QRStuff.com - QR Code Generator

QR Codes 6 Months On: Who’s Making What?

Posted: August 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: General | No Comments »

There’s been a lot of talk lately (and a lot of really cool infographics) about what sort of QR codes are being scanned, where they’re being scanned, and by whom, but these numbers are only part of the story.

Marketers can gain good insights into consumer behavior and demographics from the scan event numbers that are being released, but they’re the effect not the cause. Another important set of numbers is what sort of QR codes are being deployed, and where they are being deployed, and these are necessary to put the scan event numbers into perspective.

Scan event reporting to date has pretty much been about absolute numbers in a vacuum with no relative context brought into play for effectiveness, reach and consumer uptake, apart from anecdotal or survey-style feedback from the consumers themselves. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just what it is, and makes sense when you consider who the majority of the organizations are that go to the trouble of collating and presenting the data – scanning apps and consumer-facing market research companies – and what data sets they have available.

For example, 20,000 scan events in a particular market is a good number if only 100 QR codes have been deployed into that market, but it represents poor uptake if there’s 100,000 QR codes in the wild in the same market. The relative number of scans achieved for different QR code data types is also not particularly useful if you don’t know the relative number of QR codes deployed for each data type. Social media QR codes accounting for 20% of the reported scan events would clearly be seen as a relatively more engaging type of QR code type if social media QR codes only represented 5% of the total QR codes deployed, but not so much if they were 30% of the deployed total.

Here’s some numbers from the point of view of QR code creation rather than QR code scanning, and relate to the QR codes created by the users of QRStuff.com over the 6 month period from February to July 2011. Approximately 87% of those QR codes were created anonymously by free users so location data for anonymous QR code creation events has been taken from Google Analytics. In the interests of user privacy, none of the underlying raw or granular data will be (or has been) made available to third parties.

In the tables below I’ve compared the figures from February 2011 and July 2011 and showed relative rankings in each of those 2 months, what the percentages proportions were for the QR codes created in each of those 2 months, and the relative increase in the numbers of QR codes created over the 6 month period from 01 February to 31 July 2011.

Who’s Making QR Codes?

Position Country Of Origin Percentage Of Total
QR Codes (Month)
Increase In Number
Of QR Codes Created
(Feb to Jul)
Jul-11 Feb-11 Jul-11 Feb-11
1 1 United States 54.1% 57.1% 296%
2 2 United Kingdom 12.1% 7.9% 475%
3 3 Canada 5.4% 6.0% 280%
4 4 Australia 3.3% 2.4% 424%
5 5 Netherlands 1.7% 2.2% 242%
6 10 India 1.6% 1.1% 432%
7 6 Germany 1.5% 1.8% 259%
8 34 Saudi Arabia 1.3% 0.2% 1689%
9 13 Mexico 1.0% 0.7% 459%
10 7 France 0.9% 1.5% 176%
11 15 Brazil 0.8% 0.6% 411%
12 11 Denmark 0.8% 0.9% 292%
13 27 Malaysia 0.8% 0.4% 651%
14 9 Italy 0.7% 1.2% 177%
15 21 New Zealand 0.7% 0.4% 496%
16 17 Ireland 0.6% 0.5% 360%
17 30 South Africa 0.6% 0.3% 511%
18 16 Russia 0.5% 0.6% 281%
19 8 Spain 0.5% 1.3% 127%
20 - Singapore 0.5% 0.3% 492%
Total 89.4% 87.6% 315%

What Are They Putting In Them?

Position QR Code Contents Percentage Of Total
QR Codes (Month)
Increase In Number
Of QR Codes Created
(Feb to Jul)
Jul-11 Feb-11 Jul-11 Feb-11
1 1 Website URL 49.1% 44.4% 348%
2 2 Plain Text 25.5% 26.0% 309%
3 3 vCard Contact Details 11.8% 16.3% 229%
4 10 Social Media Link 3.5% 2.5% 451%
5 4 Google Map Location 1.9% 2.4% 245%
6 6 Youtube Video Link 1.8% 2.4% 244%
7 7 Telephone Number 1.5% 1.5% 323%
8 8 SMS Message 1.1% 1.1% 298%
9 5 Email Message 0.8% 0.9% 280%
10 9 vCalendar Event 0.7% 0.6% 326%
Total 99.1% 99.4% 313%

Methodology

I’m comfortable that these figures are representative enough to be a reasonable insight into the way things actually are:

  • The numbers themselves are large enough to have a good statistical reliability – a large supporting data set of QR codes created by the users of QRStuff.com over the 6 month period from February to July 2011.
  • The QRStuff.com website has been operating since January 2008 and has had balanced historical exposure to all geographic markets (except Japan) at all stages of their take-up and maturity cycles to date. This means that the engagement timing profile for all markets is the same – been there from the start, still there now.
  • QRStuff.com is not based in Europe, UK or the US, and doesn’t advertise or promote itself in any specific geographic market, so “local” bias factors would not be at play.
  • The ratio of free vs paid users (87:13) would probably reflect the natural split of “DIY” and “get some informed/professional help” participants in most marketing disciplines or initiatives.
  • Once we’d crunched the numbers there were no surprises or inconsistencies that were at odds with what we’d learnt, seen, heard, or suspected over the past 3 ½ years of working with QR codes commercially.

 


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