Small or complex QR codes cannot be scanned by smartphones that have poorer quality cameras. These types of 2D barcodes that have a lot going on are more time consuming and challenging to scan. More stored content ...
1. QR Codes Are Barcodes
QR codes are encoded barcode images that look like a square maze. 2-dimensional barcodes store data in both directions and can be scanned vertically or horizontally to be decoded.
2. 2D Barcodes Can Store A Variety of Data
2D barcodes (QR) can store up to 7089 numbers, whereas traditional 1D barcodes can only store up to 30 numbers. This additional storage capacity allows for a variety of data that goes beyond numbers. The types of data this include are hyperlinks, text, contact entries etc.
Hyperlinks are useful as they present many possibilities other than simply loading a web page, such as updating a Twitter status, displaying map directions, playing a video etc.
3. Read/Decode A 2D Barcode With A Smartphone
Once you have gained access to a 2D barcode reader app, you can scan the QR code with a smartphone. You will need this reader in order to decode the encoded data.
4. Quality Of Smartphone Cameras Is Important For Small Or Complex Codes
Small or complex QR codes cannot be scanned by smartphones that have poorer quality cameras. These types of 2D barcodes that have a lot going on are more time consuming and challenging to scan. More stored content means a larger code size. It is therefore best to minimise data that is stored in 2D barcodes. Ensure you always use a URL-shortener to shrink the hyperlinks.
Small, complex QR codes are the worst error currently being made by marketers, particularly due to the fact that smartphone cameras with a resolution lower than 4 megapixels cannot scan a code smaller than approximately 1”x 1.”
Make sure you always offer a back-up option for users to obtain the information within the code, by means of text message or a hyperlink etc. This will give non-smartphone users the option to participate too.
5. Mobile Barcode Scanning Is On The Increase
QR codes can be used for nearly any function, whether it be customer service, advertising etc., and across a variety of industries:
Findings from trend reports have shown that in the first part of 2011, 2D barcode scans outnumbered 1D scans, and in late 2010 QR code scanning was said to have increased by 1200%.
6. 2D Barcodes Can Be Placed Nearly Anywhere
Once the barcode image has been created, it can be printed on nearly any surface and location, whether it be newspapers, TV ads, billboards, product packaging, clothing labels, etc. This allows you to drive traffic, interaction, and conversion from anywhere.
Bear in mind however, that the location must be easily scannable. For example, plastic frames and packaging can reflect light.
7. Barcode Content Should Provide Special Customer Value
When a user scans a barcode they will have high expectations as to what they will find. You should reward the user with exclusive content, discounts, tips etc.
Think of scenarios that make use of smartphone features, i.e. email, video, map, apps, etc. that will save the user time, for example including a QR code on a business card. Remember if you link to a web page, that you make sure that it’s mobile-friendly.
8. Consumers Need Guidance To Scan 2D Barcodes
The wide range of readers and code types etc. can be confusing to customers. It is therefore wise to include a brief step-by-step guide with the context of your code. Tell the user to get the reader app and then scan the code with their mobile device. Include a URL link or SMS shortcut to a reader app download to speed up the process.