Do you find desired information through mobile search? graph of japanese statisticsAnyone who has been in Japan (or has been reading this blog) for any length of time will be aware of how often QR Codes, these square 2D bar codes, appear in magazine advertisements and promotional flyers. However, one aspect that I haven’t seen investigated up until now has been what other methods do people use to access these URLs. To rectify this, I present a translation of a report from on a survey conducted by Cross Marketing Inc into mobile search.


Over the 19th and 20th of December 2007 300 mobile phone users from the Cross Marketing monitor group completed a private online questionnaire. Exactly 50% of the sample was male, and exactly 20% were in their teens, 20% in their twenties, 20% in their thirties, 20% in their forties, and 20% in their fifties.

Note that in Q1 the number sending an empty email seems perhaps rather high. There could be two explanations for this; first, in-train advertisements do not, on the whole, feature QR codes, perhaps for reason of it being embarrassing to take a photo with the accompanying sound; second, sometimes QR codes encode an email address rather than a URL, so in these cases some of the respondents described the final action.

Research results

Q1: When out and about, if an advertisement catches your eye, how do you use your mobile phone to find out more information? (Sample size=300, multiple answer)

  Votes Percentage
From a scanned QR Code or bar code 125 41.7%
Send a blank email and access the URL in the reply 104 34.7%
Type in the URL directly 100 33.3%
Use keyword search (to SQ) 92 30.7%
Use OCR (text reading) feature 21 7.0%
Other 0 0.0%
Never really looked up more information 75 25%
Don’t use internet on my mobile phone 47 15.7%

Q1SQ: When doing this keyword search, do you find the information you are looking for? (Sample size=92)

Find it easily 43.5%
Find it somehow 52.2%
Don’t find it 4.3%

Q2: How do you access internet sites on your mobile phone? (Sample size=300, multiple answer)

  Votes Percentage
From favourites, bookmarks 175 58.3%
From start page menu 132 44.0%
From QR Code, bar code 90 30.0%
Manually enter URL 60 20.0%
Do keyword search 60 20.0%
Send a blank email and access the URL in the reply 34 11.3%
Use OCR (text reading) feature 18 6.0%
Other 0 0.0%
Don’t use internet on my mobile phone 47 15.7%


A Third Of Japanese Will Type In A URL On Mobile: Report — Tech News and Analysis · April 4, 2012 at 22:14

[…] Code and 34.7 percent said they would send a blank e-mail and access the URL in the reply, reports What Japan Thinks. Most interestingly, 33.3 percent responded that they would type in the URL directly to access the […]

Google Introduces Physical World Hyperlinks to the U.S. · April 12, 2012 at 00:10

[…] In fact, if an advertisement catches the interest of someone in Japan while they are out and about, 41.7% say they engage with the ad by scanning the QR code to find out more […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: