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17 Creative Ways to Use QR Codes

17 Creative Ways to Use QR Codes

Home Blog Digital Marketing 17 Creative Ways to Use QR Codes

Statista reports that 11 million households scanned at least one QR code in 2020 in the US. That’s a massive increase from 9.76 million QR code scans in 2018. Nowadays, QR codes are used for anything from marketing campaigns to contactless payments.

There are endless possibilities for what you can do with QR codes. This article will explore some of the most creative ways people use QR codes.

Graph "When was the last time you scanned a QR code?"
Source: Statista
  • According to Uniqode’s recent QR Code Trends Report, in 2021, QR Code scans reached 30 million scans recorded across 50 countries with the highest scan rate. The year-on-year growth of QR Code scans stands at an impressive 57%.
  • The number of smartphones scanning QR codes in the US will rise to 99.6 million by 2025
  • Over 8 out of 10 respondents to a Statista survey had used QR code as a payment method in 2021. 
  • The highest share of marketing-related QR code usage is in the age group 18 to 29. 
  • 92% of CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) brands use QR codes on product packaging. 
Digital marketing campaign

Table of Contents:

What Are QR Codes?

A QR code is a two-dimensional code that can be read by smartphones and other devices with a camera. QR codes are commonly used to share links to websites, contact information, or make payments.

QR codes work by encoding data in a machine-readable format. When you scan a QR code with your smartphone, the QR code app will decode the data and take you to the linked website, display the contact information, or let you make payments.

17 Creative Ways to Use QR Codes

With the rise of mobile phone use and as an aftereffect of a global pandemic, the use of QR codes has exploded in popularity. The main reason for this is the ease and simplicity of use that comes with a QR code. 

Businesses have been using QR codes for years to engage with customers and make it easier for them to access information about products and services.

In recent years, we’ve seen QR codes popping up everywhere, from billboards to magazine ads. And now, more and more people are using QR codes to make contactless payments. Here are some creative ways individuals and businesses can use QR codes.

1. Bus Stops and Train Stations

QR codes are being used in bus stops and train stations in cities worldwide. In London, for example, Transport for London has placed QR codes at bus stops so that people can scan the code and get information about the bus route and schedule.

The QR codes are also being used in train stations in Japan to provide passengers with information about their journey. In addition, the country also uses QR codes to provide access to ticket gates. 

2. Business Cards

Another way businesses are using QR codes is by incorporating them into their business cards. It allows people to scan the code and instantly add the business owner’s contact information to their phone.

Likewise, the QR code on the business card can take people to the company’s website or contact page. Businesses can keep their cards simple, sleek, and innovative with such business cards.

3. On Packaged Food

Supermarkets can put QR codes on packaged food, allowing customers to get more information about the ingredients and recipes. The shopper merely has to hold their phone up to the QR code on the packaging, and they will be taken to a website or an app with more information.

It is an excellent way for businesses to provide customers with more transparency about their food products. Plus, it is a helpful way for shoppers to learn more about what they’re buying and how to use it.

According to a Statista report, 57% of shoppers scanned food items to get more information about them. 

QR code on food packaging statista report
Source: Statista

4. Customer Surveys

Getting customer insights is essential for every business since it helps assess customer satisfaction levels and identify areas for improvement. Traditionally, customer surveys were paper-based and required customers to fill out a form and drop it in a box or mail it back.

With the advent of QR codes, businesses can now create digital customer surveys that are easy to complete and don’t require any paper. You have to put a QR code on the receipt you give to the customer after a purchase.

The customer scans this code and is taken to the survey site. They can then fill out the survey online.

5. Coupons

Companies have been using QR codes on coupons for years to track how effective their marketing campaigns are. QR codes make it easy for customers to redeem coupons and businesses to track redemption rates.

To use QR codes for coupons, businesses simply need to generate a unique code for each coupon and include it on the coupon itself. The customer can then scan the code with their phone to avail of the discount.

6. Boost App Downloads

Small businesses can increase their app downloads by using QR codes. You can put a QR code on your website, social media profiles, or even business cards that link to the app store page of your app. Research shows that people scan QR codes from almost every medium. 

When someone scans the code, they’ll be taken directly to the page where they can download your app. It is a quick and easy way to take people to the App Store instead of counting on them to go through the trouble themselves.

7. Contactless Menus

During the pandemic, many restaurants switched to contactless menus to help reduce the spread of germs. Instead, customers can scan a QR code with their smartphone to view the menu.

It is an excellent way for restaurants to keep their menus updated in real-time and avoid printing new menus every time there’s a change.

The interesting thing is that industry experts don’t believe it to be a fad. Instead, they say it will be a long-lasting change. Moreover, the Restaurant Readiness Report showed that 33% of businesses see a positive response when they use QR codes.

8. Scan to Pay

Businesses can use QR codes to allow customers to make contactless payments. Customers can scan the QR code with their smartphone and then use their mobile wallet to complete the payment

It is an excellent way for businesses to reduce the risk of spreading germs and make it more convenient for customers to pay. Moreover, it can help businesses move away from traditional methods and adopt innovative approaches.

9. Join WiFi

Instead of typing the password, customers can scan a QR code to join the business’s WiFi network. It is beneficial for businesses with a lot of foot traffic, such as coffee shops, hotels, and retail stores.

It is a great way to make it more convenient for customers to connect to the internet without learning the password.

10. Course Information

Universities can print QR codes on course information sheets so that students can quickly and easily access course descriptions, prerequisites, and other important information.

It will help reduce work and hassle for the admin department, especially during admissions when a lot of paperwork is required.

Research already shows that young people are scanning more QR codes than their older counterparts. Thus, such initiatives will benefit the younger generation immensely. 

QR code for course information example
Source: Medium

11. Giveaways

As a brand, if you want to hold a giveaway, getting QR codes in the mix is a great idea. You can use a QR code to direct participants to a landing page where they can enter their information and be entered to win.

It is a great way to increase brand awareness and get people talking about your product or service. Plus, you can encourage people to share the QR code with their friends for additional entries.

12. Shirts and Business Merchandize

Are you looking for an innovative and cheap way to advertise your latest service to get more visits to your website? You can use QR codes. 45% of shoppers say they have scanned a marketing-related code in the US. 

Add a QR code to your T-shirt with a link to your website, special offer, or product page and watch the visits rolling in. For instance, if you’re hosting an event or grand opening, you can add a QR code to your T-shirts that links to event information or registration.

QR codes are also a great way to promote your business if you give away freebies like pens, notebooks, or water bottles. Add your company’s logo and website URL to the item with a QR code.

Make sure the QR code takes people to your most important landing page so that you can convert them into paying customers. You can determine the importance of QR codes by the fact that 59% of shoppers say QR codes will be an integral part of their shopping experience. 

13. Billboards

If you have a billboard, don’t just put your website URL on it. That’s so 2015. Instead, use a QR code that takes people to your website or landing page.

It is especially effective if you’re running a sale or promotion. For example, you can include a QR code on your billboard that takes people to a landing page where they can get more information or take advantage of a special offer.

It is a great way to increase traffic to your website and generate leads. In fact, QR conversions and interactions have increased a lot in the past few years, as shown by this infographic. 

QR code for billboards example
Source: Medium

14. Event Marketing

QR codes are a great way to market your events. You can use them to promote your event on social media, through email marketing campaigns, and on your website.

When someone scans the QR code, it will direct them to the registration page where they can get information about the event or register for it. It is an incredible way to increase attendance and make it easier for people to sign up for your events.

15. Build Email Subscriber List

Companies can also use QR codes to build their email subscriber list. You can add a QR code to your website, social media profiles, or even physical marketing materials like business cards or flyers. When people scan the QR code, they’ll be taken to a landing page where they can enter their email address to sign up for your mailing list.

In this way, you can allow customers to come to you rather than having to track them down and ask for their contact information. You can leverage this on YouTube when building your audience. Add a QR code in your vlog that leads to a lead magnet to funnel your viewers to more way to engage with your brand.

16. Building Permits

Did you know New York City is using QR codes on building permits? Other cities are starting to do this as well.

The QR code links to a website where citizens can find out more information about the construction project, such as the timeline, expected noise levels, and contact information for the project manager.

It is an innovative way for cities to provide more transparency and keep residents informed about what’s going on in

17. Resumes and CVs

Individuals can also put QR codes on their resumes and CVs. When potential employers scan the QR code, they can be taken to a website where they can learn more about the person’s qualifications and experience.

It is a great way to stand out from the competition and make it easy for employers to learn more about you. For instance, if you’re a graphic designer, you can put a QR code on your resume that takes the employer to your Behance profile or website.

Tips for Using QR Codes

Whether you use QR codes for business or personal purposes, you can do a few things to make sure your experience is positive. Here are some tips:

  • Choose a QR code generator that is reputable and has good reviews.
  • Make sure the QR code is visible and can be easily scanned. If it’s too small or blurry, it won’t work.
  • Test the QR code to make sure it works before you use it.
  • Be sure to include a call to action with your QR code. Tell people what they need to do after they scan it.
  • Make sure the content you’re linking to is mobile-friendly. If it’s not, people won’t be able to view it properly on their phones. As a result, it will defeat the whole purpose of using a QR code in the first place.
Digital marketing campaign

Final Words

Summing up, you can use QR codes for a wide range of purposes, including content marketing, sharing contact information, and linking to websites. QR codes are a great way to share information or promote your business.

Just be sure to use a reputable QR code generator and test your code before using it. And don’t forget to include a call to action. Most importantly, you can come up with your own innovative ways to use QR codes.

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Wesley Cherisien

Wesley Cherisien is a speaker, trainer, entrepreneur and tech investor who has penned hundreds of articles, books and training guides for organizations in the Fortune 500, consultants and authors spanning across multiple industries. Chief Editor of, Wesley is a creative and highly innovative thinker with 10+ years of experience writing for online publications.

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