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Recently, I’ve seen a surge of small business crafters both designing products with QR codes and including QR codes on their business cards. So today, I’m answering the question: Are QR codes dead?
What are QR Codes?
If you aren’t familiar with QR codes, they are small square codes that you can scan with your phone or tablet and they take you to a link. They debuted in 1994 in the automotive industry to track car parts during the manufacturing process. In 2010, the first smartphone app was released that could scan a QR code was released. QR codes can be put on anything you’d like – including products, business cards, advertising displays, and more. Here’s an example QR code (it’ll take you to the Cutting for Business Facebook page if you are interested):
What’s Wrong with QR codes?
They were a great idea that never really took off. Now, onto the problems:
- The public doesn’t know what they are. QR codes just haven’t caught on – a lot of the general public doesn’t know what they are – let alone how to use them.
- Most people don’t have an app. In most cases, smartphone users have to download an app to be able to scan a QR code. Experts estimate that most smartphone users do not have QR code scanning apps. (To further prove the point, pull out your smartphone – do you have a QR code scanning app?)
- It takes too long. In a fast paced social media world, pulling out your phone, opening the app, scanning something, and waiting for a link to load takes too long. It’s much faster to share your social media name and customers can go straight to your social media page(s).
Are QR Codes Dead?
So, are QR codes dead? In my opinion, in the small business world – YES. Don’t believe me? Read on:
So, tell me in the comments: Do you think QR codes are dead? Why or why not?
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Since 2015, Christine Schinagl has been helping crafters start and run craft businesses through her blog, Cutting for Business. As a Silhouette and Cricut crafter herself, she has a unique take on what works and what doesn’t work in the craft business world. She also teaches a course on creating digital SVG designs, available at How to Design SVGs.
Thursday 6th of July 2017
removed my QR code from my Care Labels on my mugs - 10% off discount code instead - that has worked much better :-)
Sunday 9th of July 2017
Awesome! Good to hear!