Given the accelerated momentum of connected TV usage and advertising — and direct-to-consumer initiatives — since the pandemic exploded in late March, it’s perhaps not surprising to learn that brands’ use of QR codes to facilitate consumer engagement has also surged.
The first quarter saw the usual light usage of QR codes, with only a handful of advertisers running the format, reports Innovid, the omnichannel platform that boasts serving 50% of all U.S. CTV impressions.
But come Q2, the number of advertisers using the codes grew by 160%, and QR impressions rose 62%, in comparison with the year-ago quarter. In Q3, QR impressions were up by 130% versus Q2 2020. The trend has continued into Q4, with October impressions equaling a third of all QR impressions generated in the previous quarter.
Why is use of QR codes growing in CTV in particular?
QR codes are no-contact by design, so they allow for payment without having to touch a keypad or someone else’s screen to sign. With TV, with the growth of targetable CTV viewing in particular, brands have seen that QR codes are a great way to turn a commercial view directly into an online action and capture that customer data — turning traditionally “awareness only” television into a D2C channel.
Are QR codes being used much to drive ecommerce, and in-store-visits and sales?
Geno: Across the board, brands are looking for ways to collapse the purchase funnel and get viewers to their sites faster — especially brands that have been affected by restrictions on in-person shopping, or feel that the in-store experience they can offer just isn’t the same now.
Brands are using QR codes for a variety of business objectives, but the most common at present, in our experience, is to drive people to their websites to learn more about a product or offer.
We can’t speak to sales results, because we don’t have access to clients' sales data. But we can also verify that marketers are moving toward action-based outcomes like website traffic, adding products to their cart, app downloads and purchase.