A coupon QR code is a digital barcode that stores information about discounts, offers, or coupons. Unlike traditional coupons, these are accessible with a simple scan using a smartphone’s QR code reader.

Upon scanning, the shopper is directed to a website, message, or application providing detailed information about the coupon. For example, its value, terms, and conditions for redemption. This modern method of distributing discounts simplifies the process, making savings more accessible and coupon tracking easier for merchants.

Key Takeaways

  • QR coupon codes are two-dimensional barcodes that store information like texts, URLs, or discounts.
  • They make the coupon redemption process streamlined and paperless, offering convenience to businesses and consumers.
  • Various types of QR code vouchers cater to different promotional strategies, such as BOGO offers, free shipping, or loyalty points.
  • To use a mobile QR coupon, consumers only need to scan the code with their smartphone camera (or a similar mobile device with a camera).
  • QR code deals can be customized in design and encoded with specific deals, making them a powerful marketing tool.
  • Retailers across many industries, from grocery stores to e-commerce platforms, actively use QR discounts to enhance customer engagement and boost sales.

The Basics of a Coupon QR Code


Note: a digital coupon QR code is essentially a two-dimensional barcode that stores information in a machine-readable optical label. The data contained within these codes can be text, a URL, or other data (such as a discount offer or coupon details).

Shoppers can scan this code using a smartphone or a dedicated QR reader to access the stored information – typically, a scannable QR coupon can be redeemed for discounts, freebies, or other promotional offers.

Mobile QR coupons have emerged as a convenient bridge between traditional paper coupons and modern technology, offering a streamlined experience for both businesses and consumers.

QR Functionality

The two-dimensional barcode holding the data is scanned using a smartphone or another mobile device with a camera. Upon scanning, the user is directed to a webpage to view the coupon details, such as the offer, terms, and validity period. 

This functionality allows shoppers to access and redeem discounts and promotions swiftly and effortlessly.

Types of QR Code Vouchers

There are various types of QR codes, each catering to different promotional strategies. For example, from a technical standpoint, QR codes can be:

  • Static QR codes: these contain fixed information. Once created, they cannot be modified.
  • Dynamic QR codes: these are editable, allowing the issuer to change the target URL or data without creating a new code. This is very useful for adjusting the promotion on the fly.

We can further divide the types of QR vouchers by their intended use. You’ll find QR coupon codes for offers such as:

  • Discount QR codes: they provide an instant discount on products or services when scanned, offering either a percentage or a fixed amount off.
  • BOGO QR codes: they promote a “buy one get one” offer, leading customers to a landing page with the offer details upon scanning.
  • Free shipping QR codes: used by online retailers to grant free shipping, applied directly or with a digital coupon at checkout.
  • Gift with purchase QR codes: they entice customers with a free gift upon making a qualifying purchase, with details provided after scanning.
  • Loyalty QR codes: these are linked to a customer’s loyalty account to collect points or rewards. They also enable businesses to track purchases and personalize deals.
  • Event or time-limited QR codes: offer special deals for events or within a limited timeframe, requiring timely scanning to redeem the offer.
  • Product-specific QR codes: tailored to specific products, they provide discounts exclusively for the linked item when scanned.
  • First-purchase QR codes: aimed at attracting new customers by offering a discount on their first purchase through the scanned code.
  • Referral QR codes: they encourage existing customers to refer new customers by providing a QR code that benefits the referrer upon the new customer’s purchase.
  • Interactive campaign QR codes: part of larger marketing campaigns that often involve interactive elements like games, with discounts or coupons as rewards.
  • Location-based QR codes: these are placed strategically to offer deals specific to an area. The deals become available only when the code is scanned on-site.

How to Use a Digital Coupon QR Code


Tip: just point your smartphone camera at the code and scan it. Then, the associated webpage will open automatically. Yep, that’s it.

Advantages of Coupon QR Codes

For Shoppers

Convenience and ease of use are the names of the game. Shoppers can say goodbye to physical clippings and instead access a hub of discounts at their fingertips. A mobile QR coupon not only declutters the shopping experience but also ensures that you never leave a deal behind simply because a paper coupon was forgotten at home.

  • It eliminates the need for customers to manually enter coupon codes at checkout. This saves time and effort.

For Businesses

Businesses find value in QR code coupons as they are cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and offer a wealth of analytics. They provide insights into customer behavior, campaign reach, and redemption rates, which are crucial for tailoring future marketing efforts. These digital codes can also help drive traffic to online stores or physical locations by offering enticing offers.

  • It helps businesses track customer purchases more accurately since all transactions are linked directly to a single code.

How Coupon QR Codes Are Created

Creating QR code deals involves a blend of design and technical integration to offer a seamless experience for users to access the offer. 

Designing a QR Code

Aesthetic elements include colors, shapes, and the potential inclusion of a logo to align with branding. Customizable options allow the creation of distinctive and engaging QR codes that capture the consumer’s attention and encourage interaction.

  • Colors: either aligned with the brand palette or created for visual contrast for better scanning.
  • Shapes: could be traditional or unique outlines for the QR code boundaries.
  • Logo: the business logo is often integrated in the QR code to strengthen brand recognition.

Encoding Deals and Discounts


Note: the encoded data can direct users to a landing page, provide a discount code, or detail the offer terms. These QR codes can be static, where the information doesn’t change once created, or dynamic, allowing editing and tracking.

  • Static: information remains constant; cannot track scans or edits.
  • Dynamic: allows for real-time tracking and updating of the embedded information.

Coupon QR Code FAQs

What Is a Coupon QR Code?

It’s a digital barcode that encodes information such as discounts, special offers, or promotional deals. Customers can scan the code using their smartphone’s camera or a dedicated QR code scanning app. The code typically redirects to a webpage where the customer can redeem the coupon. 

These codes are commonly used in marketing campaigns, both in digital and physical formats, and provide a seamless bridge between online and offline retail experiences.

How Do I Use a QR Code to Get Discounts?

A simple mobile device camera scan lets shoppers instantly access a scannable QR coupon. The steps include:

  • Spotting the code: locate the QR code associated with a deal.
  • Scanning: use your smartphone or tablet camera to scan the code.
  • Accessing deals: the scan redirects you to a digital platform where the mobile QR coupon can be retrieved.

These steps typically lead to immediate coupon details such as expiration date, terms, and instructions on redeeming the offer.

Where Can I Find Coupon QR Codes?

They’re found in various places, including store flyers, email newsletters, the retailer’s website, social media platforms, product packaging, and in-store displays. Keep an eye out for these codes when shopping or browsing online so you don’t miss out on potential savings.

Are QR Code Vouchers Safe to Use?

QR codes provided by reputable retailers are safe to use. However, as with any technology, there is a risk of encountering malicious codes. 

To stay safe: 

  • Only scan QR codes from trusted sources.
  • Avoid scanning codes that appear tampered with. 
  • Use a QR scanner with built-in security features if possible. 

Always check to see if the URL you are directed to is legitimate and belongs to the retailer offering the coupon.

Why Do Businesses Use QR Code Discounts?

QR codes not only attract customers but also gather valuable data and track the effectiveness of promotional campaigns.

  • Targeted distribution: businesses place QR codes strategically to maximize reach and track customer interaction.
  • Increased engagement: offering a QR code enhances customer interaction with marketing content.
  • Data collection: each scan provides data, enabling businesses to analyze customer preferences and the success rate of promotions.

Which Retailers Use QR Coupon Codes?

A multitude of businesses across various industries employ QR codes. Here’s a glance at the diverse sectors using QR code deals:

  • Retail chains and department stores: provide QR codes in their flyers, at the point of sale, or through mobile apps to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business.
  • Food and beverage establishments: use codes on meals and drinks to incentivize both dine-in and takeout orders.
  • E-commerce platforms: incorporate codes in digital advertising, emails, and social media to promote sales or exclusive online discounts.
  • Health and wellness providers: use codes to offer discounts on memberships, medications, or wellness products.
  • Grocery stores: have QR coupons to provide savings on daily essentials and to promote new products.
  • Entertainment and media providers: offer QR codes for discounted tickets, subscription services, or access to exclusive content.
  • Travel and tourism operators: present QR codes for package deals, upgrades, or rewards for frequent travelers.
  • Service industry professionals: provide QR codes to attract new clients with offers or retain regular customers with special deals.
  • Tech and electronics vendors: offer QR codes for discounts on new gadgets, software, or tech accessories, often during product launches or sales.
  • Events and conferences: use QR codes to give promotional rates or special access, enhancing interactivity and digital event engagement.