QR Codes - Usages and Benefits in Retail Environment
Barcode Scanners
20-11-2017 00:00:00
QR Codes - Usages and Benefits in Retail Environment

One of the most outstanding inventions in the modern era which has made several mundane and time consuming processes of retail businesses redundant and accelerated sale process manifold, is the introduction of QR codes, a two-dimensional machine readable codes which have wide usages across retail sector.

QR Codes, which were invented by Japan scientists a couple of decades ago, are actually 2D barcodes that can be packed with a lot of business information in relatively small space. These codes are long-lasting and can be decoded even if their supports were scratched.

Since QR Codes are widely used across the retail businesses, it is more important to know how to scan or decode them quickly using the latest scanning technology. Let us understand what are QR Codes and ways to decode them.

What is a QR Code?

QR Code, which came into existence in 1994, was invented by Denso Wave, a subsidiary of Toyota. QR Code refers to ‘Quick Response code, which is a machine-readable code that can be understood with the help of smart devices such as phones or tablets. These codes pack text information that can be encoded in the form of 2D barcodes.

QR codes can enhance productivity since they are faster to decode or scan than the 1D barcodes or conventional method of manually entering the information.

Difference between QR code and Barcode

While barcodes can hold information nicely in the horizontal direction, QR can store the information in two dimensional ways – horizontal and vertical.

A QR code can hold upto hundred times the information compared to the conventional 1D barcode. Also, the conventional barcodes require ten times the space than the QR codes.

Another feature of the QR code is that it can be read through 360 degrees inclination thus avoiding any interferences and negative background effects.

Compared to barcodes, QR codes have lower error margin and capable to hold URLs, logo, pictures and other vital information for the customers to read and understand about the product.

Besides, QR codes give aesthetic appeal to customers, long lasting and can be scanned even in poor visibility.

QR Codes Applications

QR Codes are used for:

  • Tracking Packages in the warehouses and delivery go-downs and also to find particular product, vehicle parts, artifact etc. 
  • Directing to URLs for target websites
  • Instantly adds a vCard contact (virtual business card)
  • Widely used to make digital payments using e-wallets
  • Help for website Login
  • Easy way to send mobile users to online content
  • Email newsletter signups


QR Code scanner apps are available aplenty for download on the Google Play Store and most of them work fine and deliver as expected.

QR Code Reader is the most popular QR code scanner app which works on Android devices. The size of the app is 2.20 MB and is completely free.  iPhones or iOS devices do not have the built-in ability to scan QR codes. Apple Pay surely does scan QR codes and check out using it at leading retail stores. But, it can’t be used other than payments.


-K Ramanathan ram@justransact.com

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