May 17, 2012, 9:44 AM

ScanLife bar code scans increase 160% in Q1 2012

5.2 million consumers worldwide scanned a 1-D or 2-D bar code, Scanbuy finds.

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The number of one-dimensional and two-dimensional bar code scans worldwide via mobile marketing firm Scanbuy’s ScanLife bar code reader jumped 160% in Q1 2012 to 13 million from 5 million in Q1 2011. The overwhelming majority of these scans were of 2-D bar codes, primarily Quick Response (QR) codes, which when read by a smartphone camera through a reader app link a user to mobile web content.

The number of consumers scanning bar codes through ScanLife jumped 206% in Q1 2012 to 5.2 million from 1.7 million in Q1 2011, Scanbuy reports.

“Millions of people are now actively scanning a variety of bar codes using their mobile device, and retailers really need to take advantage of that existing behavior,” says Mike Wehrs, CEO of Scanbuy. “Focus on what is important to your business and use the technology to deliver on that strategy. There is a lot of traffic out there. Deliver more relevant real-time content that is more valuable to your customers and it will help you become more intelligent with how people are connecting to your products.”

Where scans originated during the first quarters of 2011 and 2012 varied significantly. In Q1 2011, 61% of scans originated on an Android smartphone, 20% on an iPhone, 15% on a BlackBerry, 3% on a Symbian and 1% on a Windows Phone, Scanbuy finds. In Q1 2012, 48% of ScanLife scans originated on an Android smartphone, 45% on an iPhone, 4% on a BlackBerry and 3% on a Symbian. The successful introduction of the iPhone 4S between these periods and the continuing erosion in smartphone market share for BlackBerry and Windows Phone may have contributed to the changes in these figures.

In its Q1 2012 study, Scanbuy also found that:

  • 68% of scanners are male and 32% are female.
  • 8% of scanners are under age 18, 16% are 18-24, 35% 25-34, 20% 35-44, 12% 45-54, and 9% 55 or older.
  • The top five industries with companies running QR code campaigns through Scanbuy are, in order, consumer packaged goods, quick serve restaurants, entertainment, retail and wireless.
  • The top five forms of content QR codes link to are, in order, video, app download page, product details page, loyalty program page and social media.
  • The top five countries in which ScanLife was used to scan bar codes are, in order, the U.S., Spain, Canada, Denmark and France.
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