QR Codes & Business: A Brief Overview

By Anita Jaynes on 28 March, 2023

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We’ve all seen QR codes; you might have even used them before. However, did you know that they first emerged in the 1990s, developed by Toyota, in order to keep track of their vehicles during the manufacturing process? Today they are used for all manner of tasks; the QR codes can be linked to an online store, allow you to make payments, show you a product or be used for advertising purposes. If you are considering utilizing QR codes within your business, read on to learn more about them. 

QR Codes Explained

QR stands for quick response, and the codes themselves are simply square-shaped barcodes made up of pixels. They can be read either vertically or horizontally, unlike other traditional barcodes. A QR code stores information which, when scanned, tends to – but not always – opens some sort of web page on the user’s device. The data or information tends to be encrypted in one of four ways:

  • Numeric
  • Byte
  • Alphanumeric
  • Kanji 

The data is housed in the grouped patterns of black and white cells. Originally, the scanner read the three corner squares, which was the finder’s pattern. However, over time other designs and elements were developed to differentiate designs, but they all formed the same function. Today, you can either choose from static or dynamic designs when it comes to QR codes. 

A static code stores information but is unalterable once created. They are suited to a few purposes like identifying members of staff, registrations or transferring details. Dynamic codes, on the other hand, allow you to update information as and when you like. They are often used for data collection purposes. 

Businesses & QR Codes

The first thing a business that wants to incorporate QR codes needs to do is, of course, to generate the code itself, which, luckily, can be done pretty easily using a tool like adobe. After that, they need to work out what they want to use the code for. There are a few options; it will simply depend on what makes the most sense for the business. It could be used to control goods during the manufacturing and production processes, or it could be used in a marketing campaign, or it could be used to take payments, acting as an alternative route as opposed to physically going to a cashier and using cash or card to make a purchase. Some businesses also use them to control staff access to different files or premises, acting as an identifying and allowing the business to keep track of people. 

Deciding If They Are Worth the Investment

QR codes can be a great tool that many businesses do choose to take advantage of. However, the question of whether or not they are worth it for a specific business is too nuanced to provide a general answer. It depends on a number of factors unique to the business. That being said, they are relatively easy to get up and running, and they are pretty straightforward to integrate into your business practices. So, in that respect, if you have the use for a QR code, then why not?

Image by Markus Winkler from Pixabay