1. They can deliver much more than just a website. Though their potential wasn’t realized early on, there is fundamental value in QR codes’ capacity to connect users to more specific and detailed information. With an exploding need for one-to-one connection, like that employed by mobile pay apps and the countless nodes in the emerging Internet of Things, QR is a low-cost way to make it happen .
2. They are now much easier to use. This is probably the biggest reason for the resurrection. Apple recently made QR reading native from the camera in iOS 11 and Android is expected to follow suit. This means that downloading a QR code reader app is no longer required. Consumers can simply point their cameras and, voila—experience triggered. Using your camera is much more relevant than ‘Scan this barcode’.
3. QR-triggered experiences are increasingly rich. The content payoff in QR’s early days was too often static, boring, and nothing you couldn’t have gotten in an easier way. Today, QR delivers much more, including customer reviews, rich digital content, product provenance and mobile self checkout. Combined with other technologies like RFID and based on specific context like geolocation, a user’s preferences, or a particular item for sale, those experiences can also be highly personalised.
This last point is the key to QR codes maintaining their new momentum. Compelling, dynamic, and useful experiences will be critical for QR’s widespread adoption. The codes, after all, are just the portal. Whether brands and retailers deliver on their promise remains to be seen, but there is no question that, for a solution almost considered obsolete, QR codes are, for now, getting a second life as a powerful and cost-efficient link in our always connected, increasingly personalised world.