How to track QR code analytics

QR codes are an efficient and effective way to leverage technology and design to drive traffic to your brand’s website. Just like with social media or website analytics, QR code analytics allow companies to learn more about their audience, assess the efficiency of their marketing campaigns, and improve their approach.

At Hovercode, we offer end-to-end solutions for QR code creation and analysis through our QR code management software so that companies can maximize the efficiency of their QR campaigns. Too many business owners are unaware of the benefits that QR code analytics can bring, so in this article we will discuss everything you need to know about it.

What are QR codes?

Before we get too deep into data analytics, let’s quickly review what QR codes are. Similar to a barcode that you may find on any item in a store, QR codes are machine-readable labels that contain information in their visual composition. But unlike barcodes, QR codes are two-dimensional and can be scanned and read on personal mobile devices through the camera app.

Often, brands will add QR codes to their merchandise, receipts, bags, or posters so that customers can scan the code and easily access digital features like the company website. You can set a QR code to direct users to any online destination, whether it’s the website, social media account, or YouTube channel — basically, anything with a URL.

Why do analytics matter?

When it comes to the analytics side of QR codes, often business owners and campaign managers forget to assess this data. But realistically, running a campaign without the analytics is almost pointless since you will not be able to gain any insights to tell you if your customers are even scanning the code. By making the most of your QR code analytics, you can:

  • Gain valuable data about user behavior to understand your audience and their interests.
  • Inform your digital strategy decisions moving forward by learning what works and what doesn’t.
  • Improve your results by targeting your approach to the needs of your audience.
  • Tweak your campaigns as you go by modifying the QR code and its features.
  • Ensure that your data insights are secure and non-invasive. Data is only collected at the point of scanning and when users interact with the QR code content.

The two types of QR codes

When it comes to tracking, it is essential to understand the difference between a static and a dynamic QR code, for making the wrong one will prevent your company from obtaining any insights.

  • Dynamic QR codes: This type is a trackable code where businesses can see data analytics on the backend. These codes are flexible because they actually direct the content through an intermediary URL rather than hard-coding it to the scan. This means that dynamic QR codes are editable, and companies can change the destination of a code as they go (even after printing)
  • Static QR codes: These codes are not trackable or changeable since they directly embed the URL. Instead, this type is usually set up as plain text, email, or SMS code. They are more suitable for single-use, like a one-off event where metrics won’t matter. You can't edit static QR code destinations after scanning, but you can track how many people visit the destination URL in the normal way you track web page analytics (e.g. Google Analytics).

At Hovercode, our QR code generator creates dynamic QR codes that allow for personalization, tracking, and alterations.

How to track QR code analytics

Using Hovercode, you only need to complete five steps to see detailed insights about your QR campaign.

1 - Add your brand’s QR code details

First, set up the style of your QR code by choosing between a square or circle, changing the colors, and adding a link and icon.

Square and circle QR codes

2 - Insert a logo (optional)

We offer detailed customization, including the addition of a logo to give your company an enhanced branding opportunity and to give users a preview of what they will see when they follow the code.

You can easily communicate the QR code location by showing a symbol in the middle that indicates the code leads to the shop, contact page, or video archive of your business website.

QR code with logo

3 - Download your branded QR code assets

Once you have designed the code, simply download it and add it to whatever merchandise you choose.

4 - Edit the scan destination

If you choose to adjust the destination of your QR code throughout the duration of your campaign, you can easily update the URL with our dynamic scan destinations.

QR code edit destination illustration

5 - Begin tracking your analytics

Start obtaining insights about your QR code marketing campaign to see how often your code is scanned and which campaigns bring the most visitors to your website. With our tracking tool, you can learn from your audience and improve your campaigns moving forward.

QR code bar chart

QR code metrics to analyze

Here are a handful of the types of metrics you will want to track:

  • Total scans: This metric represents the number of times the QR code was scanned, including repeats by the same user or device. For example, if a user scans the code on the side of their coffee cup multiple times, each of these scans will be counted separately, even though the same individual performed them.
  • Unique scans: This metric measures how many users have scanned the code, eliminating repeats. So, in the previous example, if the same individual repeatedly scanned their receipt or the code on every person in their family’s cup, they would be counted as just one scan since it is all coming from a single device.
  • Location data: By reflecting on your QR code analytics, you can gain insight into the rough geographical locations of the people scanning your codes. This insight is most useful for global brands and companies running large-scale campaigns. For local businesses, the location data can be useful when doing things like running leaflet campaigns. Maybe your campaigns in some areas are much more successful than others? That's useful to know.
  • Time of day: The scan will log a time stamp so you can get an understanding of when your audience and users are most active. This can inform sales and strategies you may implement in the future if, for example, you know that all of your shoppers are looking for your service around midday.
  • Device type: QR analytics can tell you which kind of device and operating system each user had. This can be beneficial depending on the type of business you run, for you may be able to offer curated experiences and tools that suit your audiences. This can also be useful when creating non-QR related marketing campaigns. If you learn that most people who scan your leaflets and buy your products use Android phones, you can use this information to better target Facebook and Google ads.

What can you understand from the analytics?

Ultimately, there are two main insights: you can learn more about your audience and you can learn about how your offers resonate with them. With data about locations, times, and number of scans, you're learning about more about how to successfully get potential customers to take action. When you see where they land on your website and what actions they take from that point, you can learn about what's most likely to be interesting to them from that point on.

If you apply an A/B testing strategy to your QR code campaign, you can test out different styles of content, landing page destinations, calls to action, and more. You can use two different versions of a QR code to reach new audiences and see which version of the experience your visitors and users prefer. This additional experimenting, combined with your analytics dashboard, can provide priceless insights.

Start tracking efficiently

QR codes are a simple and profitable solution to gain valuable market data about your customer base. The under-utilized opportunity to maximize the data at your fingertips shows why many companies are tracking QR codes in Google Analytics or turning to our services at Hovercode. Start putting together dynamic QR codes for your marketing campaigns to improve and continuously rework your marketing strategy.

Generate your custom QR code

Create your editable & trackable QR code with Hovercode (for free!)