OnQ Study Finds QR Code Use Increased 110 Percent Since 2019

OnQ QR Code Case Study resultsOnQ released results of a national survey, the “QR Code Consumer Use Study,” which explores how shopper behavior around QR codes has evolved since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the study, customer use of QR codes has increased dramatically during the pandemic as retailers moved quickly to offer shoppers touch-free interactive experiences in-store.

“Make no mistake, the pandemic was hugely disruptive to the retail industry. But we’re now starting to see that many changes to the in-store shopping experience borne out of necessity during the pandemic’s darkest days are having a lasting, positive effect,” said OnQ CEO Paul Chapuis. “The increased use of QR codes at retail is a great example of a pandemic-driven change that’s here to stay. Brands and retailers are seizing the opportunity to deepen customer engagement now that shoppers are much more comfortable interacting with QR codes.”


  • The study revealed a sharp increase in QR code use on a regular basis. Survey respondents indicated a 110% increase in QR code usage on a daily or weekly basis compared to 2019. This means that frequent QR code use has more than doubled since the onset of the pandemic.
  • The primary reasons customers choose to scan QR codes are to take advantage of a discount or other special offer (65%) and to get additional product information (61%). Other common uses for scanning QR codes include completing a mobile purchase, joining a customer loyalty program and viewing an expanded assortment of products not available in-store.
  • The pandemic dealt a temporary blow to touch interactivity as customers became more reluctant to engage with high-touch surfaces, such as interactive displays. QR codes filled the gap, enabling retailers to offer touch-free interactive experiences customers control with their phones. Even now, shoppers are still 20% more likely to engage with a QR code than a touch-interactive display. This provides further proof that using QR codes at retail is a customer behavior that is here to stay.

This third-party study commissioned by OnQ surveyed customers throughout the U.S. who own a smartphone, are familiar with QR codes and regularly shop at a variety of retail establishments, including mass multi-department retailers, club stores, consumer electronics stores, department stores, malls, drug stores, hardware stores and specialty retailers. Of the more than 400 respondents that completed the survey, 51% identified as female and 49% identified as male. The majority of respondents (35%) were 18-29 years old, while 32% were 45-60, 19% were over 60 and 14% were 30-44 years old.