QR Code usage in Japan

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Do you know about colour QR codes? graph of japanese statisticsA constantly popular destination for Google searches is a survey from two years ago on QR Codes, the rather popular 2D square barcodes that appear all over the place and have been supported by almost every camera-equipped mobile phone for the last few years. To find out how usage patterns are today, let’s look at a recent survey from MyVoice into mobile phone QR Codes.

Demographics

Over the first five days of October 2007 17.091 members of the MyVoice internet community completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 54% of the sample was female, 2% in their teens, 16% in their twenties, 40% in their thirties, 27% in their forties, and 15% in their fifties.

The results here might be worth cross-referencing against last month’s survey, also from MyVoice, on mobile phone cameras.

Most of the QR codes I scan are from print advertisements, usually in the magazine that comes along with our mobile phone bill every month, and are shortcuts to web pages offering free downloads of various stuff. I do find them very convenient, but I’ve never seem a colour QR code bar in one article I read about them. Whether or not my phone can decode them, I do not know, although I suspect the answer is no.

Research results

Q1: Who is your current mobile phone service provider? If you have more than one, choose the one you use the most. (Sample size=17,091)

DoCoMo43.0%
au28.9%
Softbank20.3%
WILLCOM2.3%
Other0.4%
Don’t have a mobile phone (to end of survey)5.2%

Q2: Do you use your mobile phone’s QR code or bar code reader? (Sample size=mobile phone users)

Often use4.9%
Sometimes use42.2%
Have used it before14.6%
Know what QR codes are, but don’t use them27.7%
Just heard the name2.9%
Not even heard of them7.6%
No answer0.1%

This question was rather badly worded as it confuses awareness of QR codes with usage of them; the number of people aware of QR codes but not owning phones with decoding facilities is not determined.

Q3: How do you start your QR code reader? If there is more than one, select the method you use the most. (Sample size=QR code users)

From camera55.2%
From main menu22.9%
From application20.1%
Other1.0%
No answer0.7%

This is another confusing question! The “from application” answer I understand, as some older phones have a separately downloadable program for doing the decoding, and also some games and utilities feature QR code options. However, as far as I am aware, many phones have a second-level menu from where you can select either camera mode or QR scanning mode, rather than having to enter into camera mode, then select a sub-option to scan codes. Having said that, to select from a menu on my phone required four button pushes – “Menu”, right, centre, centre, versus the same four clicks to select from camera – “Camera”, “Func”, 2, 5. Thinking about it, perhaps a lot of people do just change mode from the camera sub-menus?

Q4: From where do you scan QR codes? (Sample size=QR code users, multiple answer)

Magazine columns and advertisements71.3%
Maps14.5%
Food items12.9%
Posters, leaflets in stations12.3%
Business cards4.5%
Other28.7%
No answer0.4%

I can’t say I’ve ever seen QR codes on maps, but perhaps this refers to magazines with a map of selected shops, and each shop has a QR code that links to their web site or to directions? For fresh food items, the QR codes sometimes provide traceability information or a home page for the grower. For packaged foods, the codes often link to promotional campaigns, and recently on Calbee potato crisps (that’s chips to my US readers) there has been codes linking to information about the potatoes used in that particular batch of snacks.

Q5: What do you do with the scanned QR code data? (Sample size=QR code users, multiple answer)

Connect to web site90.0%
Register bookmark13.2%
Send mail10.6%
Display text4.5%
Register in address book4.3%
Playback or save music, display or save graphic3.9%
Pass to application2.4%
Make telephone call2.4%
Copy to mail1.9%
Other3.8%
No answer0.3%

I think the “send mail” option here is lower than in actuality. A lot of QR codes for web sites actually contain email addresses to which you send an empty mail to get an auto-reply with the actual URL, so this way the advertiser can capture your email address

Q5: Do you know about colour QR codes? (Sample size=QR code aware people)

Yes, and often use0.7%
Yes, and sometimes use2.9%
Yes, and have used them before1.6%
Know what they are, but not used them14.0%
Just heard the name9.8%
Not even heard of them66.3%
No answer4.6%
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1 Comment »

  1. sulasio said,
    July 22, 2009 @ 15:33

    in my country i try to introduce abaout QR code, see my blog at http://sulasio.blogspot.com/search/label/QR%20Code and if you want to share your Qr code just submit here : http://sulasio.ning.com thank for all

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