The state of QR codes in Europe: product information is crucial

 
 

According to comScore, the use of QR codes by consumers across the top 5 European markets is growing fastest in respectively Spain and Germany. In the EU5 countries, the number of consumers scanning QR codes has increased by 96% year-on-year in Q2 of this year.

The German consumers clearly lead the pack. 18.6% of German smartphone users have scanned QR codes in Q2. Furthermore, with 128% year-on-year growth, Germany is also the second fastest growing market. The fastest grower, however, is Spain with a year-on-year increase of 218%.

16% of the Spanish smartphone audience scanned QR codes. Based upon the percentage of smartphone users having scanned a code, the top 5 is completed with France (12.5% of smartphone audience), Italy (11.9%) and the UK (11.4%).

The comScore findings are debated since other studies, mentioned on Econsultancy, found higher percentages.

Why consumers use QR codes and where they come in handy for you

Regardless of the exact data, it's clear that QR codes are increasingly appearing in outdoor campaigns, stores and magazines and that people increasingly scan them.

QR codes are often seen as an ideal cross-channel bridge between the online and offline world, especially for the multichannel shopper.

For businesses that want to use QR codes in an integrated approach, it's probably more interesting to understand why people scan QR codes.

The number one reason by far is getting more product information. This is an essential finding as it seems to show that the most effective ways of using QR codes as a bridge between online and offline are situated in a product- and information-related context.

Coupons and offers seem to be much less popular reasons. Offering product information in typical segments where multichannel experiences play an important role, such as retail, is becoming an area businesses can start focusing on.

In total, 71.7% of all respondents in the EU5 scan QR codes to retrieve product information.

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