Bridge the Online to Offline Gap with Branch’s QR Code API and Web SDK

Johanna Lazar

April 30th, 2021

We’re excited to announce the release of Branch’s QR Code API and QR Code Web SDK method (separate from our existing Web SDK). Aimed to help you bring your offline or desktop web users into the app, you can now programmatically create custom branded QR codes powered by Branch links at scale. 

Before we dive deeper into how these products can enhance your mobile marketing strategy, here’s a quick recap about the important role QR codes play in a strong mobile growth arsenal.

What are QR Codes?

QR codes (short for Quick Response codes) are a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional barcode) first designed in 1994 for the automotive industry in Japan. While they received some wider adoption initially, it wasn’t until Apple and Android camera apps were able to scan them directly when they started becoming mainstream — first in Asian markets, and within western markets as a result of COVID accelerating this trend. 

Why are they important? 

As mentioned above, QR codes have exploded in use as a result of the pandemic, due to their ability to power contactless experiences such as reserving a restaurant, viewing a menu, and in-app ordering. In fact, according to a Branch study, from January 2019 to January 2021 there has been a 496% surge in QR codes as the last attributed touch before a conversion event. 

Because QR codes leverage existing channels like physical store locations, store receipts, flyers, direct mail campaigns, product packaging, print media, desktop website, and even over-the-top channels, you can use them to reach various user segments to convert them into loyal app users. By using QR codes to reach new users and bring your existing user base into the app, you can unlock greater user LTV, in-app revenue, and hit your app growth goals. The cherry on top: because they take advantage of existing channels, implementing QR codes into your app growth strategy is relatively low-lift and costs less than a traditional paid app install campaign (especially with the effects Apple’s iOS 14 changes are having on paid app ad campaigns and measurement). 

How to Use Branch’s QR Code API and Web SDK In Your App Growth Strategy

Whether you are a mobile growth marketer looking to drive app adoption or a mobile product manager aiming for your end users to continue their OTT or desktop experience in the app, use the QR code API and Web SDK to help launch, scale, and measure your QR code campaigns. 

With the QR code API, programmatically create and launch branded QR codes powered by Branch links for your app marketing campaigns. Meanwhile, use the QR Code Web SDK (separate from our existing Web SDK) to easily create and launch QR code campaigns specifically for your desktop website. 

With these features, you can:

  • Create and scale QR code campaigns — create unique QR codes at scale to place on your in-store receipts, print ads and billboards, product packaging, flyers, physical storefront locations, over OTT channels, and website to bring customers into your app.
  • Speed up your workflow — create hundreds or thousands of QR codes in a short amount of time, and without the need for extensive dev resources.
  • Dynamically create customized QR code designs — with just a few lines of code, easily create unique QR code designs for your brand with custom logos and colors.
  • Easily measure the effectiveness of your QR code campaigns — because Branch QR codes are powered by Branch links, you can view the performance of your QR codes right in the Branch dashboard and compare against your other marketing activities.

Here are some examples of our customers using QR codes to inspire your next QR code campaign:

Hungry Jack’s QR Code Desktop campaign to drive desktop web visitors into the app. After being live for only one week, they drove $1000 in app revenue.
Peet’s Coffee QR codes on storefront locations and coffee cups to bring offline users into the app. Demonstrates the app’s value proposition by telling users to use the app to order ahead.
Wine.com QR codes on product packaging. Using QR codes on product packaging or inserts captures the high level of engagement of an existing user with demonstrated brand affinity. including a method to convert them into an app user is a low lift. 

Ready to start bridging the offline to online gap with QR codes? Current enterprise customers can reach out to their customer success manager for access or submit a ticket here. You can also learn more about how to create Branch QR codes in our API docs and Web SDK docs

Branch provides the leading cross-platform linking and attribution platform, offering solutions that unify user experience and measurement across devices and channels. Branch powers mobile links and cross-platform measurement to more than 3 billion monthly users across the globe, and has been selected by over 75,000 apps since 2014 — including Adobe, BuzzFeed, Yelp, and many more. Learn more about Branch or contact sales today.
Subscribe now for a weekly blog digest containing mobile growth tips, industry updates, and product announcements!