QR Code Statistics from 2022: Up-To-Date Numbers on Global QR Code Usage

QR codes are at the heart of how businesses bridge the digital and physical world - and have thousands of use cases.

In our modern world, QR codes are ubiquitous. First devised in 1994 by Japanese automotive firm Denso Wave, this matrix barcode has become one of the most important technologies driving omnichannel experiences across the world

QR codes are at the heart of how businesses bridge the digital and physical world - and have thousands of use cases from online menus to mobile ordering in bars, theatres and a whole lot more. 

How many people are using QR codes on a daily basis? How much has QR code usage increased in the last few years? Where are QR codes heading in the near future?

In this article, we’ll briefly explore some of the most surprising statistics about QR codes and discover what these numbers can tell us about global QR code usage in 2022.

QR Code Usage isn’t homogenous over all regions

An important finding from the Global Web Index’s research of QR code usage varies depending on which region of the world you’re observing. 

For example, whilst only 10% of people in Europe as a whole regularly use QR codes, this rises to 36.40% of UK consumers that scan QR codes at least once a week - according to MobileIron.

By far the most significant penetration of the technology comes in China, where 50% of consumers scan QR codes several times per week according to a 2019 study by Packaging Insights

The big players in China - WeChat and AliPay - have armed businesses with QR code payment systems to facilitate easy payments across the country. In fact, 15 million small businesses use AliPay’s QR code payments.

What’s driving the QR Code Rise? 

The number of US smartphone users that have scanned a QR code rose by 44.1% between 2019 and 2021. We’ve seen the same rise in QR code usage here in the UK, where 54% of consumers now use QR codes to aid their in-store experience.

What has caused this meteoric rise in QR code usage? This trend can be explained by: 

  • The COVID-19 pandemic pushing the rise of contactless payment methods and digital information.
  • The increased penetration of smartphones in daily life

As the COVID-19 pandemic was in full force, there increased the need for touchless processes - and in came the humble QR code. This handy technology helped businesses win over the trust of hesitant consumers. 

By reducing the need for multiple contact points, the QR code helped the hospitality industry function within COVID-19 guidelines. 

Where are consumers using QR codes? 

  • 37.7% of consumers say they use QR codes in restaurants. QR codes facilitate mobile ordering, digital menus etc. 
  • 37.2% say they use QR codes in retail - including supermarkets, electronics stores and shopping centres. 
  • A further 12% use QR codes in leisure settings - including cinemas, theatres, concerts, bowling alleys etc. A significant application here is QR code ticketing.

The pandemic introduced many of the general public to QR codes, but QR codes are by no means transitory. 59% of consumers believe that QR codes will continue to be a  permanent part of their digital life going forward.

To power this QR code revolution, consumers need to have the tools to scan them. That’s where smartphone penetration is so important. Global access to smartphones has reached 78.5%. Here in the UK, smartphone penetration has reached 93% - according to Statista

Harness the power of QR Codes in Hospitality with MenuLab

Consumers - now more than ever - have accepted QR codes as a permanent fixture of their shopping and leisure experience. That’s why it’s important for businesses in the hospitality industry to embrace this technology with open arms. 

With Menulab, you can create beautiful digital menus and facilitate payments through QR codes. Customers can easily view your menu, order and pay instantly - facilitating an easy, contact-free customer experience. 

It’s not just restaurants that can make use of our technology. Our digital menus are great for in-room dining in hotels as well as at-seat refreshments in theatres and cinemas.

Get started with Menulab today at menulab.com!