SurQ released the results of a national poll, the “Consumer use study of the QR code“, which explores the evolution of buyer behavior around QR codes since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the study, customer use of QR codes has increased significantly during the pandemic, with retailers turning to moving quickly to provide shoppers with interactive, contactless in-store experiences.
“Make no mistake, the pandemic has been extremely disruptive to the retail industry. But we are now starting to see that many of the changes to the in-store shopping experience, born out of necessity during the darker days of the pandemic, are having a lasting positive effect, ”said Paul Chapuis, CEO of There q. “The increased use of QR codes in retail stores is a great example of a change brought on by a pandemic that is here to stay. Brands and retailers are seizing the opportunity to deepen customer engagement now that shoppers are much more comfortable interacting with QR codes.
- The study found a sharp increase in the regular use of QR codes. Survey respondents indicated a 110% increase in the use of QR codes on a daily or weekly basis compared to 2019. This means that frequent use of QR codes has more than doubled since the start of the pandemic.
- The top reasons customers choose to scan QR codes are to take advantage of a discount or other special offer (65%) and to get additional product information (61%). Other common uses of scanning QR codes include making a mobile purchase, joining a customer loyalty program, and viewing an expanded assortment of products not available in store.
- The pandemic has dealt a temporary blow to touch interactivity as customers have become more reluctant to engage with touch surfaces, such as interactive screens. QR codes have filled the void, allowing retailers to deliver interactive, contactless experiences that customers control with their phones. Even now, shoppers are still 20% more likely to engage with a QR code than an interactive touchscreen. This provides further evidence that the use of QR codes in retail is customer behavior that is here to stay.
This third-party study commissioned by OnQ interviewed customers across the United States who own smartphones, are familiar with QR codes, and regularly shop at various retail establishments, including mass retailers, clubs, consumer electronics stores, department stores, shopping centers, pharmacies, hardware stores and specialty retailers. Of the more than 400 respondents who responded to the survey, 51% identified themselves as women and 49% as men. The majority of respondents (35%) were between 18 and 29 years old, while 32% were between 45 and 60 years old, 19% were over 60 years old and 14% were between 30 and 44 years old.