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The Return of QR Code

Typically, a common sight in Asia - the QR code is now increasingly popping up all over Europe and especially Germany.

Typically, a common sight in Asia – the QR code is now increasingly popping up all over Europe and especially Germany.

In Europe, QR codes made a gradual and silent entry primarily driven by the bike-sharing companies that put them on every bike & e-scooter. Come March 2020 – COVID accelerated the need to make information available easily and digitally and most importantly, in a contactless manner. The notion that menus, forms, flyers, payment terminals, receipts and much more could be easily made digitally available in a clean and contactless manner – directly in the browser via a smartly placed QR code took off like wildfire.

The QR code was originally invented as a more reliable alternative to barcodes for tracking components in automotive supply chains by Masahiro Hara at Denso Wave. Starting in Japan and soon gaining popularity across Asia for use cases including:

  • Payments via WeChat / AliPay
  • Collect money as a gifts in wedding
  • Bike-sharing services
  • Checking the source and authenticity of the products

One of the main drivers of the QR code mania of recent years is its ease of use. In 2017, Apple updated the iOS Camera to read QR codes without requiring a third-party App. Android followed suit quickly and the rest is history. It is predicted that in 2020 alone, 11 million households would use a QR code, just in the US alone.

Source: Scanova

💡 Fun fact: The largest QR code on record was created by Audi, which measures a whopping 159 square meters (that’s 1711 square feet, for the non-metrically inclined). In other words, it is about the size of 10 parking spaces.

Given the ease of use and ubiquity, it’s no wonder that more businesses are using QR codes to interact with their customers. Here are some ideas to use this unique bridge between the physical and digital worlds to delight your customers:

(Click here to learn what refive is doing with QR code to boost in-store customer retention.)


Source: Nick Karvounis

Guest Acquisition:

A cleverly placed QR code on the sidewalk / window of your location can give potential guests an interactive window into your menu, with rich videos of your dishes, reviews and press clippings all thrown in, getting the guests mouth watering right away!

Easy Ordering:

Various tools such as Flipdish & Square make it easy for you to collect orders digitally, guests scan a QR, choose their products in the menu and can even pay directly on their devices and the order is sent straight to your kitchen. Let your waitstaff focus on ensuring the guests are having the best possible experience rather than taking orders!

Payments and Receipts:

Your guests had a great meal, and they want to pay and give you a big, fat tip. They take out their phone and pay with Apple or Google Pay. You give them a piece of the paper receipt in return with a smile. Everything sounds perfect?

Of course not! You’ve already created a great digital experience for your guests and freed up your staff from banal processes to focus looking after your patrons. Switching to refive’sdigital receipts helps you kill two birds with one stone – provide customers with an easy to manage digital receipt (especially the ones who need it for business expenses or taxes!) & convert the last interaction into an opportunity to build a lasting relationship with your customers.
Read on for a few ways we enable this.


Your guests are increasingly visiting you because of your Google, Tripadvisor and other ratings. What are you doing to generate more positive reviews? Asking guests for reviews just doesn’t cut it – most of them forget, and often the unsatisfied ones the only ones who make an effort. Also here – we make the process super easy by prompting the customer for a review directly on the receipt. With just 1 click they are taken straight away to your reviews page and can share how much they enjoyed their meal!


Via refive’s receipt you can easily reward guests for loyalty through the digital loyalty card that integrated right into your smart receipts! Guests who are rewarded for loyalty are 3x more likely to come back!


Source: Korie Cull

Outside Hours Shopping:

There are dozens of people passing by your stores every day – even when you’re store is closed. Make window shopping digital with a few strategically placed QR codes and send customers directly to the displayed products in your online shop – let them buy the stylish jacket you’ve shown off in your window even outside hours!

Product Information:

Easily add a QR code next to your products and link the QR code it to a page with full details of the product: materials used, availability, return policy etc. Customers can get instantaneous information from the products they are interested in, instead of waiting for your next available staff member.

Payments & Receipts:

Your happy customer would like to pay and take their new favourite sweater and that pair of fancy boots home. It is the moment again – they pay with their smartwatch and in return, you give them a paper receipt that will easily get lost / torn / fade.

OR you can setup a QR Code from refive and issue digital receipts from your existing POS right away!

The best part is – you can easily create offers that go onto the receipt – bringing your customer to an online store for a larger collection or giving them an easy incentive to come shopping again soon via a digital discount code on the receipt. The possibilities are endless

The digital receipt can also replace your mystery shoppers – activate the feedback tools and get informed about each customers shopping experience with one click.

Okay, now you know how the humble QR code can help your business grow – so get started right away!

Found this helpful? Follow us over on Instagram, for our Bricks & Bytes series, designed to help offline merchants navigate the digital world with ease. Got a question or idea? Drop us an email or come over and say hello to us onInstagram we read every message. Generate your own QR codeand start experimenting with ideas to implement it in your businesses. Have fun!

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