Coronavirus has brought the revival of QR codes as a tool for companies
Before the coronavirus crisis, Marta, a consumer midway between Generation Z and Millennial because of her age, had never used a QR code. Not that she didn’t know what they were, but rather that she hadn’t had an incentive to do so.
Now, as she pointed out taking out her cell phone to read the menu of the restaurant where we were, she has them more present. “You point the camera and the link to the letter appears,” he said to me, iPhone in hand. The case is that of a specific consumer, but it may be a perfect example to understand what has happened these days with QR codes and how they have become an ubiquitous element in the new normal.
In the regulations that the Spanish government approved during the state of alarm to manage the de-escalation, one of them involved reducing contact with common elements in restaurants and bars during the return of customers. Among the many issues that this involved was that of making common letters disappear. Consumers would not be able to share the letters, which would have to be individual.
To offer each consumer a letter, many have been the establishments that have chosen to use QR codes. They are everywhere in the new normal, as they were in the de-escalation. Restaurants and bars have pasted them on their tables. When pointed to, users can download the local letter on their mobile devices.
Although restaurants are the most visible environment, it is not the only one in which QR codes have been integrated. There are also businesses that are using them to manage access and customer service shifts, especially when the de-escalation reduced the capacity of their establishments, or to redirect their consumers to their online stores.
QR codes have also been integrated as avenues for mobile payments. Paypal, for example, has incorporated it so that physical stores can charge without contact. Also, as explained in a press release from SeQura, a company specialized in payments, two of Xiaomi’s physical stores in Barcelona have done so, using the company’s QR payments to process collections and reduce contact and time. management.
In fact, according to the estimates of the companies in the sector, the activity of the industry due to the demand for QR codes and everything related has grown by 200% due to the coronavirus crisis.
How to use them for marketing later
Companies should take advantage, therefore, that consumers are becoming familiar with the format, one that had actually resisted for so long, to get the most out of it. QR codes have already been incorporated in the past into television broadcasts, advertisements in urban furniture or product packaging to redirect the consumer and to encourage them to access more information.
However, the format had not been as successful as it could have been. For many users that code was still something mysterious and uninteresting. They had no incentive to strive to find out how to access it and how to download that information.
Consumers now have no choice but to learn how to use them and, more importantly, they are. They are downloading what QR codes offer them and discovering their potential. If the experience is good and if the companies are capable of making an efficient strategy in its use, it could remain as one more element for the future of the digital marketing strategy.