qr codes in the ukDigital Marketers, Econsultancy.com, have published surveys on the use of QR codes in the UK and the US.

In line with our American cousins, 64% of whom did not know what one was, when 1500 people here were asked about QR codes, 36% of those surveyed did know what they were used for and 19% had actually scanned one on their mobile.

Naturally, the figures are very much age related – 50% of 18-34 year olds, compared to only 21% of over 55s being aware of them but and those figures dropping to just 7% of over 55s actually having scanned one.

Why people would not scan QR codes in the UK

For most people, the reason they would be less likely to scan a QR code even out of curiosity was not having a mobile phone which had the facility.

Even those who had a smartphone – and, according to Comscore that is 50% of UK adults – were sometimes deterred by the idea of having to download an app to perform the function first. Although I should point out that there are several free ones available in the Apple store and for Android.

Squarecode report that comScore also analysed the qr code scanning of users in Europe and revealed that most were scanning QR codes at home, although 17.8% of users in a combined EU5 block of France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK did admit to scanning whilst in retail stores and a further 17.2% from the supermarket.

Curiously, the least popular place was restaurants with only 5.7%, but whether that’s because this is an area that needs to take advantage of their opportuntiies for discount coupons or special menus remains to be seen.

Dynamic QR codes give the business the ability of controlling the information broadcast by the code by updating it as an online service.

Having been one of the first people locally to use one on my business card, this is certainly something that I am going to be looking into since it gives me the option to send people who have attended my various presentations to the correct resource literature relating to that subject.

Why consumers will start to use QR codes regularly in the UK

MGHUS have run another QR code survey on the way that people interact with these memorable black and white curiosities which makes for interesting reading. The top motivation for scanning was to gain some form of discount or coupon. People associate QR codes with getting something back.

As they summed up - this data shows that consumers are interested in interacting with advertising that bears a QR code – the promise of additional benefits in the form of deals, coupons, videos, sweepstakes, social media interactions, etc.; and QR codes can help an ad break through the clutter by increasing the chance it will be remembered, great news for advertisers who have already integrated a QR code strategy into a traditional advertising campaign or are looking to insert them in a future campaign.

So QR codes in the UK are definitely going to grow and grow.

2 thoughts on “QR Codes in the UK

  1. Hey,

    These findings really are very interesting. What’s particularly poignant is that although most owns a smartphone across the full range of the socio-economic strata, the key group that scans are, as you pointed out, of a certain age but also of a certain financial position. This means that it has become more and more significant to provide “benefit” to those that scan especially as they are looking to buy.

    Again, thanks for a great article.

    • You’re welcome, Johannes. Thanks for the useful stats! It does at least mean that we have a clear strategy for our marketing energies with QR codes:)

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