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ScanLife-QR-Code-Scanner-Gender-Splits-Aug2013ScanLife is out with its latest quarterly Mobile Barcode Trend Report [pdf] in which it reports 4 million new users around the world and 6 million active scanners, impressive figures even as other research suggests that within the US the amount of scanners isn’t keeping up with the growth in smartphone penetration. Nevertheless, ScanLife’s latest study reveals some interesting demographic breakdowns of the barcode scanner.

The research indicates that 64% of scanners in Q2 were male, fairly unchanged from 65% in Q1 of this year and 68% in Q1 2012. That suggests that the strong male skew might be changing, but if so very slowly.

What’s intriguing to see is how the gender splits differ by age, with the male skew almost non-existent among the under 18 crowd, but growing much stronger among older age groups. Specifically:

  • 53% of scanners aged under 18 were men;
  • 60% of scanners aged 18-24 were men;
  • 62% of scanners aged 25-34 were men;
  • 67% of scanners aged 35-44 were men;
  • 66% of scanners aged 45-54 were men; and
  • 71% of scanners aged 55 and older were men.

[Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that 81% of scanners aged 55 and older were men. ScanLife has corrected its report to show the gender split to be 71% male and 29% female for this age group.]

The near-parity in gender split among the youngest age group suggests that over time, the average gender discrepancy will even out. But, it’s important to note that QR code scanners have actually been trending older over time. For example, in Q1 of this year, 57% of barcode scanners were aged 35 and older, up from 41% a year earlier. And while there hasn’t been much of a change from Q1 to Q2, the share of scanners aged 18-24 dropped a percentage point to 13%, while the percentage aged 55 and older increased by a point to 15%.

Other Findings:

  • QR code users scanned more than three times per month on average during Q2, up 22% from Q2 2012.
  • Tablet scanning has increased by 1300% year-over-year.
  • Android accounted for 60% of scans and Apple iOS 37%.
  • The top 5 industries by QR code campaign scanning volume in Q2 were: food and beverage; wireless; retail; print; and toy.
  • The top 5 QR code campaign content types were: video; application download; product information; social media; and latest news.

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