Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Now more than ever, small businesses need creative ways to connect with their customers. Gone are the days of leisurely chats by the register or customer appreciation events. Communication is now being served virtually.
So what’s a small business to do? Give Quick Response (QR) codes a try. These little square-shaped, black and white symbols are a fast, easy and effective way to relay a variety of messages to your customers. Use them to play videos, send coupons, provide business information and more.
QR codes have come a long way since their initial roll out in the early 2000s. And now that safety is top of mind for all sorts of small businesses, QR codes are making a comeback of sorts. What’s changed? Well, you no longer need to download a separate app to scan them. Simply use your phone’s camera, position over the code and that’s it – the info you associated with your QR code automatically pops up in seconds. They’re also easier than ever to create. Just use one of the many free apps out there, add your information and you’ll be good to go.
Now that you know what QR codes are all about, here are some reasons why your business needs one.
- They provide a safe contactless payment method.
- They show your business is adaptable & tech-savvy.
- They provide information (without taking up space).
- They can boost your social media following.
- They’re easy to track.
- They’re cost-effective.
1. They provide a (safe!) contactless payment method.
Touchless everything has been the theme for the last year. According to a recent AmEx study, 50% of American consumers were using touchless payments as of by July 2020. And we don’t blame them! Customers are wary of exchanging cash and touching pin pads when using credit cards, so QR code payments are a great touch-free solution that customers will feel safe using.
As a small business owner, all you have to do is set up a QR code that accepts payments. Print out the code and put it where transactions usually take place – like your cash register, check-out counter or front desk. Your customers just need to use their smartphone to scan your code, and use their PayPal or Venmo account to pay.
Printing QR codes is about to be easier than ever. Vistaprint is partnering with PayPal starting January 2021, so you can create and print a PayPal-activated QR code on some of your favorite printed marketing materials (like business cards and window decals).
2. They show you’re adaptable & tech savvy.
According to JP Morgan Chase, younger consumers (age 35 and under) account for the most small business spending. And the main user of QR codes? You guessed it – that same 35 and under crowd. So, it’s a no brainer to adapt your business to appeal to this tech-savvy audience. As an added bonus, utilizing new technology shows you’re willing to keep up with the times. Customers appreciate businesses that go the extra mile and invest in trends and technology that makes their lives easier…and safer.
3. They provide information (without taking up space).
As life in the pandemic is ever-changing, businesses are, too. New store hours, social distancing and mask policies, curbside, delivery or take-out processes…the list is endless. QR codes are a great way to quickly update your customers on any new information – or even your WiFi name and password – without taking up too much signage space. Simply add a QR code to your existing postcards, banners or other marketing materials to get your message across in the click of a button.
Many of our products, like postcards, business cards, stickers and flyers have room for QR codes built right into the templates. We’ve made it easy for you to upload and go.
4. They can boost your social media following.
Looking to amp up your social media following? QR codes can help with that. There are code generators that can link to all of your social media pages – like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest – and customers can easily follow you on whatever platforms work for them. And with your new followers comes new opportunities for engagement and conversation…always a win for small business owners!
5. They are easy to track.
The beauty of QR codes is they provide you with instant data – you can get real-time statistics with most QR code tracking features. You can collect big-picture information, like how many people scanned your code, and more granular data, like geographic location, date, time and what device or operating system was used. And finally, you can ask your customers for certain information (like their email or phone number) when scanning your QR code. Having this data at your fingertips will allow you to make live updates to improve your QR code’s success or target specific customers. For example, if your data shows a lot of people from a certain town scanned your QR code, you might consider offering them a special coupon.
6. They are cost effective.
With all the added expenses the past year has brought on, creating a QR code won’t be one of them. There are a ton of free simple code generator sites, like QRCode Monkey, QR Code Generator, Shopify – and soon, you can even use Vistaprint to create a PayPal QR code to accept touchfree payments. Dynamic QR codes (which allow you to easily edit and track on the back end), can have a minimal cost associated with them, but it’s worth the upgrade for the added features. You can also opt for a monthly subscription service, saving you time.
Why use QR Codes?
Take contactless payments
Show you’re tech savvy
Easily provide information
Boost social media followers
Track customer data
Save money on marketing
Let’s recap: Why use QR codes?
- Take contactless payments
- Show you’re tech savvy
- Easily provide information
- Boost social media followers
- Track customer data
- Save money on marketing