how companies use qr codes

In today’s hyper-connected world, QR Codes are everywhere. We see them in gyms, restaurants, museums, events, and more. Small businesses are not the only ones implementing QR Codes, however; the giants are in the forefront of integrating this technology into their business models.

In this article, we’ll explore how the biggest companies use QR Codes, so that you, too, will be inspired.

What are QR Codes?

QR (abbreviation for quick response) Codes are 2-dimensional codes. They were originally developed as a respons1e to the limitations of the UPC barcode. Modern QR Codes can contain over 7,000 alphanumeric characters and symbols, as well as documents, images, audio and video. Aside from being a storage tool, QR Codes also facilitate connecting to any existing webpage and WiFi. Because of this, QR Codes have made it easier to engage and gain insights about their customers.

These square matrix barcodes can be scanned using the native camera of a modern smartphone or using a mobile application designed for the purpose. This integration is a major factor for the rise in popularity of this 1994 invention. After all, you won’t need a separate scanner to read its contents. Moreover, they can be scanned in different directions. This is a huge improvement from the traditional barcode which can be scanned in one direction only.

How the Biggest Companies Use QR Codes

Some of the world’s largest companies were the first to integrate QR Codes into their marketing strategies. They did not simply use QR Codes to drive traffic to their websites or social media or encourage customers to download their mobile app. Here are some of the ways they integrate this technology into their innovations:

QR Code Smart Labels

Smart Labels enable customers to make informed decisions about the products they are buying. Corporations such as Pepsi and Coca-Cola placed a QR Code on their labels that contained the product and ingredient transparency to help customers make smarter decisions.

User Self-Service

Coca-Cola started piloting this innovation in 2019, and was fully implemented shortly after the lockdowns as a contactless way to dispense drinks. By pointing their smartphone camera on the QR Code on their self-service dispensers, customers can choose and dispense the drinks they want without physically touching the machines.

Pepsi did the same, but added a feature that shows the customers’ refill allowance. With this feature, customers knew how much Pepsi they have left to dispense.

Specific Product Details and More

The world’s biggest retailer Walmart did not stop with app integrations and seamless ordering. Instead, they used QR Codes to show product descriptions on specific items, especially furniture. Additionally, they used QR Codes to show the collection an item is part of, making it easier for the customer to see products related to their purchase. Walmart also has QR Codes that facilitate specific tasks, like the wedding registry.

On the other hand, Adidas used QR Codes as a sizing guide and to check the authenticity of the shoes you are purchasing.

Immersive User Experience

Pepsi used QR Codes to launch its augmented reality Super Bowl halftime show. By scanning the QR Code, customers got to see AR versions of their favorite soccer players and brand ambassadors. Customers also got to experience the complementary halftime show.

Games and Prizes

In 2021, customers got to gain points for the $1 million NFL gear raffle. By scanning the QR Code on specially marked cans, customers were able to get points, which they can use to redeem items at

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola also uses QR Codes for its games. For instance, Coca-Cola Philippines is running a contest that uses a QR Code that leads to the contest’s Messenger account. Here, customers can input the alphanumeric code found on the label of the plastic bottle. Customers can get free load for their mobile number, or get a chance to win in the weekly raffle.

Contactless Payments

Shell enables payments in their convenience stores using the app. Inside the app, customers can buy snacks and fuel by tapping the “Pay” button, confirming payment details and authorizing payment, and presenting the generated QR Code to the cashier. Customers who use the app get discounts on their purchases.


QR Codes are an incredible marketing tool for businesses of any size. The fact that most people have accepted the reality of QR Codes have made it easier for businesses to maximize the benefits of this versatile technology in order to reach and engage with their customers. QR Codes also enables companies to gain insights about their customers, allowing them to tailor their advertising campaigns to the profile of their customers.