How to Address Common Complaints about QR Codes - dummies

How to Address Common Complaints about QR Codes

By Joe Waters

The roadblocks that people put up to QR Code usage are easily addressed. Some people are already riding the QR Code bandwagon, while others are convinced that QR Codes are sinister tools for an alien invasion and would never use them.

Of course, most people are somewhere in between and aren’t sure what to believe about QR Codes. Here are the common complaints on QR Codes and how they can be addressed:

  • You have to download a QR Code reader. Yes, QR Code readers aren’t native to most mobile devices (many BlackBerry devices come with QR Code readers, which they call a barcode scanner). But you can easily download a free reader. Besides, most things you want for you mobile device don’t come standard. The popular game Angry Birds has to be downloaded — and has been downloaded nearly 500 million times!

  • Only 6 percent of mobile users scan QR Codes. Small? Yes. Insignificant? No. That still means 14 million people have scanned QR Codes! This number will grow as smartphone adoption increases (it’s currently at 50%).

    Also, QR Codes are popular with young adults and a burgeoning tool for women and moms. If your product or service is geared toward one of these audiences, the percentage of your audience using QR Codes is much higher.

  • QR Codes are just clutter. When they’re not used well and don’t enhance the user’s experience, they are clutter. But when they’re used well, these black-and-white portals to online content that can be as small as one square inch are great additions to the offline world.

  • QR Codes are boring. They’re boring only if you are. You can be as creative in QR Code design as you can in what you encode on them. But remember, QR Codes are a tool to accomplish a goal and needn’t be anything fancy. The QR Code itself isn’t the Big Time; it’s just the ticket to get in.


  • QR Code readers don’t work. Like anything, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes it’s not the reader but your connection to the Internet or a dated device. However, overall, QR Code readers are getting better and delivering faster scans with each new update.

  • Scanning a QR Code is a lot of work just to visit a website. QR Codes can do a lot more than just link you to a website. It’s not easier to just type a URL into a mobile browser when you could just scan a QR Code. When done well, QR Codes can enhance a user’s experience with content that goes deeper than those black-and-white squares let on. Try doing all that with a plain URL!

  • Why dedicate time and effort to QR Codes when they most likely will be replaced by something else? QR Codes probably won’t be around forever. The opportunity of QR Codes is similar to when brick-and-mortar businesses started selling online. The road was uncertain and clogged with glitches — but it was also wide open.

    Smart organizations that use QR Codes are embracing other new technologies, such as mobile, and are driving to a new customer experience. The road may seem lonely at times, but the destination is worth the trip.