“QR Code in Mobile Promotion: Three Studies in Japan” is a new paper by S.Okazaki, H.Li and M.Hirose published in the current issue of the Journal of Advertising Research (abstract). The first study was a content analysis of 260 QR codes used in advertising, the second used focus groups to examine the psychological factors involved in scanning a QR Code and the third surveyed 240 general consumers to determine the major factors that facilitate or discourage QR Code adoption.
Keep in mind that these studies were conducted in Japan. The first study revealed that most of the contents encoded in QR Codes are calls for users to register for loyalty programs. These findings were largely corroborated by the focus groups in the second study with the majority of the participants indicating that they used QR Code mobile promotion in combination with some kind of loyalty program registration. The survey in the third study indicated that consumers were more likely to perceive privacy concerns and transaction risk when they access QR Code promotion on the move compared with static situations such as in the home.
The authors suggest that the fact that many respondents do not scan QR Codes in public locations reflects a subtle effect of Japanese culture, which respects personal space highly (i.e., you are not supposed to interrupt other people’s space by your own acts).
Unfortunately I cannot publish the complete paper for copyright reasons but Professor Okazaki is offering to email copies (not for publication) in this LinkedIn group.