Just 9% of adults in the US have used a QR code in the past year, and slow adoption is expected in the coming years, according to a new report by eMarketer.
Once a promising mobile marketing tool, mobile barcodes have not connected with large audiences, the report noted. While some US marketers have seen success, their experience has proven to be the exception, not the rule.
The new report, “QR Codes: Marketers Keep Hitting ‘Go,’ but Consumer Adoption Still Slow,” analyzes findings from dozens of third-party research providers and interviews with industry executives, answering key questions about the opportunities and challenges mobile barcodes present, including:
As the number of smartphone users continues to rise, the total number of barcode users will show considerable growth, reaching nearly 38.6 million adults in 2014.
But these vast numbers of users are not making regular use of barcodes, according to multiple research studies analyzed by eMarketer in the report. For example, international mobile payments and marketing company Mobio found 60% of North American consumers who scanned QR Codes in Q3 2011 did so just once.
“What consumers want from their 2-D barcode experience and what brands deliver are typically at odds,” said eMarketer. “Consumers want deals and discounts. Brands want to deliver information.”
Key Takeaways from “QR Codes: Marketers Keep Hitting ‘Go,’ but Consumer Adoption Still Slow:”
“Until marketers move beyond the practice of pushing content to consumers via mobile barcodes, and instead give consumers what they want ... many consumers will continue to consider their first mobile barcode experience their last,” said eMarketer.
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