If you’ve been to Asia, especially Japan, over the last couple years you’ve already seen these crazy looking squares on packaging, media, and on websites. They are everywhere in Japan but a little late coming to the US. If you went to DomainFest you saw them throughout your program. QR Codes are a two dimensional code that can be read by camera phone or barcode reader and can contain text or a url. Originally designed by Toyota to manage parts, they’ve become a popular way to transmit data without taking up a lot of space.
It only takes a few seconds to create your own unique QR code on such sites as Qurify and their uses are immeasurable. It gives users a quick gateway to more information. The keys here are quick and gateway. It gives your customers a quick way to find more information through some quick text or a directing them to a specific link on a website. I’ve read several people that think it’s will have a negative effect on domain names but in my opinion it’s the exact opposite. Domains are needed to guide the user. While I’m sure these codes will advance to the point that they will be able to generate photos and more data, to me they have more use as a “find out more” gateway that doesn’t take up much space on a label or print media. And that’s how my business plans on using them.
Our plant customers always want more information about the plants we sell. We try and give the growing height and width and a few pictures but I know our customers like to go home and do more homework. By putting the QR code on the labels and signage, I am able to direct the customers right to our website that contains a lot more information than I can fit onto a 5 X 7″ sign. They can also bookmark the page to go back later and peruse. In our newspaper ads I’m going to put a QR code in the bottom corner that will lead them straight to a page on our site with more information as well and perhaps an added special sale item. All these things can presently be accomplished through a posted url but QR codes make it quicker and direct. It also makes it fun.
Not everyone has a smart phone but most people want them. Everyone who does have one loves to use it. QR codes are a fun, functional, way to use your phone and I find people like using QR codes for no other reason than they can. The ability to drive customers to my message is exciting and each day I think of what I can do with these codes. I especially get excited about the iPad 2. The new iPad will have a camera with a QR reader. For this reason alone, I will be buying 5 or 6 iPads to “lend” to shoppers to wander our garden center, clicking qr codes if they want to see more pictures or information about plants of interest.
As a businessman I see the future. A future that lets me put an incredible amount of information in my customer’s hands simply but having them face their phone camera at my signs. I slap one little sticker on a pot and they are instantly taken to a set of photos and growing information. A little square gateway to another voice that I now have. Who knew the Toyota parts department would help me sell more plants?