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18pc of tech-savvy shoppers make a purchase after scanning a QR code: survey

Half of smartphone owners have scanned QR codes and 18 percent of them made a purchase after scanning, according to a new survey from Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies.

The results show willingness on the part of tech-savvy shoppers to make QR codes part of the purchase process. In addition to using QR codes as part of the purchase process, 21 percent of those who scanned a QR code shared the information with someone.

“There is a small but growing share of very purposeful QR code users, “ said Jeffrey McKenna, senior consultant, Chadwick Martin Bailey, Boston. “Two in five went to the QR code with a specific intention in mind, to get information to make a purchase.

“One in five made the purchase and the QR code was part of the process,” he said. “This shows that, as the curiosity factor wears off, people are going to be very purposeful in scanning QR codes.

“For marketers, they need to understand what that purpose is.”

Ease of use
QR codes are gaining traction with marketers and appear in print ads, on posters, product packaging and Web sites.

Despite their prevalence, only 21 percent of smartphone owners know QR codes by name, according to the report. However, nearly all respondents reported having seen QR codes.

The results show that consumers find QR codes to be an easy-to-use technology, with 70 percent saying scanning was an easy process.
“The biggest surprise is that 70 percent found them easy to use,” Mr. McKenna said. “That surprised me because it is a new technology.

“Given that most people don’t know the name of QR codes, the fact that the people who have used them find them easy reflects that the technology is not a hindrance for people,” he said.

However, consumers were not as impressed with the information they got from scanning a code, with only 41 percent reporting the information they got to be useful.

The results suggest that those marketers who meet customer expectations and offer compelling reasons to scan QR codes will be successful here.

Over 1,200 United States consumers were surveyed for the report.

“There is acceptance of the technology from consumers,” Mr. McKenna said. “For marketers, there is the opportunity to engage with consumers through these QR codes.

“The fact that two in five found the information provided through QR code to be useful show there is a big opportunity for marketers is to create better directed information to consumers,” he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York