Wait a doggone second, I thought nobody ever scanned QR codes?

December 10, 2013 - Gregg Blanchard

How many times have you seen QR codes mocked with the idea that nobody actually scans them?

Chances are, you’ve seen someone poke fun at this tech more than once. Today I want to quickly discuss the possibility that this idea is, well, wrong. Here’s the deal.

I scan QR codes. That’s not the basis of any argument, but I tell you that because every time I scan a code I hope that the URL the reader displays is a bit.ly address.

Why? Because bit.ly stats are public.

Finally, after close to probably a hundred different scans, I found one on a bag of Craisins at my parents house during Thanksgiving.

What I Know
It seems that these QR codes were only placed on certain bags (appears to be the larger bags only) for only a little while. By the time I got to a grocery store to check, none of the bags had QR codes. The motivation was to get a free recipe.

Here’s how the bit.ly chart looked (or at least the meat of it):

And the total scans? Well, as of December 1, 2013 there were 23,513. Yes, you read right, a tiny QR code on a large, hard-to-scan bag of Craisins has been scanned over 23,000 times.

Don’t Forget
The bottom line is this: QR codes can work. Like any other tool, they aren’t guaranteed to, but they can.

And this data point isn’t alone. Another bit.ly QR I found on a Harry & David catalog I saw (actually, my wife saved it for me because it had a QR…now that’s love) after writing this post had been scanned over 16,000 times. I’ve talked to many resorts that have seen a solid scan count on their QR codes and my own data showed that, when given a choice between a bit.ly URL and a QR code, over 30% chose to scan rather than type.

With a solid reason to scan, QR codes work.

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