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More Evidence That QR codes are Not Catching On

December 8th, 2011

From CNN.com: “You might think that if anyone would know how to use a QR code, it would be college students — a demographic that is immersed in technology and bombarded by marketing. But a recent study found that nearly eight in 10 college students had no idea what to do with a QR code.

Archrival, a research group that focuses on youth marketing, surveyed 500 students at 24 colleges and universities across the United States. They found that although about 80% of students owned a smartphone and had previously seen a QR code, only about 20% were able to successfully scan the example QR code they were shown.”

Read the whole article here.

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20 Responses to “More Evidence That QR codes are Not Catching On”

  • everyone has different levels of comfort with the internet…qr codes are not the only thing but sure are another avenue to get the marketing word out….or in our case the pictures or video…this article is written by a non user who cannot understand what the advantage is, i say pull your head out of the sand…not everybody can remember the long url, and it is not as easy to copy and paste with out a desk top…QR codes are designed to make the digital world accessable with smartphones in a quick and easy way. it is not the only method and should never be looked at as “the solution” it is just another way to give information to those wanting it and the ones with the knowledge to use it. i say to the writer of that article..Stay a dinosaur the world needs more oil. For the others who don’t want the world passing them by…google it, learn about it….then choose to use it or not. smartphones have taken a while to make it to market, so why would anyone think part of that tech stuff was going to explode to be the next big thing? It will be just a little while yet but it is the future of those with the mastery of the smartphone…it will gain acceptance soon as more phone contracts expire and more smartphones are purchased and mastered…i’m over 50 and still learning everyday. I admit texting when it came out was not something i wanted or needed …until my child wanted to be able to do it. Now in hind sight i remember saying “why don’t you just call” now i know that i did not regognize the trend, and i hope not to be that guy again.

    a great article i read a long time ago on business stated….”the first busines to fail is the one that fails recognize a trend”… smartphones are a significant part of the future and to ignor it may be a failing of the businesses we will not see in the future”

  • Seems like every article that says QR codes are a failure blame the lack of a reader/scanner. Most, if not all smart phones, at least sold by AT&T, have had a scanner preinstalled for the past few years.

    I think a lot of the problem is the content. Either it doesn’t have much value or it’s not mobile friendly. As the CNN article mentions, people may have tried it but found it wasn’t worth the effort.

    A couple months ago the show “Your Business” on MSNBC had a segment on QR codes and related best practices. The QR code they put up on the screen took you to a slow site with broken links. If they couldn’t get it right to illustrate the simple examples in their segment no wonder businesses are having problems with it.

  • They said it would be a quick and convenient way to get information. Well, QR codes on a sign rider are not, you can’t scan it from the car, you have to get out and walk up to the sign and hope that it is not to high to scan. I have suggested to my agents that they and the phrase “View this home at http://www.whatever.com“, not only will the home get the same exposure for the home, but also visitors to their site for added traffic. They also save the money on new sign riders for every home. Online they are redundant, I can type the url faster than going through the process of scanning it. On print material, Qr code to look savvy or a url that everyone can work with without having to scan? I like the idea of QR codes and think there are areas that they fit, but I don’t think, as they are now, they fit this industry.

  • I’m not surprised. QR codes are ugly.

  • I just don’t see how the process of scanning a QR code to access a site is any more convenient than simply Googling whatever I want, whenever I want. I’m with J Miller

  • Is this part of the over saturation associated with internet marketing? I know it was designed for convenience sake but maybe too it’s just one more thing to learn, to implement and then hope you get the results. I’m sorry but I don’t see the convenience and investment of time and energy equaling out. If it were a “major” trend then I would definitely consider it. To those of you that use and embrace the QR codes I hope that it works for you. For the rest of us I think it’s another marketing hoop to jump through that isn’t quite ready for prime time.
    Best Regards,
    Ron

  • J Miller – I challenge you to a QR Race – my phone can scan a QR code in 1/2 a second – surely quicker than you could type out a URL on your phone.

    @jmiller “you can’t scan it from the car, you have to get out and walk up to the sign and hope that it is not to high to scan”

    Not sure how tall you are but most rela estate signs aren’t so high they couldn’t be reached – the codes aren’t suppose to be scanned from a car – most people who see a house they like would probably hop out of their car to have a better look – that is when the QR is valuable – people dont just drive by a store if they like a shirt inside it – they generally get out and have a look – the same is for houses I would presume.

    Also I bought 1000 weather proof stickers 5 inch x 5 inch which I print out the QR codes on – then stick to my clients signs – when the house is sold they just peel the sticker off and the process starts again – no new sign needed.

    For the small amount of cost and hassle QR aren’t a game changer but they certainly only help rather than hinder. A house only needs one buyer and that buyer might first access the house via a QR code – the state of the market means anything that might help – even just 1% is worth doing

  • they are an absolute crime against design and to boot nobody knows what the hell they are for. until they become absolutely instant to scan without any issues and totally foolproof, i would advise not using them for anything.

    it’s just easier to type whateverwhatever.com then flick to the app, click it, wait five seconds for it to load, and then scan and hope it works.

  • I will say I have noticed TONS of QR codes this holiday season. Just received a postcard today that had one on it. Saw a magazine I just threw on my table and the ad on the back had one. I see them in ads in the newspaper all the time.

    They ARE being used more… especially recently. Whether people are scanning them is another story. There is also a great deal of press recently about mobile scanning devices used for shopping (apps like RedLaser, etc) that let you compare prices after scanning a barcode with prices on line and at nearby stores. In fact they just did a feature on these apps on the 11pm news a couple of days ago. So more and more people are becoming aware of these shopping apps (which most will ALSO scan QR codes as well), so maybe people will become more aware now.

    My biggest issue still is that most people are using them INCORRECTLY! They are NOT meant to go to a standard web page, they are meant to go to a web page optimized for MOBILE. They are NOT designed to be used on a web page or on Facebook (why would anyone can their computer screen for a link? They’re AT the computer!). And, when you make a QR code, CHECK to make sure it actually works!

    I can’t tell you how often I get broken links, or links to a full sized website which is impossible to view on a mobile device. If people continue to have a poor user experience, they will not bother with these, that’s for sure!

  • thanks Cooler for your comment…”let cooler heads prevail”…in reading some of the comments i feel some want to stick their heads in the sand, and hope it goes away…maybe it will maybe it won’t…it only takes one person to want to scan it and then buy…Houses are not a retail item on the rack but a rather expensive item that people want more info on….the fact that they want more info “now” goes to the Quick Response code’s main purpose…NOW…nobody is getting rich on them so why not try to add the qr to your bag of marketing , not everybody can remember the URL or have paper to write it down…so make it easy. in tough times in the real estate market, i want a realtor that goes the extra mile and the photog that has the tech savy means. to all the nay sayers above… i would not want to lose a client because i didn’t go the extra mile that cost nothing more… I am sure there are photographers out there ready to eat your lunch for you…stay pure to your ideas that qr codes are ugly and won’t continue…remember it’s not about you, adapt or become extinct

  • I’ve always thought they were ugly and take away from the overall marketing look of an ad. Just yesterday, I saw an agent yard sign, that was obviously originally designed to portray a look of luxury and class, seeming vandalized by a 12″ x 12″ obnoxious QR Code stuck to the side.

  • I couldn’t disagree more.

    I’m seeing them more and more everywhere.

    If you scan them correctly you go right to the website – no typing requried.

    I think it is more of an emerging technology that is not fully understood right now. In the future I believe they will be a “standard.”

    Think about the iPad. When it first came out everyone said, “what is this for? What can I use it for?” Now everyone has/wants an iPad. I think QR codes will follow the same path.

    Ugly? I don’t understand that comment.

    Useful and quick. Yes they are.

    Michael

  • 500 Hundred students. How can you base anything on such a small group. Also college kids are probably not the demographic I would be interested in. I think the survey should have been much more diverse and immensely larger than 500 to produce anything accurate. It should read, “QR codes not taking off with a small group of college kids in a limited amount of Colleges.” I saw the article the day it hit, I googled “Qr Codes Popularity”, only to find a lot of articles that say they are taking off nicely. I scan them all the time in magazines and newspapers. I agree that a lot of people just don’t understand them and that more needs to be done to illustrate how useful they are. I have one on my business card so people can just Scan my contact info into their phones. Someone said ugle …. not so there are some very cool looking codes out there that use logos and other great looking ideas to soften the bar-code look. http://www.customqrcodes.com/

    M. James

  • I am not really sure what everyone is getting so bent out of shape for. QR codes are quick and easy to scan and gain access to a website. Even if no one scans the code, it is just another way to market a property. Now, if it your only marketing, you are in trouble, but nobody only markets with QR codes. Custom URLs and QR codes do not have to be mutually exclusive. Both can be part of an agents marketing. Just like professional video and professional photography can be used on market the same home. Plus you can make QR codes for free, it is worth a shot trying them.

  • Sorry but I need to say this: I was right on my previous comments! :p Just kidding I’m humble. Many of us thought the same thing.
    comments like this are wrong:
    “I couldn’t disagree more.
    I’m seeing them more and more everywhere.”
    Because you see more and more it doesn’t mean it will bring contacts and buyers. That’s what this article is all about and what Larry has been saying for some time. Actually pointing a short url is faster and easier then a QR code. QR codes are just a fashion just a cool factor. Yes they are nice but will it make you earn money? Will a buyer on the average person not be interested by a house just because it doesn’t have a QR code? THINK about it! Sure codes are ok it’s a nice add-on but not much more. It won’t bring me more buyers. Yes I can even have a contact because someone scanned the code but even that percentage is very very low even in very dense QR codes areas.
    Just THINK! First of all, how many buyers will use the internet to search for a house they saw. Of those buyers how many have a smarthphone capable of reading a QR code, of those how many have a QR code app to read the code, of those how many will actually scan the code. And even if they are capable of it the huge majority will call instead of scanning or do both.
    So, resuming once again, QR codes won’t bring you more business but sure they are a good addition to what you can offer. I often use them but they don’t bring me more money or clients.

  • We put them on brochures so people can then scan it an look at the rest of the property details on the Mobile website. Most of our clients are requesting or at least asking if we can make them. I should qualify that …. My wife and her company use them on brochures. We recommend i-nigma as the scanner, works fast.

    M. James

  • Comments are just wrong? Wake up brother . Im seeing more and more of them? I couldn’d disagree more?

    This is the future we’re talking about. Embrace it or die.

    Michael

  • They are gaining popularity. I have a QR code on the back of my business cards for people to scan that will instantly input all my contact info into their contacts on their smartphone. Most agents have been able to figure it out and have appreciated not having to type everything into their phone.

  • I think Kevin hit the nail on the head – If more people understood it removes typing from the equation then they would be better embraced. It should read – Don’t Type – Just Scan . Possibly adding in a typo somewhere on the word type.

  • Young people / students are going to be the early adopters of a technology like this. They are the ones who first switched from CDs to iPods, Facebook, etc… If it’s not sticking with them, who is going to start scanning QR codes with their phones: retirees?

    In my opinion, any advantages, do not outweigh the disadvantage of cluttering a clean, crisp logo or marketing piece. I’ve never had a single buyer or seller inquire about QR codes.

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