QR Trends and Stats


From ScanLife’s March newsletter, we see a graphic look at trends in smartphone penetration and consumer behavior. Looking at the stats, it appears that smartphone adoption is significantly accelerating the pace of mobile commerce.

Considering that the rate of smartphone adoption itself is increasing rapidly, there appears to be an opportunity, even a need, for mobile strategy to play a bigger factor in overall marketing strategy.

In 2011, Google and Ipsos OTX MediaCT polled over 6,000 smartphone users across the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Japan. In less than one year, smartphone ownership increased by 20-50%. The study also showed that smartphone users go online every day. 85% of them seek local information, and then follow up with actions such as:

  • Calling the business or service
  • Making a purchase in-store
  • Making a purchase online
  • Visiting a business
  • Visiting a website
  • Mapping a business

In the United States, 21% of consumers made an online purchase after looking up local information.

Based on a comScore study of 24,000 respondents, data shows that almost 20% of US smartphone users have scanned a product barcode in a retail environment. This is about the same number of people who take pictures of products or call/text a friend about them.

These numbers are promising, yet there is an opportunity marketers may be missing. Out of those who QR codes, 73% did so to find product information, 32% to get coupons or special offers, and 25% to find event information. However, these needs don’t match up with what consumers are actually getting.

According to research from eMarketer, less than half of the QR codes in US advertisements linked to product information, a brand’s site or a purchase opportunity. Only 7.8% of the codes led to opt-ins for newsletters or contests, and less than 1% led to special offers or coupons.

This research shows us that an opportunity to engage consumers with QR codes is being missed. The good news is much of the technology is in place, and the consumer base that is actively using the technology is growing quickly.

As smartphones are increasingly adopted worldwide, mobile commerce grows at a faster pace. Gartner Inc., a research firm, predicts that mobile commerce will overtake e-commerce by 2015 in terms of sales.

See the full article from ScanLife.

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