QR Codes for Your Small Business: How and When Should You Use Them?


QR stands for quick response and invented in Japan in the mid-90s to track components in car production. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, QR codes have seen a resurgence in many pubs and restaurants largely thanks to the NHS Test and Trace system. In this blog we look at how and when you should use a QR Code for your small business marketing.

With the advent of the pandemic, QR codes have been making somewhat of a comeback. With QR codes popping up at many businesses for public health reasons, you might have found yourself wondering about their existence and whether or not they would be a worthwhile investment for your small business. 

At McGinn & Dolphin, we were recently tasked to create QR codes that provided information for a series of events, and they were a great success. But it’s important to realise that there is a time and a place for QR codes. 

So, with that in mind, let’s walk you through how and when you might want to implement them within your marketing activities. 

Why Use a QR Code for Your Small Business?

In short, QR codes are great for packing a lot of information into a small space. Whether it’s an entire online restaurant menu, or a virtual flyer for an upcoming event, QR codes can perform a wide range of activities that could help your small business. 

Those functions include but are not limited to: 

  • Directing customers to a webpage 

  • Dialling your business number

  • Sending messages or emails to your team

  • Downloading apps

  • Directing customers to social media pages 

  • Direct users to leave a review on Trustpilot, Google, etc.

Not bad for a little square you can stick pretty much anywhere! So, given these range of possibilities, what are some examples of QR code use that make commercial sense for a small business? 

Examples of When A QR Code Makes Sense for A Small Business

There are plenty of examples where QR codes are an excellent method where your in-person marketing space might be limited. For instance, you could add a QR code to a business card that gives recipients much more detail regarding your services, or you could use a QR code on a flyer to deliver quick and helpful information for an upcoming event. 

Another excellent use of QR codes in a business is to deliver traditionally in-person marketing materials in a digital format. For instance, bars, pubs, and restaurants are now implementing QR code menus, where the code links to an online menu/ordering system that facilitates contactless ordering and payment. 

Using them in this way doesn’t just deliver increased safety within these environments but also enhances convenience and efficiency, driving up sales.  

Things to Bear in Mind When Implementing QR Codes 

While a QR code may present a perfect digital marketing solution for your needs, there’s plenty to bear in mind to ensure you get the most out of them. First and foremost, you need to remember that once a QR code has been generated, it cannot be changed – vital information to be aware of if you are creating them in conjunction with temporary events. 

Secondly, you need to make sure that you control the link that your QR code sends visitors to. That way, you can manage redirects when QR codes are still in circulation, but the event you created them for has passed, or you’ve moved onto a spring menu rather than Christmas specials, for example. 

Next, as valuable as QR codes are, there is definitely a time and a place. For instance, we have seen QR codes placed on company fleet vehicles for people to get more information regarding that business – hardly practical given that most people that will notice the QR code will be behind the wheel. 

Finally, and this is where most businesses trip up, you need to track and measure QR codes to evaluate their effectiveness. It’s no good investing in QR codes that aren’t a good fit for your organisation. And you’ll never know whether they are effective or not unless you accurately track and assess their performance

Find Out Whether QR Codes Make Sense for Your Small Business with McGinn & Dolphin 

QR codes represent an excellent sales and marketing tool for specific businesses and deliver minimal impact for others. When implemented effectively, they can deliver a tangible impact on your bottom line. However, utilised incorrectly, they can prove little more than a gimmick. 

If you’re wondering whether QR codes make sense for your business, it’s worth sitting down with a company that has dozens of QR code campaigns already under its belt to receive expert advice regarding your options.  

At McGinn & Dolphin, we’ve been helping companies make the most of this exciting innovation for almost a decade. With our experience, you can ensure that you implement QR codes that are both effective and efficient, delivering a robust return on your investment. 

To learn more about how you can drive sales growth using QR codes, please don’t hesitate to book a discovery call with a member of our team to discuss your requirements in more detail.  

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Ali Dolphin is a UK-based marketing expert specialising in digital marketing. His expertise includes content writing, website design, and technology. Ali regularly provides insights and blogs on various aspects of digital marketing.

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