QR codes are images that a smartphone camera can read. They have become quite popular and are visible on almost every product and device. QR codes are black squares set up in a square grid on a white background, which a camera can read and process into human-readable material. Let’s look at QR codes, origins, uses, and applications.

What Are QR Codes

QR code is the short form for quick response. It is a collection of information compressed into small squares that can be read or interpreted using a smartphone’s camera. When scanned, the data can be read by anyone.

A QR code is an encoded piece of information or scannable barcode that holds data. They are mainly used to redirect users to landing pages, surveys, order forms, business locations, websites, etc. The uniqueness of QR codes is their ability to hold a large amount of data and the speed they can be read and interpreted by any smartphone.

How Do QR Codes Work? 

A QR code is similar to barcodes on products at any retail store. They are made up of tiny squares and dots that depict different information pieces. The unique pattern on the code is scanned using appropriate devices.

They work by allowing you to compress the information you want to share into a small or large square, and users can now access the data embedded by simply scanning the QR code.

In the same way, a business can also retrieve feedback from clients they would not have had access to ordinarily. A QR code survey that clients can scan to provide feedback to organizations in real time.

QR codes are used widely across all industries, and the information embedded in QR codes can be scanned and converted into readable information in seconds.

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How Long Have QR Codes Existed?

QR codes evolved from barcodes and have been around for 28 years. The ease and speed with which they could scan barcodes accurately evoked the demand for a quick response code, which could hold more information.

In 1994 a subsidiary of the automobile company Toyota Motor Corporation created QR codes to help them simplify the coupling process in vehicle manufacturing by automating the identification of automobile parts during the assembling process. Unlike barcodes, which are horizontal in design, these codes could hold more data due to their ability to carry information horizontally and vertically.

Even though the QR code was a mid-90s invention, it did not gain traction until the advent of smartphones, although users had to use a third-party app to scan the codes.

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However, in 2017, Apple integrated QR readers as part of their smartphone offerings, and the rave caught on as other manufacturers followed suit.

The COVID-19 pandemic provided businesses with a new way to reach customers in a touchless society. So a variety of companies adopted the use, and it quickly became a tool used to engage, drive action, get feedback, and share information in a very cost-effective manner.

QR codes then began to bridge the gap between offline and online media.

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Applications of QR Codes

QR codes are used broadly across various industries, as it is a smart way of encouraging interaction and user engagement with your organization through their smartphone.  QR codes are one of the easiest ways of providing relevant information to people, as they allow them to extract relevant data seamlessly with their mobile phones.

Like a picture, QR codes can replace a thousand words, and here are some ways in which you can utilize them.

  • Turning offline surveys into online surveys: QR codes can transform offline surveys into online surveys by allowing users to access the survey forms and provide their responses online by simply scanning a QR code.
  • Mobile Payments: QR codes can now facilitate financial transactions, as customers can now scan to make purchases and effect payments online.
  • Share Product Information: Rather type long about the product text on product packages. Printing QR code labels is an innovative way to share product information and scan information can be stored on customers’ phones and accessed easily.
  • Faze out Counterfeit products: Manufacturers can help their customers identify original products and creatively discourage counterfeit products by adopting QR codes. With QR codes, customers can simply scan products to verify their authenticity on the spot.
  • Connect Online and Offline Outlets: With QR codes, you can sync your Omni channels. Clients who visit your physical outlets can be directed to your online channels by having them scan QR codes to get freebies and discounts that can be redeemed on your websites.

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How Formplus Integrates QR Codes

Formplus is a software that facilitates data collection with online forms, thereby eliminating the use of endless paper. With Formplus, you can switch to a paper-free office with functional online forms and offline forms using QR codes. 

Formplus integrates QR codes by presenting the forms as QR codes that mobile devices can scan. These codes can be embedded on websites and added to banners, business cards, or fliers. With Formplus, each online form features a unique QR code that can be downloaded, printed, or shared. 

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Information gathered using any of the templates from  Formplus can be stored in any cloud storage. These forms can be shared with your employees or customers as a QR code. This way, users can access these forms by simply scanning the QR code you shared. If you want to see how it works, check it out here.

How To Make a QR Code for Your Survey

We established the importance and applications of QR codes. Here is how to create a QR code for your survey using Formplus




Step 1: Create a user account to access the Formplus dashboard, where you can create your form or select from the array of templates available.

Step 2: The next step is to decide on the feedback you want to generate from your survey, as it would help you create your survey form. Based on this decision, you can use the drag-and-drop builder to create relevant form fields. 

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Step 3: Once you are satisfied with your form, save your finished survey form. You can share your document as a QR code by clicking on social, and the option to download your form as a QR code pops up. 



Voila, your QR code survey is ready.

Step 4: Scan your QR code to test and launch your survey. You do this to ensure the details encoded in your QR code survey are accurate; you can now start sharing across selected platforms. Here’s what our sample survey QR code looks like;

When to Use a QR Code Survey

You can use a QR code survey to capture data when you don’t access a customer’s email or phone number. In a case like this, the best way to deliver a survey is by using a QR code.

Below are 5 Applications of QR codes in surveys

Product Feedback: QR code surveys can be added to product wrappers or boxes, and customers can scan the codes to access product feedback surveys. Customer experience or satisfaction can be measured using this setup.

Training Feedback: Training sessions and employee onboarding are ideal opportunities to employ QR code surveys. You can include it in the learning materials, and upon completion, users will provide feedback via the QR code survey.

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Digitalizing Offline surveys: The traditional way of conducting surveys can be tiring. Data is collected manually and collated to be transferred into a computer. This transfer process can lead to errors and loss of information.

However, with a QR code survey, the process is automated. Customers or clients can scan the QR code to access the forms, fill in the required data, and upload the information seamlessly online.

Employee Feedback: Organizations need to know how their employees feel to reduce attrition rates and find ways to improve existing processes. QR code surveys can achieve this quickly by placing them across areas in the office employees frequently visit, such as lobbies, cafeterias, etc.

Food orders& Reviews: Adding a QR code survey to Menu cards and food receipts can help restaurant managers collect customer feedback on their preferences. This step would improve the customer experience as this feedback would help identify areas that need improvement and consolidate what works.

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Benefits of QR Codes

QR codes are gaining traction, and their unique selling point is the ease and convenience associated with their use. Some of its benefits include the following;

  1. Cost Saving: QR codes are inexpensive to adopt and use. It eliminates printing a stack load of papers as all the information can be compressed into a square.
  2. Engaging: It fosters engagement with your brand with minimal effort.
  3. Fosters Customer Retention: With the application for QR codes, customer feedback helps to improve customer experience, which encourages brand loyalty and keeps the customers coming back.
  4. Measurable: They can be measured and tracked to provide insight into their effectiveness.
  5. Contact-free: It offers contact-free interactions and promotes self-service, especially in outlets prone to large queues
  6. Smart call to action tool: It offers an intelligent way of including a call to action on all your marketing activities.

QR Code Survey Best Practices

As flexible as QR codes, here are a few tips on best practices to adopt for the effectiveness of this tool.

  • Decide on the purpose of the QR code. For example, is it meant to get feedback, is it meant for engagement or interaction with your brand, etc.?
  • State clearly what the QR code would be, especially as QR codes have various applications. For example, Scan this code with your smartphone camera to fill out a 60-second survey form.
  • Ensure your QR code is located in an easy-to-access area. There is no point placing a QR code high up for all to see but too high for the average height person to scan.
  • Brand and label your QR code, so everyone can tell its source at a glance, especially as QR code scams are becoming more rampant.
  • Include a user-friendly link underneath the QR code to make provision for people who are not conversant with QR codes to have access to your brand.
  • Adopt a net promoter score question, as this makes this easy to figure out customers’ concern areas
  • Short and direct questions always work with surveys. No need for ambiguity
  • Offer incentives in exchange for feedback. It helps a whole lot.
  • Test, test, and test again to ensure the accuracy of your QR codes. It would be embarrassing to state that the code is meant for feedback only to scan and see that it leads to a discount code on a product out of stock. Or worse still, the QR code doesn’t work. Always verify the QR code is working after printing because sometimes printing could lead to distortion, which will affect the delivery.


QR codes have been around since 1994. Call it old technology, however, it has become indispensable in recent times due to its numerous applications, which are relevant to most organizations.

Adopting QR codes is an innovative way to streamline the customer experience and ensure quick access to provide information and retrieve the same in a form and manner that is seamless for both parties. It is a step in the right direction to integrate QR codes into your organization today.

  • Angela Kayode-Sanni
  • on 9 min read


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