What is a QR code?

A QR code is a 2-D barcode that can be scanned by a smart phone’s camera and transfer information. Based on the type of code it is, it might direct a smart phone user to a website, make a phone call, deliver a vCard containing contact information, send an SMS text message, or more.

Sample QR Code (try scanning it with your smartphone!):

 

11 Ways to Use QR Codes

QR Codes on business cards. Rather than overload a business card with all of your contact info you could include the bare minimum for reaching you, then create a QR code that leads people to your company Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin Profiles. 

Labeling.  Apply QR codes to labels on your outgoing product.  Upon scanning the QR code, your customer could be taken to a simple survey to rate the product/service they received right from their smartphone. They could be directed to a webpage to receive a coupon for a product that compliments the specific one they just purchased.  They could immediately watch a video on their smartphone from Youtube that shows them how to use or install a product they purchased.

Retail storefront displays. Few retail businesses are open 24/7. Create a Shop Online Now! QR code and put it in your retail storefront window. One quick scan and you’ve turned a lost sale into a potential transaction that can be completed from a mobile phone prior to the drive home!

Re-orders.  Maybe you’re an auto parts manufacturer.  You ship brake pads to individual auto parts retailers.  When only 5 boxes of brake pads are left on the shelf, the employee scans a QR code on the box and is taken to a webpage where the part number and default re-order quantity of 25 is already populated to generate a re-order.

IT support.  Someone in your sales department needs to print off a proposal.  After sending the proposal to the shared company printer and walking down the hall to pick it up, the salesman sees an error on the printer indicating the toner is empty.  The “Toner Empty” QR code is labeled on the wall next to the printer, the salesman scans it from his phone, and a SMS text message or email is immediately sent to the IT helpdesk.

Promotional T-shirts. Suggest your company wear a T-shirt with a QR code special offer at the next upcoming tradeshow where attendees are out and about with their mobile phones. 

Use QR codes to get Likes and Follows on Facebook and Twitter. You can create mobile-friendly landing pages with Facebook like buttons or lead them to your company Twitter page for a quick follow.  Placing this easily scan-able code on your product packaging can result in long term direct marketing opportunities with your customers.

Supplement or save your retail space. Hardware stores could link to how-to videos on YouTube of how to use specific power tools. Groceries could link to pages that talk about how their products were sourced, and perhaps to interviews of the farmers who actually grew specific organic foods. Electronic shops could immediately take visitors to read reviews so they could get unbiased reviews of stocked products before purchasing them on the floor. Book stores could link to their own reviews of books on their company blog.

Increase e-commerce sales. Since QR codes can lead to URLs, you can create a code that will populate a shopping cart with specific products.

Build your email subscriber list. Use your QR code to send people directly to your email signup webpage, present them with a simple form to fill out from a mobile phone, and give them an incentive to do so!

Get the phone ringing. QR codes can also make a phone call. In cases where immediate support is required, present a QR code to an employee or customer to connect them immediately with the person necessary to support them.

Integrate QR codes with your mobile IBM i development! 
QR codes are yet another way to take mobile development on IBM i to the next level.  www.openrpgui.com is an open source framework for IBM i ready to support your mobile application development needs.  Call me at 612-216-1808 for more information or to discuss your specific needs and ideas!

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