How To Use QR Codes in Your Business

Picture of a person scanning a QR code with their smartphone "How to use QR codes in your business"

What are QR codes?

QR codes create a seamless transition from the physical world (print) to the digital world (online). They are created in a way that they can be read both top to bottom and left to right. This means they can hold much more information than a traditional bar code. Although they can fit a large amount of information, they are mostly used for tracking and URLs.

How are QR codes used?

When used to connect your clients with your business’s materials, the basic process is this:

  1. Using a generator, the business creates a QR code that leads to a URL
  2. The business can print the QR code on a receipt, brochure, or menu card
  3. Customer scans QR code using their smartphone which brings them to the URL

Bonus Tip: It may be tempting to put a QR code on your website, but keep in mind your customer’s experience. If they’re already viewing your website on their smartphone, how are they going to scan the code on your website? The only time this should be done is if you want the customer to show the QR code to someone else, e.g., a ticket to be scanned at a venue or as a coupon.

What are ways I can use QR codes with my business?

This answer may vary depending on your industry, but QR codes are as versatile as your imagination. If it’s on the internet, then you can use a QR code to lead your clients there. These codes are popular with restaurants, where customers can pull up a digital menu, but they can also be used for satisfaction surveys on receipts, job applications, or to enter giveaways.

  • Digital Menus: Guests can pull up the restaurant menu on their phone before they even get seated at a table.
  • Surveys: Customers can easily scan the QR code leading them to an online survey.
  • Job Applications: Great for job fairs, on business cards, or in the local newspaper.
  • Giveaways: Collaborate with other local businesses by going in on a prize together. The more participating locations the customer visits and scans the code at, the more entries they get.
  • Tickets: For this situation, the customer will bring their QR code to be scanned by the venue.

Are QR Codes safe?

QR codes aren’t inherently dangerous when provided by a trusted source, but it’s important to be aware of what URL you’re following. Some phones use the preinstalled camera app to scan QR codes and should tell you what URL the code links to before you open it. Take a moment to look it over and make sure it’s the URL you want. If your phone doesn’t automatically show the URL, look for a reputable QR code reader app to install. Some apps will even scan the link to ensure it’s safe before moving forward.

QR codes are a great way to interact with your customers and connect the gap between in-person experiences and your online marketing. They’ve become widespread, which means your customers likely already know how to use them. For more expert marketing advice, reach out to Pinnacle Marketing Group.

About the Author Karina Ewert "Karina Ewert is an Account Manager at Pinnacle Marketing Group. She specializes in assisting clients with all their marketing needs, writing for the Pinnacle blog, and managing video and website projects. In her free time, she enjoys cooking delicious meals, longboarding, and curling up with a good book."