US Leads Growth in Mobile Barcode Usage

Interesting data here so (with permission) I have posted 3GVision’s press release in full.

Global Growth in Mobile Barcode Usage – May/2011

PRESS RELEASE – 3GVision – June 7, 2011

Main highlights of this month’s report:

  • The US maintains top position with undisputable margin over the other countries
  • Australia is experiencing rapid growth – 74.1% compared to April and 195.3% over a 3 months period (compared to February)
  • Monthly worldwide usage in May grew by 18.7% compared to April and by 88.5% over the past 3 months (compared to February )
  • Popularity of barcodes is increasing in Europe with Germany, the UK and Italy leading this trend

Top 10 users of mobile barcodes during May/2011

(1) 1. United States
(2) 2. Germany
(4) 3. United Kingdom
(3) 4. Italy
(5) 5. Canada
(6) 6. Netherlands
(7) 7. France
(8) 8. Hong Kong
(9) 9. Spain
(13) 10. Australia
() – Position in April/2011

Top 5 growing countries for May/2011
1. Australia (74.1% Growth over April/2011)
2. Hong Kong (43.3%)
3. United States (39.0%)
4. France (32.2%)
5. United Kingdom (31.5%)

Global growth in mobile barcode usage Jul/2010 – May/2011

Global growth in mobile barcode usage

(basis: Jul/10 = 100)

Notes on reporting methodology:

These reports are based on the total number of QRcode, Datamatrix and UPC/EAN scans recorded by the i-nigma system during the relevant periods
Because of i-nigma’s prominence in many markets worldwide, we believe that these numbers are likely to be indicative of global mobile barcode activity
The reports do not include activity in Japan, which is known to be well ahead in popularity and usage of mobile barcodes
For better representation of global open market trends, the reports specifically exclude the activity of i-nigma based solutions that are used by our vertical customers
Top 5 growing countries are from the top 20 countries in mobile barcodes usage during May/2011

5 thoughts on “US Leads Growth in Mobile Barcode Usage”

  1. I don’t understand the methodology for the geo breakdowns. These reports always leave out Japan, which they acknowledge, but this is still significant information. China is not included and Hong Kong is listed as a separate country. These numbers aren’t something I am walking into a major brand to present because the first question any marketers is going to ask is “why these geographical exceptions and redistricting?”

    Does the U.S. really lead growth if we put Japan back in the mix? Has Japan flat-lined on growth and what does this mean for less developed markets?

    Any info on this from 3G?

  2. @Jon – As any marketer, we attempt to bring the data into context. Japan is typically left out due to it’s adoption and use. It is beyond the “growth” stage of its cycle and is very much in the mature stage. Some even say it is in decline.

    A similar example would be looking at the number of households with color TV sets in China and then comparing it to today’s data in the U.S. market; which adoption began in late 1950’s and 1960s. Now with that said, comparing historical adoption might actually be useful in this case but to show today’s U.S. data and compare it to China would simply not be informative in any way other than to show China is way behind. Thanks for that insight, right?

    Additionally, China and Hong Kong in most international marketing instances are ALWAYS separated due what was English control over Hong Kong. Hong Kong is also technically more advanced, populated, and wealthier than its surrounding China region. So much so that you would market differently to Hong Kong than the surrounding region (ie selling cell phones vs. smart phones).

    I agree those numbers are important as well. But just as much effort would be required to explain WHY you are including them as to why you are not. As a marketer, if you presented Japan’s data along with “growth in the U.S.”, I would ask you to defend that point as well. It is important for us to always have an intimate understanding of the data we present to clients or one day you will get caught in an awkward presentation.

    My opinion and thoughts anyway… please feel free to argue away 😉
    TJ

  3. @TJ: I certainly understand that Japan is an outlier. However, showing their saturation rate demonstrates growth potential in other markets. So if I can demonstrate Japan has x delta scans per capita over the UK, then the QR code plan can be justified for annual spend. That can be tied to justifiable performance metrics.

    China is certainly a unique demographic entity. While per capita income is below the world average, cities like Chongqing, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou are all substantial districts with (reported) high levels of annual disposable income. China has a larger middle class than the US, in raw numbers, which is why marketers do care about trends in China.

    Maybe include some of this data in footnotes so we can address it intelligently. I am sure you know how marketing researchers can find one questionable number in a data set and then throw out the entire data set as suspect.

    I would also be interesting in your thoughts on the stalling out of codes in Japan. Is there a novelty fade factor? A scan per person ceiling? Demographic shift?

  4. @TJ: Are you also see a shift in % 2D to 1D codes? If so, is this country specific? Many of the campaign managers in the US are suggesting the market is moving to 1D scans. This creates some unique challenges for on pack QR codes. Thanks.

  5. Couple of comments:

    1. We count China separately from HK, and yes, HK is to date a bigger user of i-nigma.

    2. We are seeing significant growth in usage of both 1D as well as 2D codes. If you think of it, no reason why the market would shift from one to the other, since their roles for marketing are so very different. We will consider elaborating on this in future reports. Thanks!

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