The figures are a little more rosy when you restrict them to only smartphone users. 15% of smartphone owners use a scanning app, up from 5% in 2010. Android users are more likely than anyone to use them, with almost a quarter using their phone as a scanner for one thing or another. Most of those that did use scanners were younger adults, with two-thirds of them falling between the ages of 23 and 46.
The study, performed by Forrester Research, gives gentle instruction for businesses to optimize the use of QR codes. Ideally they should be placed on a stable, easy-to access surface, with good lighting and – important – no alternate connectivity. So placing a QR code next to a public access terminal probably wouldn’t be a very good idea. The most commonly-used codes were more than just a link to information, they were a call to action, like automatically starting a mini-transaction or entering the user into a contest.