Local or brick-and-mortar businesses operate in a specified geographical area and cater to a local audience. Often, these businesses have a physical presence, such as a retail store, restaurant, cafe, salon, hardware shop, and the like.
Local businesses can benefit greatly from QR codes. They can be a low-cost, high-impact tech upgrade, helping you bridge the offline-online gap and offer phygital consumer experiences.
In this guide, you’ll learn about using QR codes for local businesses. By the end, you’ll have all the information and tools needed to implement a result-focused QR code strategy that produces actual results.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
- Why should local businesses use QR codes?
- How can local businesses use QR codes — Top use cases
- Benefits of QR codes for local businesses
- Best practices for using QR codes for local businesses
- Summing it up
Why should local businesses use QR codes?
United Nations data identifies over 400 million small businesses worldwide, and the number is expanding. It’s not easy for businesses to get customers, let alone retain them and build loyalty.
An effective way to overcome this hurdle and get more customers is by making your business more accessible.
QR codes can help you with that.
You can use QR codes to make it convenient for people to engage with your business. They can get information about your business’ location, operating hours, contact details, and more by scanning a QR code on their smartphones.
Overall, QR codes have many applications for local businesses. Using them correctly in your business can increase consumer engagement, store footfall, and sales.
How can local businesses use QR codes — Top use cases
QR codes are highly versatile, with many applications for local businesses. How you use them will depend on your business and marketing objectives. To give you a headstart, here are all the potential use cases of QR codes for local businesses.
Location QR code to share business location
If you’re a small business, particularly a new one, people may be unable to find your location. A Google Maps QR code (or the Location QR code) can solve this problem.
You can create a QR code for a Google Maps location and put it on your print ads, billboards, brochures, etc. On scanning the QR code, users will reach the Google Maps app with the location entered automatically.
Hence, they won’t need to manually search for the location. This will increase footfall to your store and, thus, sales.
Business QR code to share business information
Local businesses can use Business QR codes to share in-depth business information. A Business QR code is a page-type QR code comprising two components:
- Business page with a unique URL
- QR code of the business page’s URL
You can include the following information on the business page:
- Business name
- Address and contact details
- Web links
- Opening hours
So, people can scan the QR code to reach the business page and get all the information about your business.
QRCodeChimp provides an easy-to-use page builder to help you design and customize your business page. The business page is hosted on qrcodechimp.com, so you don’t have to worry about hosting it.
If you want to use your domain for the business page, QRCodeChimp’s white labeling feature lets you do it.
Digital Business Card to share contact information
The Digital Business Card is another page-type QR code solution that lets you create a digital business card page and its QR code.
A digital business card is a digital, more elaborate version of a standard business card. You can include all your information, such as your address, contact details, professional information, and more. Additionally, you can share details you can’t with a traditional business card, such as images, videos, social media, and web links.
Business owners can create digital business cards to share their contact information with customers and build lasting business relationships.
URL QR code to increase website traffic
71% of small businesses have a website, and rightly so. Since 81% of shoppers research a business online before purchasing, having a website is vital for small businesses — even if you sell offline.
The next step is to get traffic to your site, and here’s where QR codes can help. You can use a URL QR code to bring targeted traffic to your site.
Create a QR code for your website and put it on your advertising and marketing materials. People coming across the QR code will be able to visit your website and engage with your brand by simply scanning the QR code.
Social Media QR code to increase social media engagement
Unlike a common misconception that social media is only for mammoth brands like Nike and Starbucks, social media is critical to every local business’ marketing strategy. In fact, 41% of small businesses depend on social media to drive revenue, and 74% of consumers rely on social media for purchase decisions.
A Social Media QR code can be an effective tool for increasing social media visibility and engagement. The solution lets you create a display page containing all your social media links in one place.
Hence, users can scan the QR code to visit the page and follow you on the social media platform of their choice.
Google Review QR code to collect Google reviews
Over 80% of people use Google to evaluate local businesses, making it instrumental for local businesses to get online reviews.
A Google Review QR code helps you streamline the review collection process and get more Google reviews. Create a QR code for your Google Review page and put it up in your store, on the bills, etc., to get more reviews.
Users can scan the QR code to reach the Google review page and submit the review. This makes the review process fast and hassle-free, resulting in more reviews.
Coupon QR codes to share discount coupons
Customers love coupons regardless of what you sell. Over 145 million Americans used coupon codes in 2021 — a 21.29% increase from 2015. In fact, 80% of US adults sign up for emails only to receive online coupons. It’s not a surprise that the digital coupon market is projected to reach $29.7 billion by 2031.
QR codes can be a great addition to your coupon strategy. You can use Coupon QR codes to easily share discount coupons with your customers.
The Coupon QR code is a page-type QR solution that allows you to create a coupon page and its URL. You can include all the coupon information on the page, including its validity, terms & conditions, and a link to claim the coupon.
Payment QR code to collect online payments
Accepting online payments in physical locations is the norm, thanks to QR codes. In fact, the global QR code payment market is projected to reach $35.07 billion by 2030.
If you want to reduce the dependency on cash and accept payments online, you can use a Payments QR code.
Let’s say you want to accept payments with PayPal. In that case, you can create a Payments QR code for your PayPal payment link and put it in your store to collect PayPal payments.
Benefits of QR codes for local businesses
Driving more customers to the store is the topmost priority for all local businesses. The phygital ability of QR codes can go a long way in making your business more accessible and increasing engagement, footfall, and revenue.
Here are some benefits of QR codes for local businesses.
Better marketing and reach
QR codes can improve your marketing and help you reach more consumers. Including QR codes on your print and OOH advertisements will allow people to connect with your business better. Users can scan the QR code to reach your website or social media and engage in meaningful interactions.
Increase footfall and sales
QR codes can help local businesses increase footfall and sales. Providing directions with a Google Maps QR code ensures that people know exactly how to reach your store, resulting in higher footfall and sales.
Additionally, you’ll get more customers when you accept QR code payments, as many people don’t carry loose cash.
Seamlessly share business location
Sharing the store, restaurant, or cafe’s precise location is one of the biggest QR code benefits for local businesses. With a Location QR code, you can share your exact location and make your business easy to find.
Easily provide contact and business information
Local business owners need to share their contact details quite frequently. You can make that process fluid and frictionless with QR code business cards.
All you need to do is print the QR code for your digital business card on your physical business card. When people receive your business card, they can scan the QR code to visit your digital business card profile and save your information.
This eliminates the need to manually enter the contact details, resulting in faster contact saving.
Increase website traffic
You can use QR codes to grow your small website and get targeted traffic. Including website URL QR codes on your advertisements and even inside the store will bring more people to your website. Moreover, you don’t need to pay for ads or do any SEO for it.
Get more Google reviews
Google reviews are crucial for local businesses. More people will come to your store or restaurant if you have a lot of positive reviews. You can use QR codes to get more Google reviews and encourage people to buy from you.
Best practices for using QR codes for local businesses
As discussed previously, QR codes have many uses and benefits for local businesses. However, you must follow these best practices to get the best results from your QR code campaigns.
Select the right QR code generator
The QR code generator you use is inarguably the most important determinant of your QR code success. Use a QR code platform that allows you to create various QR code types with extensive customization and top-notch management features. And all of this should be paired with high-end security.
QRCodeChimp ticks all these boxes, plus many more. The solution offers all the features needed to run successful, result-oriented QR code campaigns.
Sign up for QRCodeChimp today, it’s free.
Static vs. dynamic QR code: Choose wisely
QR codes are of two types: static and dynamic.
- Static: The URL is embedded into the QR code.
- Dynamic: A short URL is embedded into the QR code, redirecting to the destination URL.
Because of the short URL, you can edit the destination URL of a dynamic QR code without reprinting it. Furthermore, you can track the scans on your dynamic QR code.
You can’t do these with a static QR code, making dynamic QR codes the preferred choice for businesses and marketers.
That said, static QR codes have a place. If you want to create a QR code for a URL that won’t change and you don’t need analytics, you can go for a static QR code.
Design your QR code for better engagement
Well-designed QR codes get more scans and engagement. So, don’t limit yourself to black-and-white, square-shaped QR codes. Make your QR codes visually appealing.
QRCodeChimp takes care of your QR code design requirements with 60+ QR code shapes, 150+ stickers with CTAs, color palettes, and more.
Pay close attention to the placement
The placement of your QR code will largely determine the scans and engagement it gets. Select a spot to place your QR codes where they get the maximum possible eyeballs and scans.
Also, keep the size and resolution in mind when printing the QR code. For seamless scannability, a QR code should be at least 1 x 1 inch and of the highest possible resolution.
Test before printing
After printing the QR code, test it from multiple devices to ensure it’s scanning properly. If not, reprint with a different size and resolution and test again. Sometimes, the printing material can cause scannability issues. So, switching the material may also help.
Summing it up
QR codes can be a valuable addition to all local businesses’ marketing and customer engagement strategy. The versatility, affordability, and ease of use of QR codes make them an excellent addition to every business’ tech stack.
However, note that QR codes alone won’t transform your business and marketing. Integrating them into your existing strategy is vital to see the best results.
If you want to get started with QR codes, check out QRCodeChimp. It’s a QR code management platform for all your QR code requirements.