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The QR code rises from the ashes

Who would’ve thought? Once considered more trouble than it was worth, the QR code turned out to be a key piece of technology during the pandemic. Fully integrated into our habits, “scanning” became second nature for Quebecers—from vaccine passports to restaurant orders to logging on to online accounts. Nowadays, the QR code is an integral part of consumption for three out of five Canadians.

Turning something old into something new: a look back at the QR code

Sources: Le Devoir, ​Technologie: code QR, le grand récit du petit carré, October 2021 / Supermarket News, QR codes: A technology that’s ready to connect retailers with shoppers, May 2022

A payment solution in full bloom

If QR codes were long left in the shadows, it was partly because the mobile economy needed to catch up before the technology could reveal its full potential.

Payment by QR code, a hefty phenomenon

Source: Juniper Research, QR Code Payments to Reach $3 Trillion Globally by 2025, May 2022

Various retailers have adopted payment by QR code. And consumers—particularly young adults—are fond of the solution. In the United States, the Walmart Pay app boasts some 22 million users each month, whereas Starbucks’ app is the country’s 2nd most-used payment app.

A dominating technology in several international markets

An unexpected marketing tool

Already used by food brands, on their packages, to provide information to consumers, the humble QR code reached a turning point when it comes to being used for marketing purposes.

The use of QR codes brings many positives

Source: Service Mobile, Les QR codes sont-ils toujours d’actualité ?, May 2022

For advertisers, the QR code is also a great way to highlight their brand image through more in-depth interactions with consumers.

In fact, the creative possibilities go far beyond the pixelized square, as demonstrated by the firm Takeoff, which develops artistic QR codes matching renowned advertisers’ brands. And this strategy pays off: “connected” experiences reportedly generate a 20% sales increase.

QR codes on TV: for enhanced ad campaigns

Source: Media in Canada, Media buyers weigh in on the QR code comeback, February 2022

On your phones. Get set. Scan!

Additional sources: The Hamilton Spectator, Pandemic gives QR codes a second wind in the food industry, September 2021/ Isarta, Le code QR : une nouvelle forme d’art?, April 2022 / The Connected Packaging Summit, August 2021



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