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QR codes for charity – why and how?

QR codes have been around for years, but they didn’t catch on in mainstream popularity until fairly recently. There were discussions and articles on ‘the death of the QR code’ and ‘what will replace QR codes’, but now they are firmly here to stay. “Long live the QR code!”

Smartphones weren’t previously equipped with the necessary functionality to easily use them, but updates to Android and iOS changed that, and users no longer require an app.

QR codes had a huge comeback largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. People are more au fait with them, having used Track and Trace, and once Britons started venturing out and about again, non-contact menu browsing and food ordering became the norm.

We see them everywhere -

  • Returning something bought online? QR code
  • Want to find out more about the brewery you bought your beer from? QR code
  • Checking into your flight with a e-boarding pass? QR code
  • Leaving a service review? You guessed it, QR code.
  • The technology can get far more elaborate and exciting, however. In 2021, 1500 drones flew over Shanghai, China and created a huge scannable QR code in the sky to celebrate the anniversary of the Chinese release of the game Princess Connect! Re: Dive. It was a spectacle to watch, and understandably it went viral.

(Well, if you have the budget….!)

Now for some stats -

  • According to Statista’s June 2021 survey, it was found that 59% of respondents believed that QR codes would be a permanent part of using their mobile phone in the future.
  • 80% of order, checkout, and payment services will become contactless by 2024
  • 18.8% of users in the US and the UK strongly agreed that there was a visible increase in QR Code usage since the onset of COVID-19.
  • Due to COVID-19, 83% of respondents said that they used a QR code to make a payment (or complete a financial transaction) for the first time ever.
  • The people scanning QR Codes are predominantly between 24 to 54 years of age.
  • 16% of male respondents used their smartphones to scan QR codes to obtain information, while only 10% of female respondents said they had done the same.
  • 24% of Millennials and 18% of Gen Xers prefer to scan a QR Code to redeem an offer.
  • In the UK and Europe 86.66% of smartphone users had scanned a QR Code at least once in their lifetime. 36.40 % scan at least one QR Code a week.

In short, QR codes are becoming more recognised, more trusted and more popular.

So now that you know what QR codes do and ways that they can be used, how can you make them work for you? Keep in mind that people will be wary if there is a QR code with no context, so here are some top tips.

  • Create clear messaging around the QR code...what will happen when people scan it? What is it for?
  • QR codes can be used where you are not. You won't be there to speak to your audience so make sure it is appealing/interesting/insightful without your spoken ‘pitch’.
  • Use your charity branding and messaging on the Good Thyngs experience pages – this gives reassurance and confidence to your supporters.
  • Don’t give the user too many options when they land on your Good Thyngs page – be clear in your end goal (a donation/a sign up/sharing info.)
  • Introduce QR codes to your supporters via newsletters and direct mail so they become familiar, and gain confidence with using them.
  • Place them where there are people! Think about where they could work for you in both places with, or without personal interaction – a charity shop till point, on a collection bucket, a cash tin, on a poster in a shop you have worked with before, at the coffee machine of a corporate supporter, or the classic on the back of a toilet door! After all, YouGov research states “The majority of Brits (57%) admit to using their phone on the toilet”.

We are a friendly bunch so if you have any ideas you’d like to talk through, just get in touch!