Data Monday: Mobile QR Code Usage

by Luke Wroblewski August 14, 2011

QR codeQR Codes are two-dimensional images that can store hundreds of times more information than a standard bar code. As a result, they are increasingly used to provide smartphone users more information about advertisements, products, locations, and more. But just how many people are pointing their cameras at these codes?


  • 14 million mobile users in the United States (6.2% of the total mobile audience) scanned a QR or bar code on their mobile device June 2011. (source)
  • 60.5% of code scanners were male and 53.4% were 18-34 years old. (source)
  • 49.4% scanned QR codes in a printed magazine or newspaper 35.3% scanned product packaging, 27.4% scanned a code from a website on a PC and 23.5% scanned codes from a poster/flyer/kiosk. (source)
  • 58% scanned codes at home, 39.4% in a retail store, 24.5% in a grocery store, 20% at work 12.6% on public transit. (source)
  • QR barcode scanning grew 1200% from July to December 2010. (source)
  • 62% of QR code scanners have scanned more than 1 barcode (in the last 6 months of 2010). (source)
  • Over 50% of scanners have scanned between 2-5 barcodes, making up the bulk of the users. (source)
  • Only 2% of users have scanned more than 5 unique QR codes / month (i.e. 30+ scans) on average. (source)
  • The top reasons to scan barcodes are: price comparisons (81%), product reviews (63%), and to receive special offers (63%). (source)

Note: I have some doubts about survey data that asks people to self-report on QR code scanning as I believe most post people don't know the difference between QR codes and standard bar codes.