Posted : Monday, March 08, 2015
QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional barcode) first designed for the automotive industry in Japan. A barcode is a machine-readable optical label that contains information about the item to which it is attached. A QR code uses four standardized encoding modes (numeric, alphanumeric, byte / binary, and kanji) to efficiently store data; extensions may also be used.
The QR Code system has become popular outside the automotive industry due to its fast readability and greater storage capacity compared to standard UPC barcodes. Applications include product tracking, item identification, time tracking, document management, general marketing, and much more.
Point of sale is the point at which a customer makes a payment to the merchant in exchange for goods or services. At the point of sale the retailer would calculate the amount owed by the customer and provide options for the customer to make payment. Loyalty cards are a system of the loyalty business model, and use that identifier when making a purchase.
A QR code consists of black modules (square dots) arranged in a square grid on a white background, which can be read by an imaging device (such as a camera) and processed using Reed´ Solomon error correction until the image can be appropriately interpreted; data is then extracted from patterns present in both horizontal and vertical components of the image.
Originally designed for industrial uses, QR codes have become common in consumer advertising. Typically, a smartphone is used as a QR code scanner, displaying the code and converting it to some useful form (such as a standard URL for a website, thereby obviating the need for a user to type it into a web browser).
In the shopping industry, knowing what causes the consumers to be motivated when approaching products by the use of QR codes, advertisers and marketers can use the behavior of scanning to get consumers to buy, causing it to have the best impact on ad and marketing design. As a result, the QR code has become a focus of advertising strategy, since it provides quick and effortless access to the brand's website. Beyond mere convenience to the consumer, the importance of this capability is that it increases the conversion rate (that is, increases the chance that contact with the advertisement will convert to a sale), by coaxing qualified prospects further down the conversion funnel without any delay or effort, bringing the viewer to the advertiser's site immediately, where a longer and more targeted sales pitch may continue.
Although initially used to track parts in vehicle manufacturing, QR codes are now (as of 2012) used over a much wider range of applications, including commercial tracking, entertainment and transport ticketing, product/loyalty marketing (examples: mobile couponing where a company's discounted and percent discount can be captured using a QR code decoder which is a mobile app, or storing a company's information such as address and related information alongside its alpha-numeric text data as can be seen in Yellow Pages directory), and in-store product labeling. It can also be used in storing personal information for use by organizations. An example of this is Philippines National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) where NBI clearances now come with a QR code. Many of these applications target mobile-phone users (via mobile tagging). Users may receive text, add a vCard contact to their device, open a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), or compose an e-mail or text message after scanning QR codes. They can generate and print their own QR codes for others to scan and use by visiting one of several pay or free QR code-generating sites or apps. Google had a popular API to generate QR codes and apps for scanning QR codes can be found on nearly all smartphone devices.
QR codes can be used in Google's Android, BlackBerry OS, Nokia Symbian Belle and Apple iOS devices (iPhone/iPod/iPad), as well as Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system, Google Goggles, 3rd party barcode scanners, and the Nintendo 3DS. The browser supports URL redirection, which allows QR codes to send metadata to existing applications on the device. mbarcode is a QR code reader for the Maemo operating system. In Apple's iOS, a QR code reader is not natively included, but more than fifty paid and free apps are available with both the ability to scan the codes and hard-link to an external URL. Google Goggles is an example of one of many applications that can scan and hard-link URLs for iOS and Android. BlackBerry 10 devices have a native QR reader as well as several third party readers. Windows Phone 7.5 is able to scan QR codes through the Bing search app.
During the month of June 2011, according to one study, 14 million mobile users scanned a QR code or a barcode. Some 58% of those users scanned a QR or barcode from their homes, while 39% scanned from retail stores; 53% of the 14 million users were men between the ages of 18 and 34. The use of QR codes for "virtual store" formats started in South Korea and Argentina but is currently expanding globally. Big companies such as Walmart, Procter & Gamble and Woolworths have already adopted the Virtual Store concept.