Types of QR Code formats: What are the different kinds of QR Code formats?
There are 6 different types of QR Code formats:
- QR Code Model 1 and 2: This is the QR Code we see on a daily basis. More than 30+ different types of QR codes can be created for business or personal use. Some of these QR Codes are more suited to a particular QR Code use case, whereas some can help your QR Code marketing endeavors. Some of the most common types of QR Codes include:
- URL QR Code
- PDF QR Code
- Image gallery QR Code
- vCard QR Code
- Google Maps QR Code
Create your first free QR Code now using Uniqode's (formerly Beaconstac)online QR Code generator.
The largest version of Model 1 is 14 (73x73 modules) and can store 1,167 numerals. Model 2’s largest version is 40 (177x177 modules), capable of storing 7089 numerals.
- Micro QR Code: This QR code is usually found on product packaging. It only has one orientation making it easier to print on smaller surfaces. This code is viable even as a 2 module, whereas a QR Code requires at least 4 modules. The largest version of this QR code is M4 (17x17 modules) and can store 35 modules.
- iQR Code: This can be printed as a square or a rectangular QR Code. It can be printed as dot pattern code, inversion code, or a turned-over code. The maximum version is 61 (422x422 modules), which can store about 40,000 numerals.
- SQRC Code: This looks like a regular QR Code, except it is restricted and is used to store confidential information.
- FrameQR: This QR Code type has a frame area wherein you can place letters and images and can be used for promotional activities.
- HCC2D Code: The High Capacity Colored 2-Dimensional (HCC2D) Code is still in the prototyping phase and has been proposed by researchers to preserve QR robustness to distortions. It uses colors to increase data density and to cope with chromatic distortions. HCC2D codes use an additional field called Color Palette Pattern.
How many types of QR Codes are there? 30+ different types of QR Codes
Out of the various types of QR Codes available, it can be quite hard to choose the right QR code for your use case. You can explore the different kinds of QR Codes listed below and take a look at the QR Code examples mentioned along with each type. You can always use a combination of several types of QR Codes to deliver various content types and track them to see which ones work best for your campaign.
You can also integrate QR Codes into your app or website by using a QR Code Generator API to create static, dynamic, or bulk QR Codes - either in black and white or design colorful customized QR Codes.DRIVE TRAFFIC TO WEBSITE
Webpage QR Code
Looking to leverage offline footfalls to drive online traffic? Webpage QR Codes can help you achieve this goal. Generate a QR Code with any website URL. This could be -
- A campaign webpage with a coupon code
- Detailed information about a product, a monument, or a house on sale
- Company website to build trust and capture leads
- An engaging YouTube or Vimeo video, trailer, or product tutorial
- Audio content or podcasts
- Or, a payment webpage
Location QR Code
Google Maps QR Code
Sharing your Google Maps location often makes it easier and more convenient for consumers to walk to your business location. Copy the link of your Google Maps location and paste it into the QR Code generator to create a Google Maps QR code.
You can also use Uniqode's (formerly Beaconstac) landing pages. Uniqode (formerly Beaconstac) landing pages have the ability to search for your business location and embed a Google Maps location.
Visitors can scan the QR Code and access your business webpage with Google Maps navigation.
WAZE QR Code
Waze is the second most popular app in the US. You can create a Waze QR Code the same way as a Google Maps QR Code. Copy the link of the location and paste it into the QR Code generator. If the end-user has the Waze app, the link will open up in the app. Otherwise, the link will open up in the browser.LEARN HOW TO CREATE WAZE QR CODE
vCard QR Code
Input all contact details in a single place with Uniqode (formerly Beaconstac), and create a QR Code for your business card. Use this QR card to share your personal information with your clients, at events, or with potential buyers.
Use a vCard QR Code to share your name/business name, phone number, email address, business location, social media profiles, and more. The advantages of sharing vCard QR Codes vs. classic business cards are -
- Update contact details, anytime - without reprinting business cards
- Help potential customers navigate to your business location easily
- Generate leads by placing these QR Codes on print marketing material
- Avoid physical business cards to enable contactless information sharing
Social media QR Code
Most businesses have multiple social media accounts - Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Linkedin, and Instagram. With a social media QR Code, you can share all your social media profiles using a single QR Code and let your customers choose where they want to get in touch with you.
You can use Social Media QR Codes to promote your channels on -
Facebook QR Code
Create a Facebook QR code for your profile page or allow users to check in seamlessly. QR codes for Facebook can help you connect with users without creating confusion if two businesses have similar names or stores in different locations.
LinkedIn QR Code
Spruce up your professional network with LinkedIn QR Codes. You can generate a QR Code for your profile or page with Uniqode's (formerly Beaconstac) QR Code generator. The LinkedIn QR Code helps you connect with professionals instantly and can be a valuable addition to business cards.
Instagram has its version of QR Codes, also known as Nametags. Instagram Nametags allow you to follow or browse through someone’s profile instantly. This is a time saver given the number of accounts with a similar handle. Instead of Nametags, you can also use a QR Code generated with a profile or page URL.
Pinterest’s boards can also be accessed with a QR Code or Pinterest’s Pincodes. The Pinterest app allows you to scan QR Codes and save pins or follow boards instantly.
Snapchat’s Snapcodes allow users to perform a similar task - follow users or business profiles. QR Codes cannot be used for links within the app but can direct you to a profile.
PDF QR Code
Delivering PDFs as resources is beneficial for many reasons - they have a low overhead cost, the content is flexible, and they can be an excellent guide.
Help consumers make smarter choices by delivering relevant documentation for the same. You can buy a PDF QR Code solution and share different types of content such as case studies, stepwise tutorials, detailed product brochures, magazines, and catalogs.
- Instruction manuals in stores
- Available real estate properties
- About the company
- Generate leads by sharing ebooks and other educational courses
App download QR Code
Create a single QR Code for different app stores - Apple App Store, Google Play, and Windows App Store. Here’s how app download QR Code works -
- Create QR Code with a universal app store link
- A user scans the QR Code using an Android or iPhone smartphone
- App QR Code identifies the OS & redirects to App Store or Google Play, respectively
These scan codes can be used to promote app downloads from in-store footfalls, email lists, website traffic, and other relevant offline and online channels.
Restaurant QR Code
One of the restaurant use cases that stands out is the use of QR Codes as a menu. Making a QR Code menu should not be time consuming and cumbersome. With Uniqode's (formerly Beaconstac) restaurant QR Code type, you can upload a single menu or multiple menus to one QR Code. And update it whenever you want.
Place a QR code menu across the restaurant premises -
- At the table
- By the entrance
- At the order counter
- On the restaurant window display
Landing Page QR Code
Attract more users and retarget them to improve conversion rates via customized landing pages that can be accessed with a QR Code scan. With Uniqode's (formerly Beaconstac) QR Code solution, you can easily drag and drop elements to create beautiful landing pages without any coding knowledge and link it to a QR Code.
Video QR Code
Engage with your consumers with video QR Codes. From how-to videos to interesting tutorials and product advertisements, video QR Codes can help you improve the in-store customer experience. You can link the QR Code to YouTube, IGTV, Vimeo, or any other URL that contains the video.
Place a QR Code where it matters -
- Product packaging
- Business cards
- Real estate signs
- OOH ads
Image Gallery QR Code
Allow users to open up an entire image gallery with a single QR code. Realtors can use this for virtual tours, retailers to show off the new season collection, or car dealerships to showcase all available cars.
Upsell your products by including an Image Gallery QR Code on -
- Mannequins at retail stores
- Smart signs for real estate
- Products for a specific ingredient list
MP3 QR Code
Creators can easily share their audio content either as a downloadable audio file or as an Apple Music, Spotify, etc., link using MP3 QR Codes. This lets creators instantly share their latest work with the audience as people will be directly taken to the audio file without manually searching for it online with just a single click.
Coupon QR Code
Use Coupon QR Codes to allow shoppers to redeem coupons digitally instead of carrying around tons of paper coupons. This cuts down on wait times at checkout and allows for a seamless shopping experience. Coupon QR Codes can also be used to redirect shopper to use the online store with the coupon code already applied.
Use the Coupon QR Code at -
- Retail stores
- Car dealerships
- Restaurants and bars
- Online stores
- OOH ads
- Movie theatres and events
Text QR Code
A simple Text QR code can be used in several different ways. From educational institutes using it to allow students to cross-check their answers to retailers using it to provide additional information about the origin of a product, plain Text QR Code are ubiquitous.
Place plain text QR Codes in -
- Schools and colleges
- Real Estate signs
- Retail stores
Rating and Feedback QR Code
Implement customer-backed inventory or use customer reviews to attract new customers with Rating and Feedback QR codes. Use the QR Code to direct customers to fill out a quick feedback form or voice their opinion on social media platforms.
Place a Rating and Feedback QR Code on -
- Posters and flyers
- Inside the store
- At checkout
Event QR Code
Make it easier for event attendees to add your event to their calendar, offer exclusive details, navigation, and the chance to buy VIP passes, all with a single QR Code. You can use QR Codes at the event to offer exclusive content, deals, or make cashless payments.
Use an event QR Code at -
- Conferences and seminars
- Music festivals
- Movie theatres
- Food festivals
Payment QR Codes
Using this QR Code category, several platforms allow users to send and receive money and make payments.
You can use Payment QR Codes at -
- Restaurants, bars, and cafes
- Small outlets
- Retail stores
- Movie theatres
Paytm QR Code
Paytm allows you to scan QR codes to make payments through the Paytm app. Once the app identifies the QR Code, you can select the amount of money you want to send. The app now has interoperability allowing you to scan any QR code and make the payment through Paytm.
PhonePe QR Code
Just like Paytm’s QR Codes, PhonePe also enables users to make transactions using QR Codes. Scan the QR Code through the PhonePe app and send or receive money or make payments at merchants that support PhonePe.
BHIM UPI QR Code
BHIM UPI also allows users to make payments at verified merchants or send money to anyone with a UPI ID using the BHIM UPI that scans QR codes.
PayPal QR Code
PayPal has also joined ranks with local digital wallets and introduced a new way to make cashless transactions. Every account has a QR Code that can be shared to receive payments, and the app scans PayPal QR Codes to send money.
Google Pay QR Code
Google’s UPI app also allows users to scan QR Codes to send money or make transactions at verified merchants.
Bitcoin QR Code
Even crypto enthusiasts use QR Codes to make payments because of how secure QR Codes are. The private address of the Bitcoin wallet is stored in the QR Code.
Call QR Codes
Use QR Codes to make calls without having to dial the numbers manually. These Call QR Codes can be placed on billboard advertisements, inside stores to help shoppers get in touch with salespersons, or on products to allow customers to instantly get in touch with customer support.
Message QR Codes
Use QR Codes to send messages, drive users to the inbox or open up a desktop version of the mobile messaging platform.
SMS QR Codes
You can use QR codes to send a pre-defined text message. This can be used by retailers, banks, restaurants in place of a flyer asking customers to send a text to a certain number. An SMS QR code can have the sender and the message to be sent pre-defined, creating fewer friction points and higher conversion rates.
Messenger Scan QR Codes
Facebook may be abandoning its Scan Codes to open Messenger, but you can still use QR codes with a m.me link to drive users to your inbox. This is useful for shoppers or users who want to quickly get in touch with a company or have a question that a chatbot can answer.
WhatsApp QR Code
You can pair your WhatsApp on mobile to WhatsApp Web for desktop with a QR Code. This allows for greater flexibility if you use WhatsApp for business and have other applications to switch back and forth from.
A recent update on WhatsApp will allow users to add contacts by scanning a WhatsApp QR Code. Businesses and entrepreneurs can use this as a lead generation strategy.
meCard QR Code
A meCard QR Code is similar to the vCard QR Code and was coined by a Japanese company, NTT Docomo. It is far less popular than vCard but is used by some exclusively. There is not a lot of difference in the information contained in a vCard and meCard.
Wi-Fi QR Code
A Wi-Fi QR code allows you to connect to Wi-Fi without entering the network name or the password. This is incredibly useful when using public Wi-Fis as getting the password becomes somewhat of a hassle. All a user has to do to connect is scan the Wi-Fi QR Code.
On Android 10, users can share their private Wi-Fi networks with a QR Code.LEARN HOW TO SCAN A QR CODE ON ANDROID
Dynamic QR Codes
Most of these QR Codes can be created for a one-off or one-time campaign. However, dynamic QR Codes are the perfect solution to ensure QR Codes can be edited after printing or running a recurring campaign that changes every other day or needs to be fine-tuned.STATIC VS. DYNAMIC: WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
How to choose the best QR Code Generator for your business?
As is the case with different QR Code types and examples, there are plenty of QR Code generators that do one or more functions. Based on your needs and the campaign type, you should decide if you can do with a static QR Code generator or need a Dynamic QR Code generator.
Here are 2 guides that can help you choose a QR Code generator for your business -
- A definitive guide to help you select the best QR Code Generator for your business
- Why it may be beneficial for your business to pick a paid QR Code generator over a free one
Frequently asked questions about QR Code types
A QR Code - Quick Response Code - is a 2-D barcode that can store large amounts of content and can be easily scanned via smartphones. Businesses worldwide use QR Codes to redirect customers to websites, social media pages, app stores, PDF downloads, physical locations, and much more.
Yes. You can make square or round-shaped QR Codes as per your preference. You can get even more creative by using different shapes and colors for eye-balls, eye-frames, patterns, your brand logo, etc.
However, be mindful of the over customization of your QR Code and test the code for its scannability before using it for your marketing campaigns.
There are some manual and complicated ways to determine a QR Code type that require understanding mask patterns, QR Code encoding types, and error correction levels.
The easiest way to determine what content a QR Code type holds is to simply scan the code using your smartphone camera or a QR Code reader and access the link that pops up.
There are more than 30+ types of QR Codes available for your business to leverage and connect the online and offline worlds for your customers. QR Codes are easy to implement, cost-effective, and can significantly improve your ROI.
You can start a 14-day free trial of Uniqode’s (formerly Beaconstac) QR Code generator to evaluate whether QR Codes are suitable for your business.
If your iOS or Android smartphone is operating below iOS 11 or Android 8, you need a QR Code scanner app to scan QR Codes.
Absolutely! Your QR Codes don’t have to be just black and white. In fact, we highly recommend customizing your QR Codes to be more creative to gain a competitive edge and grab users’ attention.
A QR Code uses the following 4 encoding modes -
- Numeric only - This mode can store a maximum of 7,089 characters.
- Alphanumeric - This input mode can store a maximum of 4,296 characters.
- Binary/Byte - This type can store a maximum of 2,953 characters.
- Kanji/Kana - This encoding type can store a maximum of 1,817 characters.
Yes. With Uniqode’s (formerly Beaconstac) QR Code platform, you can provide relevant names for the QR Codes generated. This allows you to easily search for a particular QR Code among others, whenever required.
Looking to get started with QR Codes for your business? Schedule a demo with our experts to discover the positive impact QR Codes can have on your business’s bottom line.