2017: QR Code Snapshot

2017: QR Code Snapshot



Well it's been a few years since we did our last QR Code Snapshot so here's an update on what 2017 looked like in our part of the QR code world based on QR codes created by QRStuff.com users between January and December 2017. Who Was Scanning QR Codes? On a world-wide basis the location of the QR code scan events that we recorded didn't really change all that much over the course of 2017. USA, UK, China, Australia and Canada made up the top 5 most months, with Thailand popping in and out the top 10 but not quite making the cut over the whole year. A surprise appearance in the final top 10 was Bahrain after starting the year at #29. We recorded scans from 235 countries during 2017 with Afghanistan, Belize, Northern Mariana Islands, Maldives, Sudan and Tunisia showing solid increases at the back of the field, and first-time scan events recorded from Mayotte and Comoros. Even Antarctica was represented with a nice cluster of scans in November. What Were They Scanning Them With? iOS devices (iPhones and iPads) are still the most popular devices being used for scanning our QR codes and, since 2014, have increased their lead over Android devices (phones and tablets) by 5-10% with most of that increase having come at the expense of Windows devices (down from 10-14% of total in 2014 to 3-5% of total in 2017) and Blackberry devices (down from 1-2% of total to basically nothing now). Linux based smartphones are now showing significant numbers, particularly in Europe, whereas in 2014 they were negligible (<0.01%). On a global basis the split for iOS devices was 37.2% iPhones and 23.0% for iPads, and Android devices were 30.7% smartphones and 2.6% tablets, so Android phones aren't actually that far behind. On a head-to-head basis, both iPhones and Android smartphones are down 2-3% since 2014 but the gap between the two is still pretty much the same now as it was 3-4 years ago. FUN FACT: Those scans from Antarctica that I mentioned earlier? All of them were on Android phones - make of that what you will. What QR Codes Were Being Scanned? We keep an eye on two metrics – QR codes created and QR codes scanned – and it’s fairly safe to expect that the relative values for a given data type should be pretty much the same. Following this logic through, if the relative number of scans recorded for a particular QR code data type is significantly greater than the relative number of those QR codes created, then it would indicate a greater number of scans per QR code, meaning that that particular data type is perhaps more effective in engaging than other data types. The reverse would also apply – if the relative scans are less than the relative rate of creation, then that data type could be considered to be less effective. Obviously there’s a fairly significant flaw in that assumption – placement (contact details QR codes on business cards will get always get less scans than website URL QR codes in magazines) – however major disparities between the two relative figures that can’t be otherwise explained definitely give a strong hint as to which data types are more effective than others. Our App Store Download data type has always been a case in point – while only representing 0.4% of the QR codes created by our users, they account for a whopping 14.5% of total scan events recorded. This data type is definitely punching above its weight in terms of its ability to engage with users and attract scans.
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