Remember when QR Codes were all the rage? They kinda fell by the wayside because they weren’t super easy to use.

You had to install a specialized QR code reader app and then launch the app and point your camera at it when you saw one on a product or a magazine.

Too much trouble.

That is no longer the case since the technology is built into Android and iPhones. And it appears the COVID-19 pandemic may be giving them new life.

The Verge reports that transaction service provider Square is offering QR codes for restaurants to offer contactless ordering.

When using the feature, a restaurant can print a QR code out and leave it on a table. A customer would then scan the QR code, browse a menu, place their order, and pay from their phone. The restaurant would know what table placed the order, and then bring their food out when it’s ready. Square says the system is flexible, so a coffee shop, for example, could have a single QR code in its window that people would scan and then wait for their drink.

Square launches QR codes that let you order from your table at a restaurant

The Verge piece cites a Restaurant Business article that claims:

Nearly a third of consumers said disposable or single-use menus would make them feel safe as restaurants reopen, according to Restaurant Business sister company Technomic. QR codes take that one step further by putting menus on guests’ phone screens.

All of a Sudden, QR Codes are Everywhere

QR Code Awareness

There’s been a massive change in understanding of QR codes from the early adoption days.

According to February 2011 research from agency MGH, awareness of QR codes is high among smartphone owners: 65% have seen a QR code, and about half that number, or one-third overall, had used one.

They were most likely to have seen one on a product, indicating where marketers may get the most mileage out of using barcodes.

A high number of US consumers demonstrated a significant lack of understanding as to what QR codes were or how they work, according to an October 2011 survey from strategic marketing firm Russell Herder. Results from “The QR Question” indicate 72% of consumers say they have seen a QR code, but nearly 30% do not know what it is.

In addition, nearly one in five consumers who regularly use the internet via mobile phone do not know what a QR code is. Read the rest at Marketing Charts.

QR Code Use Cases

QR Codes Generate 50,000 Likes From Glamor Magazine

Glamour’s September, 2011 issue generated 50,814 Facebook “likes” for its advertisers by including 2-D barcodes incorporating the social network, according to the magazine and SpyderLynk, which created the new Social SnapTags that Glamour used.

Readers are encountering 2-D barcodes in magazines and elsewhere more and more often, but Glamour wanted to see whether codes invoking Facebook would spur more readers to action — and round up Facebook fans in the process.

Glamour ran the program to answer advertisers who were asking how to get more ‘likes,’ said Jenny Bowman, executive creative services director at Glamour, which is published by Conde Nast. “This seemed like a logical solution,” she said. “We loved what SpyderLynk had to offer with a Facebook logo in the circle that was different from other 2-D barcodes.”

The codes were activated by over 100,000 readers, or 4.2% of the issue’s paid circulation as filed with the Audit Bureau of Circulation’s Rapid Report service and 0.8% of the magazine’s average total audience according to GfK MRI’s most recent round of research. Read the rest at AdAge.

Scan For Plant Help At Home Depot

Mike Wehrs, chief executive of Scanbuy, the mobile bar code platform that works with Home Depot, said more than 25 million people in the United States already had the ability to scan with their mobile phones. He expected the number to increase as more people acquire smartphones.

“Mobile bar-code scanning experienced a 1,600 percent increase in traffic last year,” he said.Read the rest at New York Times.

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