Surprising Familiarity with QR Codes

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.

Two-thirds have seen a mobile barcode

eMarketer, 4/4/11

QR, or quick response, codes, are being adopted by many marketers as a way to entice people into using their mobile phone to get more information about products and services or otherwise interact more deeply with advertising. Outdoor ads invite consumers waiting for the bus to scan a poster to reach a relevant website, catalogs integrate QR codes to hook directly into ecommerce sites and stores place codes next to products that direct shoppers to how-to videos online. But how much have consumers caught on to what mobile barcodes can do?

According to February 2011 research from agency MGH, awareness is high among smartphone owners. Nearly two-thirds have seen a QR code, and about half that number, or one-third overall, had used one.

The demographic breakdown of users who had seen vs. used a QR code was virtually identical. Smartphone users were almost evenly split by gender, and while users under age 55 were relatively few, the field was not dominated by 18- to 34-year-olds. Users who had seen or used QR codes tended to be more affluent and educated.

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