QR Codes Didn’t ‘Die.’ Consumers Never Cared.
In early 2013 most marketing publications were talking about the “death of the QR code,” and how they would certainly be replaced by newer app technologies like Blippar and Touchcode. The reality is that while there has been much excitement around Quick Response (QR) codes and other technologies for marketers, none of them have been proven to be that exciting for consumers.
In 2010 the first QR code scanner and reader applications were released for a variety of smartphone platforms. In 2011 QR codes began to gain prominence in the U.S. marketing arena. As of April 2014, according to ScanLife there are currently 5 million active QR code users worldwide. If all 5 million of those users were in the U.S., that would represent just 1.5% of the U.S. population. QR codes are simple and easy to set up for the merchandiser or marketer, and somewhat easy for consumers, but apparently not easy enough.
If QR scanners had very specific demographic characteristics attached to them, it would make the case to target them for specific product targets, but they do not. According to ScanLife’s study of QR scanners, gender is primarily male, but age, income and education vary greatly.