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How to Use QR Codes to Collect In-Person Survey Responses


QR codes have become ubiquitous tools for accessing information quickly and conveniently. However, beyond their traditional use in marketing and advertising, QR codes offer a powerful method for collecting in-person survey responses. 

Leveraging the prevalence of smartphones, businesses, researchers, and organisations can utilise QR codes to gather valuable feedback directly from their target audience. 

We’ll explore how to effectively utilize QR codes to streamline the process of collecting in-person survey responses.

Understanding QR Codes

Before delving into the specifics of using QR codes for surveys, it’s essential to understand what QR codes are and how they function. QR, or Quick Response, codes are two-dimensional barcodes that encode data, such as text, URLs, or other information. They can be scanned using a smartphone camera equipped with a QR code reader application. 

Once scanned, the encoded data is extracted and can be used to direct users to a website, display text, or perform other actions.

Advantages of Using QR Codes for Surveys

  • Convenience: QR codes provide a seamless and convenient method for respondents to access surveys. With a simple scan using their smartphone, participants can instantly access the survey without the need for manual entry of URLs or other information.
  • Accessibility: Since QR codes can be printed on various mediums, such as posters, flyers, or even business cards, they offer a versatile solution for reaching a diverse audience. This accessibility ensures that respondents can easily engage with the survey, regardless of their location or situation.
  • Real-time Data Collection: By linking QR codes to online survey platforms or databases, organisations can collect responses in real-time. This allows for immediate analysis and action based on the feedback received, enabling more timely decision-making.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Implementing QR codes for surveys can be a cost-effective solution compared to traditional paper-based surveys or manual data entry methods. With minimal printing costs and no requirement for specialised scanning equipment, QR codes offer a budget-friendly approach to data collection.

Steps to Using QR Codes for In-Person Surveys

  1. Designing the Survey

Before creating the QR code, it’s crucial to design the survey itself. Consider the objectives of the survey, the target audience, and the type of questions you want to ask. Keep the survey concise and focused to encourage higher participation rates. Utilise an online survey platform, such as Google Forms or SurveyMonkey, to design and customise the survey according to your requirements.

  1. Generating the QR Code

Once the survey is designed, generate a QR code that links directly to the survey URL. Numerous online QR code generators are available, allowing you to input the survey link and customise the appearance of the QR code if desired. Ensure that the QR code is clear, legible, and large enough to be scanned easily.

  1. Printing and Displaying the QR Code

Print the generated QR code on materials suitable for your target audience and survey location. Consider using posters, flyers, or business cards to distribute the QR code effectively. Place the printed materials in high-traffic areas where they are easily visible and accessible to potential respondents.

  1. Encouraging Participation

To maximise participation, provide clear instructions on how to scan the QR code and access the survey. Include a brief incentive or explanation highlighting the importance of the survey to encourage respondents to participate. Consider offering a reward or incentive for completing the survey, such as a discount or entry into a prize draw, to further motivate participation.

  1. Monitoring and Analysing Responses

Monitor the responses as they are collected in real-time using the online survey platform. Track participation rates and analyse the data to gain insights into respondent demographics, preferences, and opinions. Identify any trends or patterns in the responses that may inform decision-making or future research efforts.

Best Practices for Using QR Codes in Surveys

  1. Test the QR Code: Before printing and distributing the QR code, test it to ensure that it links correctly to the survey. Verify that the survey is mobile-friendly and displays properly on various devices and screen sizes. 
  2. Provide Clear Instructions: Include clear and concise instructions on how to scan the QR code and access the survey. Use visual cues, such as arrows or call-to-action phrases, to direct respondents effectively. 
  3. Optimise for Mobile Devices: Since QR codes are primarily scanned using smartphones, ensure that the survey is optimised for mobile devices. Use a responsive design and avoid complex formatting or large file sizes that may impede loading times. 
  4. Offer Incentives: Consider offering incentives or rewards to encourage participation in the survey. This could include discounts, freebies, or entries into a prize draw, providing an extra incentive for respondents to take part. 
  5. Respect Privacy and Data Security: Ensure that the survey complies with relevant privacy regulations and guidelines. Clearly communicate how respondent data will be used and protected, and obtain consent if necessary.

Case Study: Implementing QR Code Surveys in a Retail Environment

To illustrate the effectiveness of using QR codes for in-person surveys, let’s consider a case study of a retail store seeking feedback from customers about their shopping experience.

Scenario: A clothing retailer wants to gather insights from customers regarding their satisfaction with the store layout, product selection, and customer service.


  • Survey Design: The retailer designs a short online survey using a survey platform, focusing on key aspects of the shopping experience, such as store ambiance, staff helpfulness, and product quality. 
  • QR Code Generation: A QR code linking to the survey is generated using an online QR code generator. The code is customised with the retailer’s branding and prominently displayed in-store on posters and signage. 
  • Distribution and Promotion: Store staff inform customers about the survey and encourage them to participate by scanning the QR code with their smartphones. To incentivize participation, customers are offered a discount on their next purchase upon completion of the survey. 
  • Data Collection and Analysis: Responses are collected in real-time via the online survey platform, allowing the retailer to monitor feedback and analyse trends. Insights gleaned from the survey responses inform strategic decisions regarding store layout, product assortment, and customer service initiatives.


QR codes present a valuable opportunity for collecting in-person survey responses efficiently and effectively. By leveraging the ubiquity of smartphones and the convenience of QR code technology, organisations can gather valuable feedback from their target audience in real-time. 

By following best practices and implementing a well-designed survey strategy, businesses, researchers, and organisations can harness the power of QR codes to gain actionable insights and drive informed decision-making.

Through clear communication, thoughtful incentivization, and strategic placement, QR codes can serve as powerful tools for engaging audiences and soliciting feedback in a variety of settings. Whether in retail environments, event spaces, or educational institutions, the versatility and accessibility of QR codes make them an indispensable asset for modern survey research initiatives.

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