QR Code Scanning Context

Photo of a QR code on a bag of cherries

Photo courtesy David Erickson



58% of QR code scanners scanned a QR code from their home.
39.4% did so from a retail store.
24.5% did so from a grocery store.

THOUGHT: Today I scanned a QR code on a bag of cherries which sent me to a page for Superfresh Growers, which at least had the decency to be a mobile optimized site. 

I could read their news, subscribe to it, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter or read about the company and its produce. But, seriously, it’s a bag of cherries. If I weren’t curious about how people are using QR codes, I wouldn’t have scanned it at all. 

Because it’s a bag of cherries. It’s just a few bucks. Why bother for something as inconsequential as a bag of cherries? 

I have the feeling a lot of people might react that way, and thus the low number for people who scan in a grocery store as opposed to a retail location or from home. 

When you’re scanning from home, you’re not in the process of trying to accomplish something like shopping so you’re not really interrupting anything to execute a scan. Indeed, 49% of the scanned QR codes are found in magazines or newspapers and a large percentage of those are likely to be from the home. 

But scanning a QR code on a product label in a grocery store is likely to be more bother than it is worth. I think people make an intuitive choice that the benefit they’re likely to find at the end of a QR scan is not worth the time it would take to interrupt their shopping and perform the scan.

But when you get into higher priced products that you’re likely to find at a retail outlet,  that equation no longer works. Best Buy includes QR Codes alongside their product specification displays, which are as much for the benefit of their employees as they are for their customers. But when I’m considering a purchase of a new electronic toy that will cost me several hundred dollars, more information is worth the investment of time.

The main problem with the implementation of a lot of QR code campaigns I see these days is a complete failure to understand the context in which they’ll be used and the psychology at work with the scanner.


SUPER COOL TOOL TUESDAY: Cheezburger.com has a chart builder tool!


Thank you for  Stevie Nicks. 



The e-Strategy Academy covers all aspects of digital marketing including search optimization & marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, video marketing, mobile marketing & public relations.