ShopSavvy, BarcodeHero, Stickybits, CheckPoints, Tecca, Microsoft Tag, RedLaser, SnapTell, Shopkick, the recently updated Amazon Mobile - if you're like many smartphone owners, you've used at least one (if not more) of these mobile barcode scanning applications. In fact, you're now part of a growing trend of users who do.
ScanBuy, makers of 2D barcode scanning solutions, recently released a report on its own platform data. Although the report doesn't look at usage beyond the company's own technology, ScanBuy is one of the industry leaders in barcode scanning. Its ScanLife technology platform has been deployed by handset makers in the U.S. Mexico, Chile, Spain, Italy and Denmark and its mobile application is pre-loaded on a number devices from LG, Motorola, Nokia, Pantech, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. Although not always beloved by the barcoding community due to its use of proprietary EZcodes, due to its size, it's a company whose trends are worth watching.
ScanBuy's Findings: Android is Tops Among Barcode Users, Scanning up 700% & More
The report's findings include a number of key data points about the adoption of barcode scanning, such as:
- There were more barcode scans performed in a single month starting in July 2010 than in all of 2009.
- Scanning via the company's barcode system is up 700% from the start of 2010.
- 1D (UPC) and 2D (QR) codes are being scanned equally.
- Linking to a website is the most popular action delivered by a 2D barcode scan, with 85% of scans.
- Health and beauty products were the most popular items among 1D (UPC) scans, with 21%. They were followed by groceries (14.4%), books (12.6%) and kitchen items (9.2%)
- Half of barcode users are ages 35-45 and skew male (as smartphone/early adopter markets often do)
- Android was the most popular smartphone platform, with 45% of barcode users. This is attributable to the pre-loaded barcode scanners on some devices and support from carriers like Verizon.
- Android was followed by Blackberry (27%), iPhone (15%), Symbian (9%), Java (3%) and Windows Mobile (1%).
- The U.S. is the top country doing scanning and California is the top state (among ScanBuy technology users).
- Population size accounts for local scan volume in most places, except for California, Ohio, New Jersey, which are over-indexing.
- Over 45 countries have scanned barcodes.
- Barcode scanning is relevant across age and income groups.
ScanBuy isn't the only company to have released study findings, however. ABI Research also prepared a custom report in April, whose data was shared by AT&T execs with AndroidTapp, a blog dedicated to Android smartphone apps and reviews. According to that research:
- 80% of US consumers surveyed expressed interest in scanning mobile barcodes
- 58% indicated willingness to download a code scanner solutions (22% prefer a preload)
- 63% want a code scanner solution from their carrier
- 69% said they would scan to receive coupons and discounts
It appears that the interest in barcode scanning reported this spring has translated into action as 2010 winds down.
Other data from that same report shows that the Japanese are ahead of the U.S. and many other markets when it comes to barcode scanning. There, 86% of consumers scan four or more times a month, 81% of consumers scan for discounts and coupons, 67% scan to navigate to a website rather than typing the URL, 52% scan ads seeking more information and 39% scan to win prizes.