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  • Julie Jones

What’s a QR code and why do I need one for my business?v

If you’ve looked around lately, you’ve probably noticed QR codes popping up all around you. You know, those little patterns made up of black squares and dots? You can find them on menus, business cards, billboards, and websites. They’re pretty much everywhere. In a world focusing more and more on contactless service and social distancing, QR codes have basically become the norm.

But what is a QR code? And how do I use one, anyway?

A QR code, or Quick Response code, is a smartphone-readable matrix barcode used to relay information to the end user, typically in a URL format. That might sound confusing, but don’t worry. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

1. Open the camera on your smartphone.

2. Hover over the QR code, bringing it into focus.

3. Tap on the pop-up text that appears on your screen.

See? It’s really that simple. Now that we know what a QR code is and how to use one, let’s explore what they can do for you and your business.

QR codes have the unique ability to bridge the gap between offline and online consumers, like a quick Call-To-Action button for the real world. Imagine someone standing outside, perhaps waiting for a ride. An advertisement catches their eye, but they don’t have the time to type in the store name or search for the product before their car arrives. After driving away they might remember the product, but what was it called? Where is it sold? QR codes take the guesswork and hassle out of the situation. One scan can redirect the potential customer to your business’s social media account, website, menu or coupons in mere seconds. So, now that you’ve decided to get on board, let’s figure out what type of QR code is right for you.

There are two types of QR codes: Static and Dynamic.

With a Static QR code, the information is embedded in the code itself and never changes. These are ideal for passwords and access codes. Unfortunately, Static QR codes are not convenient if your data updates or changes regularly. In that case, you’ll want to create a Dynamic QR code. Dynamic QR codes have a short URL embedded in the code, which redirects the user to the destination website. This allows you to change and update the information as regularly as you’d like. These are great for restaurant menus, coupons, exclusive offers, and more. Additional benefits to using a Dynamic QR code include optional password protection, and the ability to gather marketing data from your users. While you can’t see any personal data, you can gauge your QR code’s effectiveness by seeing how many people have scanned it, at what time, their location, and on what kind of device. In the world of business and marketing, that kind of information is priceless. Speaking of price, did you know you can make your own QR code for free? There are plenty of generators online. Just find one you like, enter your information, and before you know it, you’ll have a QR code of your very own. It’s a simple way to engage the public and promote yourself as a business of the future.

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