phone scanning qr code on table top sign

2020: The Year of the QR Code

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of things, but we never could have predicted that the QR code would make a comeback. The little black and white checkered square we wrote off in 2013 as useless is now posted everywhere. Chances are you've seen them in restaurants, on windows at stores or in TV ads. Why are QR codes so popular again? Here are a few reasons why we think 2020 is the year of the QR code.

Major reasons why QR codes are working in 2020

Everyone has a smartphone

It's hard to imagine a time when smartphones weren't in everyone's hands, but if you think back to 2010, the usage of technology looked vastly different. We were on the cusp of a sweeping takeover from apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Spotify that would come to occupy our daily lives. But before then, we still had digital cameras to capture memories and had to upload them to our Facebook from our computer.

Now, everyone, their parents, and their kids have a smartphone. In fact, it's almost impossible to function without one. Therefore, we all have QR code scanners in our hands.

Pages load faster with 4G & 5G

The early 2010s brought us 4G LTE was fresh on the scene, bringing us unprecedented mobile browsing speed. However, not all phones were equipped with 4G and towers were not as plentiful as they are today, so it still took a miserable 3-10 seconds to scan and load a page. Our collective lack of patience leads us to Google or give up altogether.

Also, unlimited mobile browsing plans were rare and mobile data was relatively pricey. So was it worth using your precious data plan to download something relatively unimportant? The answer was probably no.

Luckily, 5G is here and unlimited plans are booming, so the page loads quickly and shouldn't cost you a data overage charge. This is a huge reason why QR codes are easier to use than ever.

You don't have to download an app

QR code scanners weren't native to the smartphone, so chances are you needed an app to scan. This stopped a lot of people from using QR codes. Free scanning apps were filled with ads, also slowing down the scanning process. And with limited storage capacity, the extra app felt like a waste of space. When deleting apps to make space for Ed Sheeran's latest album... bye-bye QR code scanner app.

In 2020, users can whip out their smartphones and scan the code using their camera app, saving storage space for the things you love.

We need low to no contact ways to share information

Last year, you wouldn't think twice about touching or sharing a menu at a restaurant. Now in the midst of masks and social distancing, reducing physical contact between people and objects is top of mind. The QR code makes touchless interactions and communication possible.

It replaces the need for detailed printed items and lets companies stay flexible in this ever-changing world.

Best ways to use QR Codes

QR codes work best in person. If you want to share a link on a digital platform, it's better to use the URL or share the media directly. Think about a QR code as something you take a picture of in-person to quickly view for information at a safe distance. Also, consider QR codes for information that changes quickly. Your COVID-19 policies could change by the hour, so no use printing out copies that will be outdated in a day.

Create QR codes so customers can:
  • View your COVID-19 updates
  • Submit payments
  • See current hours of operation
  • View menus, services, and pricing
  • Visit your website
  • Schedule an appointment
  • Order online
  • Post a review on Google, Facebook or Yelp
  • Contact you via email, phone or text
  • Sign up for email newsletter
  • Follow you on social media
Print or share QR codes on:
  • Posters
  • Flyers
  • Table Tents
  • In-store TVs
  • Postcards
  • Advertising
  • Stickers
  • Brochures
  • Rack Cards
Have another way QR codes are changing the game for your business? Share it with us in the comments section below.