Survey Says: QR Code Use Falling . . . NOT!

By  on August 9th, 2013

I keep hearing a common refrain: QR Codes are going away. Consumers aren’t using them. They are out-dated. They are being replaced by more sophisticated technology. Blah, blah, blabbidy blah, blah, blah.

The fact is, the data just don’t support those statements. ScanLife just released its Q2 2013 barcode trend report and once again — just as in all of its previous trend reports — QR Code scans are going up.

Consider these numbers:

ScanLife Historical Line

  • Q2 2013 saw 4 million new QR Code scanners worldwide
  • Users scan QR Codes 3x per month — up 22% from the previous quarter.
  • Scanning from tablets has increased by a whopping 1300% from one year ago.

The number of people scanning QR Codes is up. The frequency of scanning is up. Scanning is spreading across mobile devices.

Clearly, the use of QR Codes as a response mechanism for marketing campaigns is not going away.

So where is this idea that QR Codes are going the way of the Model T coming from? I can’t say for sure, but my belief is that it’s coming from the industry chatter about the poor use of these codes combined with a heavy dose of personal disdain (for one reason or another) and supported with data that shows the percentage of smartphone owners who have scanned these codes ranging from 10-30%. Naysayers love to quote the low percentage of smartphone owners who scan these codes.

But the fact is, I would imagine that the percentage of people who call the 800 number from a direct mail piece is really low too. (I can’t remember the last time I called an 800 number that wasn’t customer service.) But I don’t hear anyone suggesting we should putting 800 numbers on direct mail pieces. QR Code use is growing. Frequency is increasing. Use across devices is broadening. Don’t take my word for it —listen to the data.