Why Should I Use QR Codes for My Business?

The increasing use of QR codes in business is becoming increasingly apparent, but what exactly are business QR codes, and how can you use them in your day-to-day business operations?

In this guide, we examine how QR codes work, why they were made, and what benefits they can bring in for you. 

Recommended: Use our QR code generator to make your QR codes for free — no registration required.

What Is a QR Code?

A QR code is a type of barcode invented in 1994 by Denso Wave — a Japanese automotive company — as a product of necessity. 

The term “QR” is short for “quick response” (though the name of the barcode is simply “QR code”). This is because the primary purpose of the invention of business QR codes was to create barcodes that could scan and transmit information extremely fast (e.g., within a few seconds). 

QR codes were initially used for product tracking and inventory management when they were released, but their use now goes way beyond logistical operations. From product packaging to billboards and social media, there are few areas where QR codes are not utilized in a business setting.

How Do QR Codes Work?

Business QR codes, when scanned, direct users towards a specific source of information. This could be virtually anything, including:

  • Website URLs
  • Virtual business cards
  • PDF documents

This works in two different ways, depending on if you use static or dynamic QR codes.

Static QR codes are an encoded version of a URL link or a file document, meaning that — when scanned — the information that is required to redirect users can be found within the actual QR code. 

On the other hand, dynamic QR codes store information online through the use of a dynamic QR code generator. When users scan a dynamic QR code, they are actually scanning a short URL link that takes them to where the information is stored.

As a result, dynamic QR codes remain editable after they have been created and even after they have been printed. 

Dynamic QR codes have the technology to support more premium features (e.g., scan tracking, expiry dates, etc.), but this comes at a cost. They are generally quite expensive, and this makes them a not ideal option for small businesses since they can find static alternatives completely for free.

How QR Codes Can Help Small Businesses

Business QR codes help small businesses in several ways. 

As a business owner, you can use QR codes to redirect your online traffic to your money-making websites. This can be done by including a URL QR code that directs users to a specific online store or website where online purchases can be easily made. 

At the same time, you can use your most popular online platforms as a way of increasing the popularity of your other platforms (e.g., including a social media QR code on your website to boost your social media influence). 

QR codes can also be used to blend your online and offline advertising platforms. For example, you can incorporate QR codes within your printed advertising (e.g., billboards, flyers, brochures, etc.), which direct users to your online platforms (e.g., social media profiles, business websites, etc.). 

This can be great for increasing your total sales, as it ensures that the users that are interested in your products or services can instantly be taken to your online platforms where they can make purchases. 

All in all, QR codes provide the following advantages for businesses when used correctly:

  • Increased sales revenue
  • Increased brand recognition 
  • Increased advertising revenue from social media 
  • Better return on investment (ROI) for marketing campaigns

Top 5 Industries That Use QR Codes

The top five industries that use business QR codes include:

  • Real Estate
  • Hospitality
  • Ecommerce
  • Marketing and Advertising 
  • Photography 

Real Estate

QR codes are a pivotal part of the real estate industry. Property owners and real estate agents can incorporate QR codes in offline marketing platforms (e.g., billboards, flyers, etc.) to direct users towards a specific listing. 

While at that listing, additional QR codes can be included to allow users to grasp a more in-depth overview of the property, including:


The hospitality industry (e.g., Airbnbs, hotels, restaurants, etc.) uses QR codes in several different ways. For example, they can allow visitors to:

  • Connect to WiFi: Using a WiFi QR code is both a more secure and a more convenient option than providing a password to each visitor.
  • Obtain digital guidebooks: Using a PDF QR code for a guidebook can be a great alternative to their printed counterparts as they cannot really be lost. They are also less heavy and thus more convenient to carry around.
  • Use digital menus: Since most restaurants and hotels include seasonal options and menus, PDF QR codes can be used to make these changes digitally — rather than having to replace them every few months. 
  • Offer feedback: Offering contact QR codes (e.g., phone number QR codes, email QR codes, etc.) can improve user satisfaction significantly, as it can allow Airbnb or hotel hosts to solve problems much more quickly. 


QR codes can allow ecommerce businesses to control their online traffic. This can be done by using the following types of QR codes:

  • URL QR codes: 
  • Social media QR codes
  • YouTube QR codes

QR codes can also allow ecommerce businesses to build their brand image by increasing communications between themselves and their customers through contact QR codes. In the long term, this can go a long way in building your brand loyalty. 

PDF or image QR codes can also be included for product packaging. When users receive a product, they can scan a QR code that can lead to further instructions or further product promotion.

Marketing and Advertising

As a marketing agency, you can use QR codes to supplement your other digital and printed advertising methods.This can be primarily done in two ways: 

  • Controlling your online traffic
  • Directing offline traffic towards your online platforms 

Using QR codes can expand your marketing reach significantly, which, in turn, can increase your total sales and revenue. 


Photography businesses can use several types of QR codes for advertising their services. These include:

  • Image QR codes: These are usually included in printed advertising platforms in order to direct users to a gallery of images in a more affordable manner
  • URL QR codes: A URL QR code can be used to take users towards a photography business’s online website. This can be included in both online and offline advertising.
  • Social media QR codes: Similar to most businesses, including social media QR codes can be a convenient way of increasing your online following, which can then translate into more advertising revenue and sponsorship deals. For more information, see our guide on social media marketing

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my business should use QR codes?

You should always incorporate QR codes into your business for several reasons, including:

  • They are completely for free
  • They can be used with extreme flexibility.
  • They go a long way in improving your users’ experiences
  • They can enable you to increase both your sales and advertising revenue

For more information, see our guide on how to get a QR code.

How much money do QR codes cost?

This will depend on what type of QR code you want to create, as well as on what QR code generator you use. 

Generally speaking, static QR codes can be made free of charge. On the other hand, most dynamic QR code providers require users to subscribe to their paid monthly packages.

If you are a small business, you might consider using static QR codes to start, as the “extra” benefits of dynamic QR codes may not be worth the cost.

Are static QR codes worth it?

Yes. Static QR codes can provide everything you need as a small business. Even though they do not have the technology to support several of the “extra” features that dynamic QR codes have, these will seldom be important for a starting business. 

When it comes to marketing your business online, QR codes are a must, particularly when customized so that they align with your branding (e.g., custom colors, logo, etc.).