As QR-Codes become more visible on print advertising in New Zealand I thought it would be interesting to see whether they are being used correctly.
It stands to reason that a QR-Code is going to be scanned by a mobile user with a smartphone or tablet device. For this reason, the target website or webpage should be mobile-friendly. Many advertisers just link the QR-Code to a standard desktop website. This delivers a challenging experience to the smartphone user, having to pinch/zoom/pan around a full size webpage to find information is a frustrating experience. Basic functions like click-to-call, find us and contact us are either not present or diffficult to use. Normal links which are easy to click with a mouse, are notoriously difficult to tap with your finger and often the user finds they have accidentally tapped an adjacent link.. a costly operation in terms of time wasted getting back to the original page in order to try and hit the desired link.
When faced with these challenges a mobile user will often give up, putting it in the too hard basket. All of a sudden, the advertiser’s incorrect use of the QR-Code has resulted in a lost customer… the complete opposite of the desired result.
About the QR-Code Weather Report
Every weekend I read two major New Zealand newspapers. The Weekend Press, a Christchurch based publication and the Sunday Star Times, a national publication. I scan every QR-Code that appear in these two publications and rate them using a simple spreadsheet. The QR-Code Weather Report will be published periodically.
By recording incorrect or sub-standard use of QR-Codes I hope that advertisers will lift their game and ensure that when a customer takes the time to scan their code they receive a decent mobile experience.
By recording correct uses of QR-Codes I hope that advertisers will be encouraged to make wider use of QR-Codes.
Congratulations to those advertisers who scored a 5!
To those with lower scores, I commend you for being forward thinking and including QR-Codes in your advertising strategy. With very little effort you can improve the experience that customers receive when they scan your code. Contact us if you would like to discuss mobile friendly solutions in more detail.