3 in 10 Consumers Lack QR Code Understanding

October 7, 2011

russell-qr-visual-oct-2011.JPGA high number of US consumers demonstrate a significant lack of understanding as to what QR codes are or how they work, according to an October 2011 survey from strategic marketing firm Russell Herder. Results from “The QR Question” indicate 72% of consumers say they have seen a QR code, but nearly 30% do not know what it is.

In addition, nearly one in five consumers who regularly use the internet via mobile phone do not know what a QR code is.

Consumers age 18-24 have the highest rate of having seen a QR code (more than 75%), while those age 25-34 and 35-44 both have seen a QR code at a rate almost the same as the overall average. Interestingly, a slightly higher percentage of consumers age 55 and up report having seen a QR code than those 45-54.

3 in 10 Multiple QR Code Scanners Say Time Was Worth It

Nearly four in five of those who have scanned a QR code have done so more than once. Perhaps more importantly, however, only 31% report that what they receive in return is always or usually worth their time.

The largest portion of consumers who have scanned more than one QR code (52%) say it is sometimes worth it, while a combined 17% say it is rarely or never worth the time spent.

Younger Mobile Users Scan More

russell-qr-scan-oct-20111.JPGConsumers who have seen a QR code, know what it is and have scanned one with their mobile device tend to be younger (ages 18-34), male and regularly go online via their phone. More than 23% of mobile phone owners age 18-24 have scanned a QR code, roughly 50% more than the slightly more than 15% of overall mobile phone owners who have done so. Mobile phone owners age 25-34 also overrepresent in having scanned a QR code.

Mobile phone owners age 35 and up all underrepresent in having scanned a QR code with their device, with an almost negligible rate among those in the 55-plus bracket.

It is also worth noting that among people who know what a QR code is, and own a mobile device that is capable of going online, 54 percent say they are likely to scan one.

comScore: QR Code Scanners Skew Young, Male, Wealthy

In June 2011, 14 million mobile users in the US, representing 6.2% of the total mobile audience, scanned a QR (quick response) code on their mobile device, according to an August 2011 study released by comScore MobiLens. The study found that a mobile user that scanned a QR code during the month was more likely to be male (60.5% of code scanning audience), skew toward ages 18-34 (53.4%) and have a household income of $100,000 or above (36.1%).

In addition, 18-to-24-year-olds were 36% more likely than average to scan a QR code with a mobile device, and those with a household income of $75,000 but less than $100,000 were 18.6% more likely than average to scan QR codes.

About the Data: Russell Herder conducted an online survey of more than 500 US residents in August 2011 to gain insight into awareness levels of QR codes and attitudes towards their use among consumers.

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