Half of shoppers think QR codes are ‘the future of shopping’

Half of shoppers call QR codes ‘the future of shopping’ according to research by retail innovation agency Outform, despite their relative scarcity pre-pandemic.

The study, conducted in January 2021, asked 2,000 shoppers in the UK, US, Germany, and the Netherlands about how the pandemic has changed their habits and attitudes.

40 per cent of respondents said the presence of QR functionality would incentivise them to shop according to the research, with this rising to 48 per cent for 25–34-year-olds.

Outform’s research also said that 40 per cent of respondents believe that a QR-enabled experience would increase the chances of them completing a purchase, and that 38 per cent are more likely to actively shop somewhere with QR functionality.

The research highlighted how safety concerns surrounding retail during the pandemic may have played a role in QR codes’ rising popularity.

57 per cent of 18–34-year-olds said QR codes make their shopping experience safer, compared to 40 per cent of those aged over 55, according to Outform.

Outform said the commonplace use of QR codes over the past year may have acclimated users to QR codes in terms of data security and said 57 per cent of the respondents said they were completely comfortable scanning without hesitation when in-store.

In addition, Outform said that 54 per cent of people said QR codes enable them to further explore features and benefits of products in-store.

“The QR code’s popularity in Asia has never been matched in the West, which by and large has written it off as a retail tool,” Simon Hathaway, MD EMEA at Outform. “But the global pandemic has proven just how resilient this piece of tech is, and not just for retail, but for all manner of industries.”

“Its propensity to create a digital handshake (in its broader sense of using tech to connect customers with brands and stores), and to do so safely and as conveniently as possible, isn’t exclusive to the pandemic.”

He added: “The QR code has finally clicked with people, and the fact that half of our respondents believe it’s ‘the future of shopping’ is testament to that.”

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