QR Code Scanners, Unsure of Usefulness, Ignore Info

January 5, 2012

cmb-qr-code-info-use.jpg57% of consumers who have scanned a QR code say they did nothing with the information, compared to 21% who shared the information with someone and 18% who made a purchase, according to [download page] a survey released in January 2012 by Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB). In fact, of those who have scanned a QR code, just 41% said that they found the information they received useful, while 42% had mixed feelings and 18% said the information was not useful. On a more encouraging note, though, 70% of these consumers found QR codes easy to scan, compared to just 7% who found them difficult.

Overall, only 21% of the survey respondents said they had heard of QR codes, although 81% recalled seeing one when presented with an image. According to an October 2011 survey from strategic marketing firm Russell Herder, 72% of consumers said they had seen a QR code, but nearly 30% did not know what it was.

Discounts and Gifts Drive Interest

cmb-qr-code-interest.jpgData from CMB’s “9 Things to Know About Consumer Behavior and QR Codes” indicates that even though only 1 in 5 respondents reported an awareness of QR codes, 43% said they would be interested in using a smartphone to scan one in order to gain access to discounts, coupons, and free items. Roughly 1 in 4 also cited an interest in scanning a QR code to get more information about a product or service, to gain access to exclusive content, or to make a purchase or buy something.

Curiosity Leading Factor

cmb-qr-code-scan-reason.jpgAmong consumers who have scanned a QR code, the top reason for doing so was curiosity (46%), followed by getting more information (41%). 18% scanned a QR code to take advantage of a discount, coupon, or free gift, slightly ahead of the proportion who did so to gain access to exclusive content (16%).

Interestingly, although 18% of QR code scanners have made a purchase after their scan, just 6% cited buying something as the reason for scanning.

Newspapers and Mags Top Sources

Magazines and newspapers (35%) were the leading sources for those who have scanned a QR code, ahead of packages (18%) and websites (13%). Direct mailings (11%), billboards or signs (11%), and emails (4%) proved to be relatively less significant sources.

About the Data: CMB collected data from 1,228 consumers, aged 18 and older, in the US, through panel company Research Now. The data was collected through a 15-minute online questionnaire in October, 2011. As part of the research, iModerate Research Technologies conducted 22 conversations to elaborate on and provide additional context on QR Codes.

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