QR Code Usage among European Smartphone Owners Doubles Over Past Year

Germans are Most Avid Users of QR Codes, while Spain Ranks as Fastest Growing Market

London, UK, 19 September 2012 – comScore, Inc., a leader in measuring the digital world, today released an overview of mobile commerce and QR code usage across the five leading European markets (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) using data from the comScore MobiLens service. The study showed that European smartphone users scanning QR codes via their devices grew by 96 percent in the past year to 17.4 million users for the three month average period ending July 2012. Nearly 3 in every 4 QR code scans resulted in users receiving product information, making this the most popular type of result across Europe. Germany ranked first for usage of QR codes with 18.6 percent of smartphone users making use of the service, several percentage points higher than its European counterparts.

“Consumer usage of QR codes offers a new and exciting opportunity for marketers to help move consumers further down the purchase funnel,” said Hesham Al-Jehani, European mobile product manager at comScore. “By offering more detailed product information or related content, QR codes bring consumer vital information in their consideration of a particular product or service. With smartphones now in the majority of consumers’ pockets, access to the sort of information they might get on their computer when researching a product online can help retailers improve their conversion in-store.”

Germany Tops QR Code Market, but Spain the Fastest Growing
The number of European smartphone users scanning QR codes increased by 96 percent in the past year to 17.4 million users in July 2012, representing 14.1 percent of the total smartphone audience. Smartphone users in Spain scanning QR codes increased by 9 percentage points to 16.0 percent, making it not only the fastest growing European market but also the second biggest market in terms of penetration. Germany ranked first by penetration of QR codes with 18.6 percent of the smartphone audience making use of the feature.

Smartphone Audience Scanning QR Codes via their Devices
3 Month Average Ending July 2012 vs. July 2011
Total EU5 (DE, ES, FR, IT and UK), Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Smartphone Audience (000) YoY Growth % of Smartphone Audience YoY Percentage Point Increase
EU5 17,390 96% 14.1% +4.0
France 2,843 71% 12.5% +1.9
Germany 5,084 128% 18.6% +6.1
Italy 2,765 75% 11.9% +3.2
Spain 3,381 218% 16.0% +9.0
UK 3,316 43% 11.4% +0.6

3 in 4 QR Code Scans Resulted in Receiving Product Information
Product information was by far the most popular result of a QR code scan, with nearly 3 in 4 scans being directed to this result across all EU5 markets. Over 1 in 4 scans resulted in event information, making it the second most popular result across EU5. 19.4 percent of QR code scanners received coupons or offers, while 13.4 percent received application downloads. 12.1 percent of this audience also received charity/cause information in EU5.

Result of Scanning QR Codes by Percent of Smartphone Scanning Audience
3 Month Average Ending July 2012
Total EU5 (DE, ES, FR, IT and UK), Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Penetration (%) of QR Code Users
EU5 France Germany Italy Spain UK
Product information 71.7% 65.4% 77.9% 69.2% 71.1% 70.1%
Event information 31.8% 32.7% 28.9% 36.4% 36.5% 27.0%
Charity/cause information 12.1% 9.5% 10.0% 18.6% 13.4% 10.8%
Coupon or offer 19.4% 20.3% 19.6% 17.6% 22.2% 17.0%
Application download 13.4% 17.5% 11.4% 14.8% 13.7% 11.2%

July 2012 EU5 Mobile Benchmark Data
The table below shows comScore’s July 2012 mobile benchmark data, including a review of mobile consumption behaviour and device penetration for the five European countries under measurement. These benchmarks are published by comScore to provide the most up-to-date snapshot of the mobile industry. Further information on these benchmarks, and other data included above, can be provided upon request.

Mobile Benchmark Data for the European Market
3 Month Average Ending July 2012
Total EU5 (DE, ES, FR, IT and UK), Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Penetration (%) of Mobile Users
EU5 France Germany Italy Spain UK
Used Smartphone 51.3% 47.9% 44.8% 48.4% 60.3% 58.8%
Sent text message 83.3% 85.9% 78.8% 82.3% 77.3% 91.6%
Used Application (excl. pre-installed) 45.2% 39.6% 40.3% 40.0% 52.3% 56.9%
Used browser 44.6% 42.5% 37.5% 39.7% 49.6% 56.5%
Accessed Social Networking Site or Blog 30.6% 26.4% 24.3% 27.4% 35.8% 41.8%
Played games 30.2% 16.8% 29.5% 33.0% 33.8% 38.6%
Listened to music 29.2% 24.9% 27.5% 27.6% 38.1% 30.6%

About MobiLens
MobiLens data is derived from an intelligent online survey of a nationally representative sample of mobile subscribers age 13 and above. Data on mobile phone usage refers to a respondent’s primary mobile phone and does not include data related to a respondent’s secondary device.

*Source: comScore

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