        • Max Waterman

          I might also note that Google Goggles scans qr-codes quite nicely, and I would imagine that is installed on quite a lot of smart phones in the west too.

          Using that, I see the qr-code above gives a 404…it took me 8 seconds from picking up my phone to seeing the page…and, yes, you can do that with any URL/etc too, but I did it all with one hand and didn’t have to type anything.

        • La gran José macho

          How many iPhones out there are running iOS11? Let’s take the total number of IOS11 users, Samsung 8 users, and Pixel and Pixel 2 users. Let’s say 500 million. That’s 500,000,000 people with a QR code reader.

      • Some of the ways they are implemented are incredibly useful. Any retail store with an Inventory device and a nice scanner (usually about 1000 bucks) has no problem scanning them.Much more data than a barcode. Just so happens that the general public can use them for things aswell. The response to a server is where they are really great. Downloads, Cloud storage. Alphanumeric or Dot matrix is an easier “font” for networks to communicate than our alphabet.

        • Kenneth Shinabery

          Again… we are talking about something other than marketing. I am talking usage of QR Codes in advertising… be it print or video. They are a waste of time. Sure for inventory that is great if it helps. But putting a QR Code in print ads in magazines or posters or billboards is a waste. Even putting them on video ads is a waste. Hey I am all for it if that helps for other things. But marketing and traditional advertising… no big agency is going to use them in a campaign.

          • Martin Stepanek

            You give no REAL justification for why they are a “waste” in marketing ads etc. Nothing…other than to say people don’t have them on their devices. Well that can be said about a lot of technologies out there, doesn’t mean it won’t change or be adopted. You are somewhat correct in terms of where it is used in marketing or advertising, but to suggest there is NO PLACE as a blank statement and the only validation being because adoption in one country (go figure .. the high and mighty USA) hasn’t taken off … you’ve actually set yourself up for that narrow minded comment above … even if you aren’t. Just saying.

      • La gran José macho

        “Nobody has QR readers”… Wow, could you be more ignorant?

  • Anthony Steele

    QR Codes are widely used in Japan. Bus stops have a QR code that will direct you to the information page for the stop you are at. You can get information such as next scheduled bus, how late it is and how many stops away it is now.
    Some shops only have a giant QR code for their store front.
    We use QR codes on our monthly newsletters to deliver our latest YouTube playlist parents of our young learners. I can actually track the usage of the QR code and it is very high.

    • Kenneth Shinabery

      I have heard this… that they are used highly in Japan. But I can say in the US…. not so much. For a long time Germans also kept using them. However, this year I can say there was a big drop in the usage. Example many times politicians were using them on posters in local elections… however, the posters were situated in areas where no one would ever be able to scan the code. This year…. there are now QR Codes on any of the posters I have seen and with a big election taking place this year… that shows that Germans are getting smart and realizing that very few people have QR Code scanners.

      • Anthony Steele

        Or course, I accept that the article is US-centric, but its interesting to see how different countries adopt, or reject, different technologies. Although Japan, rightly, has a reputation for high levels of technology, in fact many “average people in the street” do not have a very thorough grasp of the technology they possess in their mobile devices. QR readers are often pre-installed in devices, and because QR codes are actually useful in daily life (for bus times, collectible trading cards, photo sticker machines, connecting to people via LINE (a very popular messaging app in Japan)) they are a simple way to get information without really having to more than pointing and clicking.



        • Brandon D

          Pretty sure you will be the one looking a fool, and eating all your words in these comments, as soon as iOS and Android (which they currently are working on and rolling out soon enough) roll out native QR scanning support with the cameras. Boom, instant huge market for consumers scanning your code.

          You also mention they are ugly, like a bar code. Sure, if you make a generic looking black and white QR code. There is some amazing QR generating software out. You can make a very appealing looking QR scan code, with your logo embedded inside, and toss it in a card for people who DO know what it is, and may eventually use it. For example, look into VisualLead.

          • Anthony Steele

            I think you’re replying to the wrong person.

      • Jeff Adzima

        This is a false statement, I use parkwhiz when I park in downtown SD and they use QR codes to scan the lot that you’ve parked in and quickly take you to the payment page. I think you’re wrong in this one and you’ll soon be eating the words in this blog!

        • Kenneth Shinabery

          Jeff… again you are missing the point. QR codes in marketing and advertising. There is no reason to use a QR code in marketing or advertising. Anyone who does is absurd. First… test my theory ask ten random people in your network if they have a QR Code reader on their phone (in the US). I guarantee most of them will say NO! Then ask them if they would take the time to scan a QR Code that appears in a magazine or on a poster or if they would prefer a short URL/Website Address? Most will say they prefer to see a link.

          Now outside of advertising a QR Code might be handy. But I think the author is talking more about marketing and advertising. So yes a QR Code or Barcode for ticket verification or even education material is ok. But reread the article and you will see he is talking about marketing. Which if you are an Art Director in the US or even in Germany….. and you try to pitch a client the idea of using a QR code in their marketing then you should be fired on the spot!

          • Jeff Adzima

            OK, but if I’m going to use it to park or ride the bus or buy a trolley ticket, I just might scan a marketing poster or some other item. What if the offer states something like ‘scan this code to get 20% off your next steak at Flemings’? Do you think many people would pass that up?

          • Kenneth Shinabery

            Again… anyone doing marketing should not offer the idea of using QR codes to clients. There are better marketing tools.

            No major brand should utilize them.

          • Tchuinkwa Charles

            But Walmart and Target use them recently to implement payment features in-store – are they not major brands? Or what im getting wrong here?

          • Why so one-sided in this view? You make it sound like an open and shut case.

          • Max Waterman

            > (in the US)

            LOL, I don’t know anyone in the US, so they must not exist. I know many people in China and they all have QR-Code scanners and use them regularly.

            Population of USA is ~300 million
            Population of China is ~1.3 billion

            Perhaps the trends in the USA aren’t as relevant as they once were.

          • You do realise that a built in QR code scanner is being rolled out to iOS as I type this, right?

          • Tchuinkwa Charles

            Very cool!!! I love your responses to Ken, someday he will comeback here and accept that he was narrow minded on his perception of QR codes. I dont blame him for saying some of the things he said as these days we all focus on the application used by 80% of the consumers and not the “19%” of the consumers.

          • Martin Stepanek

            Kenneth, I agree with you that QR codes have not taken off as they should have, but not because there is no place for them in advertising or marketing. They would be excellent in such arenas if the scanner was a native inclusion in the camera apps of the devices themselves or if app developers added them as part of the app. I seriously hate short urls except for clicking on them because they don’t “mean” anything. They tend to be cryptic (not plain language) meaning … try remembering them. If I snap a pick of of QR code its pretty much game over.

      • Max Waterman

        Visit Beijing, and you will see a different story. I imagine it is the same in any big Chinese city.

      • You seem to think QR codes are only meant for marketing. There is a whole other side to the debate that you just will not fathom. Relinquish your ego and try to be a little more open minded.

        • Kenneth Shinabery

          I don’t disagree. But for marketing it is a no go. I have mentioned in other comments that in education materials and even internal corporate guides for engineers they are used. But marketing…. no way.

          And there is no point in debating with someone who uses insults in their comments. Poor taste if you ask me. The internet communities has a name for people who instigate… T R O L L. Now you can debate friendly or you can keep slinging insults.

          • Not everything that a business does is marketing. There’s a bit more to it than that, and that is where QR codes are already being used to great effect. Oh, and they are used in marketing too.

          • Kenneth Shinabery

            I have said there are times people can implement QR codes. Education materials, pamphlets for engineers or industry, etc. But it has no place in advertising campaigns. Honestly this is something you can ask people at agencies… they will tell you the same. It was hot for a quick minute…. but it died at least in the US as quickly as it started. Now, maybe Japan still utilizes them more often in advertising…. I have heard they do. But in the US and Europe, no big agency would suggest this to a client. You can Google a million reasons why they simply do not function in mainstream advertising.

            The big factor a majority of people in the US and Europe will simply not scan them. Like I stated, when I moved from NYC to Germany they were still trying to push them in various things. But finally, they got it, and you simply do not see them any more.

            Since you are saying they are still used in marketing too…. then I would love for you to point out which current campaigns of big name products produced by big agencies are using them. Now, you can try to sell a cool factor to some small town company and they might buy into it. But you are not going to see brands like Coca-Cola, Nike or Microsoft using them at least in the US or Europe. So point me to where.

            I am not talking about tickets, or printed on machinery or brochures for engineers or text books… show me the big campaigns for big brands utilizing them. I love the debate. But I need facts to buy into what you trying to sell me.

            Then like I said ask people you know if they are scanning QR Codes shown in campaigns… or ask if they have a QR reader on their phone that they use. The answer you will get in 2017 is that not many people do or want to. It is so much easier for normal people to look-up a hashtag or something of that nature.

            Otherwise I think the debate has reached its conclusion.

          • Martin Stepanek

            By your own description of the issue, the reason isn’t because the idea wasn’t a good one, its because the mobile device developers never created a native QR scanner in the OS that software developers could take advantage of. So your point has both validity but also would be moot if app developers embedded a scanner in their own apps. I can actually think of a place where marketing could use a scanner such as in points rewards when visiting a given vendor. As a promo system for shopping apps. You walk into a store that is participating, the vendor has his/her own unique QR code, patrons snap and pic and it automatically records their visit (not unlike click adverts online), and with a linked purchase the purchaser collects added points. The will to implement a proper system would have made all the difference. FYI, its easier by far to scan a QR code (if you have an app) than it is to try and remember a cryptic tiny/short url.

      • La gran José macho

        “very few people have QR Code scanners.” That is the most ignorant thing I’ve read yet. A QR scanner is nothing more than an app, don’t tell me “very few people have a smartphone”

  • Stuart Verschoyle

    one word, WeChat

    • G Fatgoose

      Yup, someone is awake..

      • WhatsApp too.

        • Max Waterman

          Oh? WhatsApp has a qr code scanner?

          • It’s more for the crossover between PC and mobile. The website displays a QR code which you scan with WhatsApp – it allows you to access your own WhatsApp conversations via the desktop.

  • Kyle Smo

    QR Codes, much like barcodes are a font. They are 3D barcodes. They are to barcodes what EMV is to magstripe. Just because you don’t walk around scanning every QR code you see doesn’t mean that businesses aren’t using them for tracking. You just said that 19% of consumers scan QR codes. That is a HUGE market. “Worse than useless.,” he says. If you don’t understand something…make fun of it.

    • Max Waterman

      They are 2D, not 3D.
      I notice some people say you need to be online to use them, which isn’t true. One of the uses of them is to actually get online in the first place – ie to provide wifi ssid/password combos. This works wonderfully on iOS11 the camera app of which has a built in scanner (similarly for Samsung Android devices, so I’m told).
      Also, I often take photos that are adverts and they are processed when I am next online…Google Goggles gives me an alert with the link in the URL or I can manually scan photos for codes (WeChat’s scanner does this) if I’m really keen to find out about some product. I hear Google Goggles is being deprecated for some built in solution too, so soon it’ll be all iOS and Android phones, maybe.
      It is certainly true, though, that in “the west” there seems to be some resistance to qr codes. Lots of people seem to hate them for some reason…it’s almost like a religious thing (which works both ways, I guess), so no amount of logical arguing is going to convince anyone of anything. What will convince people is a killer “app”(location), like the bike thing in Asia (and London, I’m told), and easy payment systems.

  • Bananapanda

    Actually my QR reader is SUPER fast – I barely have to wave the phone at a QR code and it opens up.

    1. They’re quite popular at museums
    2. They’re used on food apps (Mezeh for one) so they are common to phone users.

  • Kenneth Shinabery

    Best photo ever explaining if you should use a QR Code in your marketing…. http://68.media.tumblr.com/a7270849d32eb2334af8d776dbc1a85b/tumblr_mktc1ppGMm1rp7p0go1_1280.jpg

    • rwksict

      I’ll scan a QR faster than I’ll type in a URL on my phone when I’m thumbing through a magazine in a waiting room. No QR? You just lost me. But then again, I’m just “nobody”…

  • Charles Furst

    You people are so close, yet so far away. It’s not that smart phones don’t have QR scanners installed – as a matter of fact almost all new Android Smart phones come with a QR reader pre-installed. Education is the biggest problem; and, as someone mentioned, because people don’t use them on a daily basis, they aren’t usually on the “Home” screen and the time it takes to open it, scan, click on the link makes it cumbersome. Also, because QR codes are generally near the product, or product name, most consumers associate more with the visual art or the product itself, and the enigma of a QR code gets lost.
    Unlike many other countries, the US doesn’t use technology for useful purposes, we prefer to be wasteful techies…

  • Joel Strawn

    Two years ago, we ran a marketing campaign that sent out 1200 faxes to U.S, Doctors. Each Fax contained a dynamic QR code that allowed the doctors to register for a promotion. The doctors simply read the promotional materials on the fax and scanned the QR codes if they were interested in the promotion. The QR codes contained tokens that allowed us to prepopulate the registration form for each doctor thus speeding and simplifying the registration process,

    We had a 24% of the doctors register with the Fax / QR Code solution. Not sure if the 19% number in the article is accurate.

    During the same period, we had a less than 5% response rate for most email blasts that promoted similar promotions. Sometimes old school marketing wins.

  • carlos

    The problem is not the QR itself, but that marketeers often enough do not have the slightest idea on how to offer a good idea via them. It’s easier to say “yeah, put the weblink on it!” then to think about a good strategy.

    I am a QR code streetartist.
    What i did: back in 2010, i created hundreds of QR stickers at the size of a stamp and sticked them around my city. Every sticker was unique and offered a direct downloads to a CC-licensed techno song.
    It took about 2 weeks (or better weekends) until rumours spread around that you can get free music and people started to scan them like hell.

    And here is another one of my QR projects (apart of that i paint them on canvas))….

    • Sasz

      Would be interested to know the status on who is scanning qr codes. It’s easy to do if you send them to a specific landing page for the code.

      Would need hard data to be convinced in 2017

      • Karl Banks

        Look st big campaigns from the likes of the market leading soft drink drinks manufacturers, Record Labels, and Household names such as Lever Bro’s etc. QR codes are now more relevant than ever. Apple hav even introduced the ability to recognis QR codes from their camera without a dedicated reade on their phones. Joining a host of other phone manufacturers.

    • Karl Banks

      Hi Carlos :)) I would love to hear more about your work as a street artist with QR Codes and see some of your work etc. Do you have links or a blog or webpage please? …..

  • Things are changing after apple’s move

  • A good article. Yea they are seemingly unused among a lot of people you meet. The system was invented by a Japanese automotive company to keep inventory, which its very effective at. 30% of it can be damaged or incorrect and still readable. While some scanners or phones do not scan very well, the interpretation of it is quite fast. Its great for downloads and tracking. I save them for cloud files and two factor authentication. For marketing.. yes they are off putting, although I have seen some artistic ones. Better for the shipping and receiving end or cryptography.

  • Kenneth Shinabery

    I think people defending QR Codes in the comments are missing the point of the article. Yes they might have value in other areas, but not in print…. not in video… not in marketing campaigns. We are talking about advertising. Not inventory or tickets or other types of things. Reread the article and then think more about traditional advertising. Then you will see where the author is going with this.

    • Max Waterman

      Yes, but one of the points about them is that no one has a qr code reader, which is not true.
      I also disagree with you that they’re not useful for print/ads, since they are a convenience feature, and the market of people with scanner is huge and getting bigger (vast majority of people from Asia, who are often tourists in the west, plus all iOS11 users have one in the camera, and Samsung too, iinm). They don’t require the user to be online, since you can just take a photo, which you probably would do anyway, which you can scan later (I’ve seen this happen automatically with Google Goggles, not sure iOS/Samsung cameras or WeChat). I’ve seen some really artistic qr codes too, which almost invite the user to scan them.
      It is true that there is resistance to them in “the west” but I don’t really think people “get it” and it just needs overcome some threshold of usefulness for people to overcome their entrenched opinions…things can change.

      • La gran José macho

        Built in QR read is also in Google’s new Pixel and Pixel 2 phones. They work under “Google Lens” which means you can take a picture of the QR and scan it later.

    • rwksict

      [I admit I’m late to the fray, so sorry if most everyone has moved on with their lives.]

      The article is also wrong that the codes can’t provide useful info. A QR code in a specific print ad could have embedded info that tells the web server which ad was scanned (and yes, I’ve scanned QR codes in print, which I guess qualifies me as “nobody”), allowing the advertiser at least some feedback about what ads get responses (as opposed to the traditional method: no data whatsoever). It can also lead to a response page that precedes the desired content.

      An ad could also have a SMS direct response, but I can’t imagine that would be better than QR, since it potentially opens people up to SMS spam.

      I agree that QR in video is worthless, but I can’t understand how you could miss the usefulness in print and in marketing (isn’t “marketing” more than just a glossy magazine ad? Doesn’t it include store displays, brochures/handouts/flyers, mailings, and posters? You know, places where the capabilities of QR could actually shine?). Maybe it’s because I’m “nobody”…

  • Bradley Humble

    This article is about using qr codes not incorporating qr code technology. Snapchat uses a qr code within their app but yes a normal qr code isnt ideal. But if you can incorporate the technology with your service it can work.

  • I have done my own survey, and half the people have a QR application installed when the other half doesn’t.

    In the past I changed from using a QR on my visit card from just putting the info there, guessing that people didn’t add me because of the code.

    But, for my surprise, putting my info in plain text didn’t lead to them to add my contact. Why? The latest person I gave my card, who was a young male, told me that he doesn’t even know how to add a contact to his phone.

    Bottom line, one shall put things easy to a certain extend. But if you don’t even know how to take out your snots, I’m sorry I cannot help you.

    One shall select which customer to address. People who is this lazy is better just ignored.

  • Karl Banks

    This post is outdated and sadly poorly informed or else poorly researched. QR codes are actually very useful, very quick and serve a multitude of purposes with social media platforms, websites, apps and advertisments, ALL of which can be launched from QR codes! Info such as date, time, location (anywhere in the world) and number of times a code has been scanned can all be obtained, The ability to launch apps, websites (that use cookies) and show intro screens or advertisements before loading main content all work for marketers. take a look at the big names using QR codes for user integration (snapchat) engagement and product promotion (Pepsi) etc. QR codes can also be customised with a variety of colours, pattern type and logos. Some smartphones even detect them through their camera app WITHOUT the need to open a dedicated reader. (iPhones latest iOS for example, it works great on the 6s, point your camera phone, if theres a QTR code in the frame, the OS detects it)) QR codes made an introduction, now they’re making their mark.

  • abc man1111

    I will never use a QR code scanner…ridiculous.

    • Max Waterman

      That’s ok, you don’t have to use them. They are just a convenience feature and relatively unobtrusive. You can still type stuff in manually if you like.

  • Bradley Humble

    I think QR codes are great but the implementation is the key to using them. Snapchat uses qr codes to quickly add new users. Its already in the application instead of having to download an qr scan app. For tech companies qr codes can be useful but for simple mom and pops there isnt an marketing need (yet?).

    • La gran José macho

      I used QR code on my website for people to contact me. That way bots can’t scan my website for my email address, and it’s more 21st century.

  • aeliayousaf

    This article is soo bull – QR codes are very useful, they are are to stay. They are quick – my phone takes less than 2 seconds to scan a QR code. There is a reason why apple has included it as a native function in its camera app in the new iOS11 – so no need to install a 3rd party app – and people talking about “Big Agencies” not recommending the use of QR code have no idea what a “Big Agency” is – I have worked with major agencies like Chiel, Y&R etc – and all use and recommend QR code for project specifications (obviously depending on the project).

    • La gran José macho

      The person writes internet blogs/articles for a living. Obviously they don’t know what they’re talking about and are just finding something to put out there.

  • Mirip Wahyu Affandi

    My android phone can scan QR code through camera phone. And still it’s fun and fast than remembering or take a picture of an url address while we’re on the road.

  • La gran José macho

    This article is a bunch of BS… My Phone can scan a QR code in a fraction of a second. QR codes do in fact fit in everywhere and anywhere. Almost 100% of the people who will be viewing your QR code owns a smartphone. A smaller, yet still quite large amount of the population will have a QR code reader on their phone already since it’s essential in today’s tech world…. PLUS, some phones, like Google’s will have the QR code reader built in, no app needed.

    Barcodes and QR codes are not unsightly, and both are widely used, and widely needed in today’s world.

  • La gran José macho

    This article is a load of garbage, and it makes me sick the author got hurt feelings and deleted my comment. So here it is again from what I remember:

    QR codes and Barcodes are not unsightly and are widely used and needed in today’s world and provide many benefits to their users. Without barcodes for example, inventory keeping would be a nightmare.

    QR codes are not slow to read. In fact, my phone can scan a QR code in nearly a quarter of a second.

    New Phones nowadays have QR code readers built in.

    Nearly anyone with a smartphone in today’s world is going to have a QR reader because of their many uses in today’s tech world.

    QR Codes do in fact fit in anywhere and everywhere.

    Millennials know what a QR Code is. You don’t have to work in technology or marketing. Even my nearly 60 year old mother knows what a QR code is.

    I work as a computer software programmer for a living, I don’t write articles on the internet. So I think I know a little more on this topic.

    I will be copying this for later because I am sure the author will get hurt feelings again and remove this.

  • La gran José macho

    This article is a load of garbage.

    QR codes and Barcodes are not unsightly and are widely used and needed in today’s world and provide many benefits to their users. Without barcodes for example, inventory keeping would be a nightmare.

    QR codes are not slow to read. In fact, my phone can scan a QR code in nearly a quarter of a second.

    New Phones nowadays have QR code readers built in.

    Nearly anyone with a smartphone in today’s world is going to have a QR reader because of their many uses in today’s tech world.

    QR Codes do in fact fit in anywhere and everywhere.

    millennials know what QR codes, as does my nearly 60 year old mother.

    I work as a computer software programmer for a living, I don’t write articles on the internet. So I think I know a little more on this topic.

  • Nick Nestor

    I work for a company where I constantly have to scan barcodes and QR codes, the QR codes scan in a fraction of a second where the barcodes scan in 10-30 seconds using the same software.

    Imagine if retail products switched over, checkout would go Much faster.

  • “You can collect the customer’s phone number, which you can use for re-marketing purposes in the future.”
    No, you cannot. The users have to agree on specific terms and conditions, and the delivery medium needs to offer unsubscribing option. Of course, you still may do that, but there is nothing more annoying than sending direct, unwanted and unexpected private message via SMS, from which you cannot unsubscribe. Even worse is calling that number – it is great way to make customers hate you.

  • La gran José macho

    After paying more attention to things around me since reading this garbage, I have found this article is ever more garbage than I first thought. QR codes are widely used. I am seeing them on receipts, nutrition labels, checkouts at stores, movie theaters for those who purchased tickets online, and car washes for those who are awarded free car washes or who have purchased car washes online.

    With everyone carrying a smartphone, they can display a QR code on their screens to be scanned at registers and kiosks for stuff. They can also do the vice-versa and use their phones to scan QR codes printed on things.

  • TJ_3rd

    My stock Android camera app automatically sees and pops up links when it sees qr codes… couldn’t be easier. Also, QR codes are most definitely two-directional in terms of information. First off you embed into QR code URLs some extra information about where the QR code is being printed / seen. Secondly, when people visit the QR code’s URL you can generally gather a lot of information about them, at the very least their IP, but often much more info. As for appearance there are a lot of options to dress them up. I think the author of this article needs to revisit this.

  • DavidDavidson1892

    Emma, you seem to have done zero research.
    They have QR codes at bus stops here. You scan the QR code and it gives you the (approximate; our busses use the outdated transponder method of tracking rather than GPS) location of the bus, whether or not a delay is expected and when it will arrive.
    All that from a QR code.
    Now just to stop the morons from peeling the stickers off for some sort of social bravado.
    Not to mention that if I want to get a link from my PC to my phone, making a QR code and using my camera is the fastest way to get it done, especially if it’s a very long link.