New Study Reports Nearly 1 in 5 People Made a Purchase After Scanning a QR Code

New Study Reports Nearly 1 in 5 People Made a Purchase After Scanning a QR Code

iModerate Author

Jan 04, 2012

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Denver, CO (January 4, 2012) – A recent Consumer Pulse study of over 1,200 U.S. consumers conducted by Boston-based custom research firm, Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) and iModerate Research Technologies, looked at how people are using QR codes and what they’re looking for when they scan. The study also looks at what will motivate consumers to make it part of their purchase process.

Quick Response, or QR codes, are everywhere from print advertisements to public transportation and websites, and while only 21% know QR codes by name, nearly all respondents reported having seen the ubiquitous black and white squares. For smartphone owners, whose devices are capable of scanning the code, QR codes are becoming a part of the purchase process. Half of smartphone owners surveyed had scanned a QR code, and nearly 20% of them made a purchase after scanning, indicating a willingness to make QR codes part of the purchase process for tech-savvy shoppers.

“Consumers are curious about QR codes and the information they can get,” notes Jeff McKenna, Senior Consultant at Chadwick Martin Bailey. “But companies need to understand what consumers expect from a scan whether it’s more information, a coupon, or exclusive offer. Companies who use QR codes successfully to drive engagement or sales will be those who meet customer expectations and offer compelling reasons to scan.”

The study also looked at ease of use, with 70% of those who scanned finding scanning to be a very easy process. Results were more mixed when respondents were asked to rate the usefulness of the information they got from scanning the code, only 41% reported the information they got to be useful.

To fully contextualize this research, iModerate conducted one-on-one conversations with 22 Americans over age 18. In the words of respondents:

“[I] received [a QR code] at the hotel front desk and used it to download their mobile app. Then I had full access to reservations, rewards, etc. [It gave me] easy access to reservations while mobile … simple, clean, no long issues, delays or any other frustrations.”— Past User, female, 55 to 59

“I think it would be good if QR codes could be used for special events for stores when they are having a sale and only the people who use QR codes would know about it.”— Never Used, female, 25 to 29

“I tend to see them for things I really do not care about. I have a smartphone but have never downloaded the app. I also do not have any friends or know anyone who has. It doesn’t sound like something fun for me.”— Never Used, male, 30 to 34

As QR codes and similar technologies allow companies to engage customers closer to the point of sale, manufacturers will begin to take advantage of its growing role in the purchase process.

About this Research
This study was done as part of Chadwick Martin Bailey’s self-funded CMB Consumer Pulse program. A report with additional findings from this study is available as a free download from Chadwick Martin Bailey. Data was collected from 1,228 adults (aged 18 and over) via a nationally representative online survey questionnaire within the United States by Chadwick Martin Bailey in October of 2011. In addition, iModerate Research Technologies conducted one-on-one online conversations to more fully contextualize their holiday shopping plans.

About Chadwick Martin Bailey
Chadwick Martin Bailey is a Boston-based custom market research firm who works with many of the most successful companies and best known brands in the world to help them acquire, maintain, and grow their customer base. Founded in 1984 by John Martin and Anne Bailey Berman, the company has corporate headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts, serving clients in more than 30 countries around the globe. Chadwick Martin Bailey focuses on using leading-edge research techniques to collect and translate the data into simple, business decision-focused deliverables. For more information visit http://www.cmbinfo.com

About iModerate Research Technologies
iModerate Research Technologies is a leading qualitative market research firm with a distinct approach to uncovering the most meaningful insights. Based in Denver, Colorado and founded in 2004, iModerate is known for pioneering and championing the online one-on-one. With over 100,000 conversations to our credit, and an in-depth knowledge of how consumers think and behave, we have helped countless organizations obtain the insights that matter most to them. For more information please visit

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iModerate Author

The results we received from the iModerate one-on-one, in-depth conversations were much more enlightening than what we typically garner from open-ended verbatim responses. The live moderator offers us the ability and flexibility to probe deeper on certain points, enabling us to get stronger, less vague information. That unique capability has proved extremely valuable to us, and has made this IM-based platform an integral part of our research toolbox.

Colleen Hepner, VP, C&R Research