This is a QR code

QR code for amanda barrett homepage

This code will take you
back to the home page
of this website







Article first reproduced in CB8 magazine.

QR Code... What is This?

Have you been to Cineworld cinema recently?
If so you may have seen a poster that displays a QR code (like the one shown on the left of this article). Some film posters now display QR codes and invite you to "watch a trailer" for a new movie. QR codes are really a type of bar code that contain a URL link to a page on the Web. In the case of the film poster the QR directly links to a page on the Web that plays a video trailer of the movie.

How do QR codes work?

Using the camera on your phone you photograph the code but it will only work if you have a smart phone.
You will need to download a bit of free software - an App
e.g. Red Laser for iPhone and Android phones, QR Code Reader app for iPhone, QR Code Scanner Pro for Blackberry.
Download the App (takes about a minute) then you can snap any QR code with your phone’s camera to activate the link to the web.

Isn’t this just a gimmick?

It depends how it is used! Using it just to direct users to the home page of a website is probably a waste – it should be used as a link to specific information, for example; to a web page with a special offer or a page detailing information about a particular product.
So why use the code? Two reasons – the first is that these codes are still fairly unusual, people will scan them to find out what it reveals. The second and more important reason is that its so easy. If you had to key in a long website address you may not bother, particularly if you see something interesting when out and about e.g. magazines found in waiting rooms, posters in town, shops (that may be closed). In the US estate agents use these codes on For Sale boards, you just scan the code and are taken to a web page showing video of the inside of that particular property... easy!
The more people use smart phones the more they are going to rely on their phones for instant access to information and the QR code provides that.

How can businesses benefit from a QR Code?

If you are running a business where your potential clients are also potential smart phone users then using a QR code could help generate some more interest, (see Benefits of using a QR code in the side panel). By using analytics on your website you can track the code to see how many people actually use it to look at your site and judge for yourself how effective it is.

Benefits of using a QR code

1. External Signage – Use on billboards, shop signs, public houses, for sale signs. Anywhere outside where a passer by can easily snap the QR code to access more information. It is particulalry useful if your premises is shut or unmanned as you can give access to vital information that may bring the visitor back again or inspire them to contact you.

2. Advertising – great as a "call to action", encourage visits to your site with special offers or videos of your products. A QR code is easy to track you can register the response.

3. Exhibitions – Museums, Trade Exhibitions. The code can be displayed near exhibits or products to offer extra information.

4. Film Trailers, Theatre Previews – QR codes can link to any media on the web including You Tube or Vimeo video.

4. Bookings – As a direct link to booking information, catch a "spur of the moment" booking. How many people see something they are interested in only to forget about it later?

5. Vehicle Livery – another way for people to contact your company!

Below is an example of QR codes used in the window of JD Sports Newmarket.

QR Codes in window of JD Sports