What is a QR Code and how to create one?

QR Code

Surely you are wondering not only what is a QR code and how to create one, but also how it can help you in your business and with your clients, and if it is as important as it seems.

For a long time, the usability of the QR Code within marketing strategies was questioned , because they did not consider it relevant, however, currently, you can find them both in public road and television advertisements, restaurant menus, mailings, vaccination cards, billboards, signs and many more.

Ok, let’s start by defining:

What is a QR code?

QR codes or in English Quick Response (quick response code), it could be said that they are the improved version of the barcode.

They are modules in a quadrangular space where information is stored in a dot matrix (composed of small pixels) or in a two-dimensional barcode that are generally black and white, although they can have other colors and shapes.

Haven’t you wondered why QR code reading is so fast? This is due to the 3 squares located, two in each upper corner, and one in the lower left corner. These elements are in charge of making the reading not only fast but also precise, and also indicate the location of the code.

Although QR codes were originally designed for the automotive industry in Japan, due to their large storage capacity, marketers have embraced this methodology.

This was because beyond what a creative or integrated presentation could convey, the QR code provided additional information to consumers.

By opening the scanner of your mobile device and scanning a barcode, you will have access to additional information and other aspects, for example, you can access not only the Wi-Fi connection of a place, suppose you want to promote a podcast in a cafeteria advertisement So, you could create a QR code so that it directs users to your Ivoox page where you store your program, it will only take a few seconds when they scan it. It also serves to offer discounts in stores, promotions, and more.

How was the QR code created?

In the 1990s, Denso Wave created the QR code as an option to the limitations of linear barcodes.

However, its use was given exclusively to the production process of the automotive sector, but, over the years, it began to be used in other industrial sectors such as pharmaceuticals, food, among others.

By then, the QR code was used to control merchandise and to respond to consumer demands in relation to the companies’ production processes.

But, given that it had excellent receptivity and popularity for both industries and users, in 2002, the QR code was released for free use by the public.

The objective of its release was to reach as many people as possible, and it was so much so that, in 2012, the QR code was assumed as a tool for companies of all sizes and even for education, and in areas of advertising/marketing has become very popular and almost essential.

Elements of a QR code

A QR code is made up of 4 elements:

  1. The identifiers: with which each version is differentiated.
  2. The specific data it contains: it is all the information
  3. The format: information related to its configuration is provided and if it is partially covered or damaged it can be decoded.
  4. Positioning, timing and alignment patterns: they are those that indicate the correct direction, that is decoded in 360 degrees and, in addition, determines the width of the data matrix.

How does a QR code work?

In most stores or supermarkets, you have noticed that the products carry a barcode. These codes are composed of stripes of different thicknesses and aligned vertically, which is different for each product.

A QR code works in the same way as bar codes, but they redirect a user to a space on the network, to a web address that you can access.

The way each black and white box is located within a QR code is unique for each application, each page or tool that you use.

How to read or scan a QR code?

To read a QR code or decode it, it is necessary to have a device with a camera that has a scanner for this type of code, which can be a smartphone or tablet, and although many of them already have it integrated into their cameras, there are also applications that you can install for it.

All you have to do is direct your camera lens to the QR code so that it quickly opens or directs you to the information it stores.

QR code types


These encode the information within the QR code, and once it is set, modifications can no longer be made.


These codes are linked to a URL where the information is stored, which allows you to make changes as many times as required, regardless of whether the QR code has been created or printed, because everything can be edited in the URL.

Why use QR code in your business?

6 benefits of using QR codes:

  1. Ability to use for different needs
  2. Automation and agility in processes
  3. It is a free-to-use tool
  4. It is created in simple steps
  5. Practicality for businesses and customers
  6. Direct contact is avoided

What is a QR code used for?

A QR code is used to store all kinds of information, it has the capacity to store more than 7 thousand data in its space and allow it to be read quickly, this simplifies the work of both small and large companies and for users, access to content is easier.

In addition, they are simpler and more elegant to include in an advertisement or banner instead of placing an email address, for example.

QR codes can be used for different objectives, sectors and activities, for example: Connection to the Wi-Fi network, automatic sending of messages to WhatsApp, dissemination of social networks, digital catalogue, web page or discount coupons.

It is also used for the configuration of smart TVs or notebooks, linking of mobile applications, payment of services, contactless payment, logistics and distribution of packages, tickets to cultural or entertainment events.

Redirect to a website

QR codes are a very useful tool if you want to redirect your users to your website or to some specific content you want. For example, with a launch page for a new course on creating a podcast show. They also serve to access a mobile application, your professional profile, etc.

The variety of information that they can link to your QR code is very diverse. In fact, users can access this information as many times as they want without having to download the content, they just have to have an internet connection, that is one of the additional advantages that the use of QR codes brings.

Authentication and security

  1. You can share data about your password on the internet through a QR code and even your email, that is, a user can use it to log in or use your Wi-Fi without having to write your password or identification.
  2. QR codes are very useful and efficient when it comes to providing necessary data to make money transactions or payments, and since there are an unlimited number of combinations for creating codes, you can create one for operations that are processed only once. time, thus eliminating the possibility that that code can be used again.

QR codes work very well with encrypted information and for operations that require a basic level of security. The use of this resource provides security and authentication, since they range from validation of procedures, access to personal accounts, system configurations, identifications and more.

Identification of operations and users

QR codes are also used to store records that confirm processes, for example:

  • Reservation for a seat at a concert, conference.
  • Buying a plane ticket
  • Package reception
  • Movie tickets, among others.

For example, if you have purchased plane tickets, just by scanning your personal code, you can access your seat information, boarding time, airline name and your personal data.

If it is related to the reception of packages, you can know the date of shipment and reception, delivery company, personal data, among others.

Alternative Marketing Experiences

QR codes have the particularity that they are not understandable for most people, since, by themselves, when viewing them, it does not provide any type of information until after you have scanned it.

Therefore, if you include it in one of your ads or social networks to redirect your customer to a discount code, for example, they will really appreciate it and you will see how many customers your business can reach with the use of this tool.

One of the advantages is that to create a QR code you do not need to be a coding specialist or anything like that, currently there are many platforms that help you create endless codes that you can use for your marketing campaigns, with it, you will be able to share your information and simplify the processes for your clients.

How to create a QR Code?

Increase the chances that your customers and/or consumers will scan your code, we will show you how to create a QR code.

What do you need?

  1. A QR code generator
  2. Choose the type of action or option you want to perform with your code
  3. Complete the information and configuration of the tool
  4. Download the generated code
  5. Test QR code functionality
  6. Monitor and analyze how the QR code you have generated for each action has performed.

What is a QR code generator?

A QR code generator is a tool that helps you create two-dimensional codes without the need for technical or programming knowledge.

Currently there are many platforms that make the creation of them available, help you design them so that they are unique for your business and also generate them fully compatible with the most common QR code readers.

How to create a free QR code?

Remember that the company that has the patent made the use of this tool public, therefore, using the QR codes is totally free.

We will explain how to create your QR code in different formats. Once you have chosen which platform or code generator you will use to create your QR code, it will then show you different usage options.

Example of how to create a QR code 

For this case, we will use the myqrcode.com platform (you can use any other).

We enter the website and click on the “Create my QR code” button. A window will automatically open, showing you all the options you can use to create codes, ranging from redirects to websites, sharing catalogs, content, menus and more, then click on the option of your choice.

For this example, we’ll create a QR code that redirects to our home page (markettimes.co.uk), enter the information, and click the “Next” button.

Later you can give it some personalization and design touches so that your code is original and unique. Finally, click the “Finish” button and get your QR code.

To complete the process it is necessary that you enter with your email and password to be registered on the platform.

Options you want to make with your code

QR code for your website

Once you have entered, select the content of your QR code, that is, “website”, for this option you must enter the link, address or URL of your website, for example, www.markettimes.co.uk. It can also be from an online store, product page, or any information you want to share within your website.

Then, click on generate QR code and finally “Download”.

QR Code for a PDF, Flyer, Image

If you want to share discount coupons, product catalogs, some educational information or even documentation stored in the cloud, you can also do it through a QR code.

First, you will need to upload your digital catalogue, PDF file or the document you want to a shared drive in the cloud (Google Drive, OneDrive or any other you have previously worked with). Click share so you can get the link or link and edit the privacy of the document to make it public.

Then, enter the QR code generator that you have previously chosen, select the “website” option, copy the link of your document and finally click on “generate code”. Download the code and define how you are going to share it.

This is one of the most used QR codes and it is because of what happened by the covid-19 pandemic, for food establishments it was an alternative that fell like a glove to be able to display menus and serve customers without risk of contagion.

It’s very similar to the above, all you need to do is upload your business menu in JPG (image) or PDF format to a cloud share, set it to public, and get the link copy.

Then, enter the QR code generator, select the “website” option and copy the link of your document, finally click on “generate QR code” and download it.

You can use the image of the code in different sizes as long as it is legible. It is recommended that it be used in a showy way in your premises, tables or simply to share by other means.

QR code for a WhatsApp contact

It is a massive advertising strategy that you can implement, for example, if you create an advertisement or Flyer to distribute on the street in which you include your QR code so that users can contact you via WhatsApp by scanning it, and for this you must do the following :

Enter the QR code generator and select “WhatsApp Link”, enter your company number (preferably WhatsApp Business) and write a message that helps your customers to write to you more easily and quickly, for example, I saw you ! this announcement and I want to know the requirements and information to enter the Digital Marketing course ! That way you can also estimate the efficiency of that type of strategy.

 Finally, click on “generate code”, download it and copy the link so that you can share it in your online store, digital channels or enable a new option to contact your business.

Test QR code functionality

Once you have completed all the steps and have downloaded your QR code, it is important that you test it to see if it can really be read correctly and without problems, but above all so that you are sure that your customers can reach the information what do you want. Remember to check from different readers, whether you use iOS or Android devices.

It will be enough for you to take an image of the QR code when it is in a physical medium.

Although most devices (smartphones) already have a built-in QR code reader (function from the camera), you can test reading your code with these tools:

Monitor and analyze how the QR code has performed

Just as the rest of the marketing campaigns must be monitored, the use of your QR code must be too. Because? Because with this you will know how much traffic has been generated by each code you created for the different options, if it is for websites, catalogs, contact via WhatsApp, etc., you will know if they have scanned the code in order to redeem the offer (in the case of discount codes) among other aspects.

Then, based on this information, you will be able to improve or modify the codes that have poor performance and include new ones that are similar to those that are giving good results.

Best QR code generators totally Free


It is a free option also for the creation of QR codes, you have up to 500 scans available, creation of up to 3 QR codes and animations from the platform’s gallery.

One of the advantages of this platform is that it allows you to track the performance that your code has generated. Meaning, you can track and manage the performance of your QR Codes.


This generator helps you easily create QR codes for the different needs that your company has related to marketing and communication.

With GOQR.me you can change the destination of your code, regardless of whether it is already printed on some materials, you can make changes without losing the opportunity to share the information you require.

Tiendanube QR code generator

With this generator you not only create your QR code but it also provides you with examples/infographics with tips that you can use to guide you in using it in your business/company.

  1. Choose the usage format for the code
  2. Enter the information to finish the configuration
  3. Download the image and you’re done!

QR Stuff

This generator will guide you in the creation of your QR code without many requirements, in fact, you only need 4 simple steps to obtain your code.

  1. Choose the type of data (if it is a URL, a PDF file, an app, a business card, etc.)
  2. Paste the URL of the content
  3. Choose encoding options and select code style (resolution, size, shape).
  4. Save/print it and even send it by different means for dissemination.


With MEQR you can make unique QR code designs absolutely free. Just like Visualead, you can access input analytics for your content and even create entire blocks of QR codes that are used to redirect a user to a large number of pages on a website.


With simple steps you can create your QR code and enjoy unlimited scans, customization and templates. The QR codes that you can create with this platform are for: telephone, messaging, email, locations, calendars, Wi-Fi, URL, etc.


This platform is quite easy to use and it is free, you can not only create codes for URLs but also for contact details, social media pages and even electronic currencies. It allows you to customize the code with colors, add an image, etc.


With this platform you can create static QR codes for free, for free text, URLs and contact details, but if you want to generate dynamic QR codes, they offer quite accessible plans.

Adobe Express QR Code Generator

It’s free and allows you to create a QR code that quickly and easily takes users to your website, social media accounts, and other online resources.

How to use a QR code in your business?

Good practices

display and location

Place the QR codes in places where they can be viewed without any problem, the idea is that your client or the user has time to scan it easily, for this, use sites or strategic means of communication and where there is a Wi-Fi connection.

For example, if you have a restaurant, you can place the menu code on the table, at the bar, at the entrance of the premises, among others.

Although QR codes appear in some television commercials and billboards, they are not the most suitable places to take the time to scan them.


When consumers or your users scan your QR code, they will probably do so from their mobile devices, therefore, make sure you have a responsive design, that is, to optimize your website so that they can have a good experience.


Not all people are aware of what a QR code is, so it offers a call to action “CTA”, that is, inform them what they should do when they see the code and what content they will have access to if they scan it, that way shows them the benefit(s) they will get if they scan your QR code.

Bad habits

Do not require your users to use a specific QR code scanner

The fact of looking for that scanner, installing it or making use of it to be able to know the benefit that they will obtain, can be a tedious task. It is better to make sure that they can use any reader, thus increasing the chances that more users will access the content you require.

Do not generate a QR code for fashion or to use it just because

Although many marketers think that it is a successful strategy to create links between content, it is not always the best option. Set yourself an objective before creating it, and evaluate its performance once it is launched to see if it is beneficial for your business.

Uses of QR codes for different business sectors

QR codes can be used to solve different areas of business sectors, for example:

QR codes in logistics

  • Monitor inventories
  • Tracking of shipped products
  • Integrate shipments to the customer service area

QR codes in transport

  • Information about plane tickets (for the passenger, route and other information).
  • Easy and quick access to the boarding gate for any means of transport (plane, train and bus).

This allows you to confirm the luggage, itinerary, seat number and others, avoids delays and some omissions, since everything will be contained in the information stored in the QR code.

QR codes in retail sales

  • personally identifiable information
  • record purchases
  • redeem discounts
  • promotions
  • Show new merchandise, etc.

QR codes in business

  • Sharing company documents/information
  • Formalize a presentation (with company and contact data, for example)
  • Know information or the portfolio for a job application (curriculum vitae)

QR codes in entertainment

  • Organization of events (festivals/concerts)
  • input validation
  • Access control
  • Event information
  • Identification for the mobilization, upcoming events, others.

QR codes in commercial operations

  • Make payments in establishments
  • Make transfers between users

Thanks to the use of mobile banking, it is not necessary to enter long codes or passwords, it is only a matter of showing the QR code at the cash register or other collection device and that’s it.

QR codes in banking

  • authenticate a user
  • Carrying out operations and procedures for a single event
  • Cash withdrawal without the use of a card, only with the QR code.

QR codes in the gastronomic sector

  • Customer loyalty
  • Show food variability in digital format
  • Useful for small and large businesses (bars and restaurants)

QR codes in cultural management

  • Information management of museums and cultural venues
  • Create experiences with the works through interaction
  • Reduce costs and eliminate the production of materials that are not necessary.
  • provides modernism


QR codes are a good tool to use in marketing strategies, add practicality and functionality to your brand with them and continue to promote it through this format.

And if you have already created your QR code, share your experience, has it worked for you? From which platform did you create it? Leave us your comment.