QR Codes Fail With College Students

College students show a lack of interest in QR codes. Could NFC be of interest?

While QR code scanning is on the rise, it may not be because of college students, a seemingly obvious demographic for the technology.

Archival, a youth marketing agency, surveyed over 500 students from various colleges throughout the US, their findings surprised many—despite the fact that 81% of students had smartphones and 80% had seen a QR code before, only 21% had scanned a QR code.

So, why the lack of enthusiasm? Some were confused that an app needed to be downloaded to scan the barcode and thought just their smartphone’s camera could be used. Others got bored with the process and some simply did not want to download the app. According to QR code best practices, QR code campaigns are more successful when instructions on getting an app are included.

Since college campuses drive pop-culture, these findings are concerning for marketers. However, if more smartphones are NFC-enabled off the shelf, perhaps NFC could be the answer that the unenthused college student seeks.

By not having to go into an app, or even download an app, but just holding an NFC-enabled phone to an NFC-embedded sign, I think college students would be more likely to participate. Their phones seem to always be out anyway, its just the extra step of having to get an app that interferes.

Share your thoughts on the lack of enthusiasm among college students in regards to QR codes, and if you think NFC could make a difference, by commenting below, or on our Facebook or twitter pages.