QR Used by ‘Significant Minority’

pitneybowes3Every week seems to either bring a new use for QR Codes, or a report trying to convince us that we should all be using them based on spurious reasoning and the occasional dubious statistic. Which is why Pitney Bowes’ white paper, “Getting Ahead of the Emerging QR Code Marketing Trend,” is a welcome addition to the QR echo chamber. Though a quick read between the lines suggests that the company’s day would be made if the world went QR crazy, it contains something rare indeed: good hard numbers.


Here are some of the findings gleaned from QR usage in the U.S., Germany, France and the UK:

  • 19% of people in the U.S. have used a QR Code – the greatest number of the countries surveyed
  • On average, 27% of users are 18 to 34
  • QR Codes in magazines accounted for the greatest usage: 15%
  • Posters and mail accounted for 13% each.

Things get more interesting when you look at those age 25-34 compared with those younger. For example, there’s only a 3% gap between Americans 18-24 and 25-34 in magazine QR usage (39% and 36%, respectively). And mail usage by American 18-24s is fairly startling: 38%! Many would’ve doubted that you could find that many in that demographic who so much as glanced at a piece of direct mail.


Clearly we’re still in the wait-and-see stage with QR, but it’s heartening to see some hint that all those codes are actually being used.


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