A QR Code is a barcode filled with information for smartphones. Once someone uses their phone to collect the data by either scanning it or taking a picture the smartphone will then be directed to the information the QR code contained. Whether it leads to a coupon, a website or an Email Sign up form, QR codes are a great way for businesses to interact with their customers or potential customers. It is also important to note that in order for your smartphone to read the QR code, your smartphone must be connected to the Internet either through Wi-Fi or through your data plan.
The first thing you need to do in order for your smartphone to read a QR code is to install a QR reader. There are a ton of QR reader applications for Android, iPhone and Blackberry. Below I am going to describe the process from beginning to end for each mobile platform.
Go onto the Google Play Store App (which should have came preloaded with your Android Phone). Once you’re online, type in QR Code Scanner (I personally recommend Barcode Scanner by ZXing Team.) Click Install and you have your very first QR code reader.
Once it’s downloaded find a website, a brochure, anything that has a QR code on it. Open the QR Reader App and it will give you instructions on how to properly scan the QR code. There will be a light square in the middle of your phone. You have to make the QR code fit in that square and then wait for it to scan/take a picture of the QR code.
Once that’s done it will show you the information the QR code contained. Whether it’s a link or contact information. There is usually a bunch of buttons at the bottom which are called “Call to Action” which are suppose to encourage you to do something with the information you just collected (iPhone and Blackberry will have the same thing). It can be “Share this via SMS,” “Go To This Website,” or “Show Map or Store.”
For the more visual inclined learners, below is a Youtube video showing this in action.
Tap the App Store icon on your home screen. Once the App Store loads, on the bottom there is a search button, click on that. It will then bring you to a search interface. Type in QR Reader for iPhone. As you type, search results will start to come up, similar to how Google gives you search results as you type. Once you find a QR Reader for the iPhone (I personally recommend QR Reader for iPhone by TapMedia Ltd) click the FREE button (If the QR reader has a price, skip it and find a free QR Reader) and then click Install App. Once the App is installed, it will now be present on your home screen.
To test the QR Reader go find a QR Code and turn the QR Reader App on. Fit the QR code inside the small square and it will start scanning. Once it’s done scanning it will take you to a screen with the information that was collected from the QR code. The next step is to just follow the instructions on the screen.
Here’s a Youtube video showing this in action.
On the home screen of the Blackberry, find the App World Icon and click on it. Next press the Blackberry menu button (Note: it is to the left of the trackpad which is located in the middle of all Blackberries). A menu will appear and click on the Scan a Barcode option. Once you click on Scan a Barcode the screen will now be in QR reader mode and it will have a small square in the middle of your screen. You must fit the QR code inside the square and wait for it to be read by your Blackberry, which should be extremely quick. Once the QR code is scanned just follow the instructions and a way you go.
Here’s a Youtube Video showing this in action.
Don’t let the technical jargon discourage you, QR codes are the easiest most efficient way to get and share information with your customers!