Accessing URLs in advertisements from mobile phones


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)

From a scanned QR Code or bar code12541.7%
Send a blank email and access the URL in the reply10434.7%
Type in the URL directly10033.3%
Use keyword search (to SQ)9230.7%
Use OCR (text reading) feature217.0%
Never really looked up more information7525%
Don’t use internet on my mobile phone4715.7%

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

Find it easily43.5%
Find it somehow52.2%
Don’t find it4.3%

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

From favourites, bookmarks17558.3%
From start page menu13244.0%
From QR Code, bar code9030.0%
Manually enter URL6020.0%
Do keyword search6020.0%
Send a blank email and access the URL in the reply3411.3%
Use OCR (text reading) feature186.0%
Don’t use internet on my mobile phone4715.7%
Read more on: ,,

Leave a Comment


2 Trackbacks \ Pings »

  1. April 4, 2012 @ 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 […]

  2. April 12, 2012 @ 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 […]