QR codes take off! Connect and Measure your promotion in an instant!

by Helen Leggatt

As the number of Smartphones being used around the globe increases so, it seems, does the popularity of quick response (QR) codes among businesses large and small. Even the USPS is encouraging mailers to use the device on mailings.

QR Code use has skyrocketed in past months. Earlier this year Mobio reported a 1200% rise in QR code scanning.

Increased use has been driven by high profile marketing campaigns along with a rise in Smartphone adoption. According to Scanbuy’s latest trend report, QR codes are now being scanned more than 1D barcodes for the first time since the second quarter of 2010.

The codes are easy to use and usually free to generate. They can quickly be “re-programmed” at any time to suit current product or promotional activity no matter when the original was deployed.

So it’s no surprise to see businesses big and small increasing their use of QR codes. I’ve already covered the many innovative ways QR codes can be used, but here are a few examples of how businesses today are using the technology.

Sun-Maid Raisins

Sun-Maid Raisins is using on-pack QR codes as part of a promotional tie-in with DreamWorks Animation’s “Kung Fu Panda 2″ release at the end of May. Those who scan the code will be asked to register after which they are able to enter a sweepstake as well as access movie trailers, character information and download wallpapers for their computer.

Capilano Mall

The North Vancouver shopping mall is using QR codes to drive traffic to their micro site prompting environmental and social responsibility. In addition the mall as introduced QR codes as a way for shoppers to enter in-mall contests to help cut down on the amount of waste paper generated.

“Introducing this technology as an alternative for our customers is just one of the ways that we are working to decrease our environmental footprint,” says Shera Allibhai, marketing director, Capilano Mall.


The USPS is promoting the use of QR codes to mailers. Between July 1st and August 31st 2011, the postal service is offering a 3% upfront discount to mailers who include 2-D barcodes as part of their mailing.

According to the promotion factsheet all companies, including mail service providers, who mail using a permit imprint and submit their mailing documentation electronically are eligible to participate.

Organic Creamery

The organic cheese brand, part of the DCI Cheese Company, is using QR codes within on-shelf promotion devices. As well a being able to enter a contest to win a $500 coupon using a tear-off, Smartphone users can scan the QR Code to be taken directly to Organic Creamery’s website for wine pairings, recipes, and promotional coupons.

The Cookie Jar

A popular bakery in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is using QR codes on their exterior store signage to entice people off the street and into their store. Since the sign went up a few weeks ago the owners have noticed many people stopping to scan the QR code with their Smartphone.

Becky Smith of Cookie Jar felt the QR code was a valuable addition to their store signage and allowed the dissemination of timely and relevant store information such as coupons, promotions and product details.

“When you’re a small business, you try to find something that’s going to be cheaper or easy for us to buy into and this is definitely an affordable way to go and get all your info out there instead of just your name,” said Smith.