In the marketing universe, QR cards are everywhere. Social media banners, product packages, business cards, brochures, signage, you name it. Any business not using QR code technology to reach and engage customers is missing out. Big Time.

Choosing the right QR code generator is important for those who would like to join the club and use QR codes for commercial use cases. 

And if you’re already on the hunt, you probably would’ve seen two names come up often: Beaconstac and Adobe. 

Both solutions are offered by credible brands and let you generate QR codes free of cost. But which one should you choose? Let us help you decide.

Here is a deep dive into the differences and similarities between the two.

Adobe vs. Beaconstac: At a Glance 

Both Adobe and Beaconstac are two of the best free QR code generators for creating QR Codes for marketing campaigns and many other use cases. But here is the fundamental difference between the two: Beaconstac is an all-in-one QR code solution, while Adobe Express is primarily a creative software. 

Here is a quick overview of the two QR code generators and how they stack up against each other. 

FeaturesAdobe Beaconstac
Pricing FreeFree and paid plans are available.
Type of QR codesStatic Static and Dynamic 
QR Code AnalyticsNoYes
CustomizationAvailable for QR code style of pattern and color Available for QR code style of data pattern, color, brand logo, and frames.
SecurityNoSOC® 2 Type 2 compliant and GDPR certified
File FormatsPNG, JPG, SVG(Free) PNG, (Paid) JPG, SVG, PDF, ESP 
Bulk QR Code Creation NoYes (Paid Version)

At a glance, Beaconstac looks more promising. It comes with superior features, enterprise-grade security, performance tracking, and multi-option customization. It’s the type of solution that’s suitable for both individuals and businesses alike. 

But – is it scalable? 

Before we get into the detailed analysis, let’s see the QR code generation process of the two solutions. This will give you a common ground for the comparison. 

(Note: Adobe doesn’t provide a paid plan for the service. Its QR code generator is available free of cost. Beaconstac, on the other hand, is a dedicated QR code solution provider with a variety of paid plans along with a free version.)

Adobe vs. Beaconstac: Difference in the QR Code Generator Process 

Most free QR code generators offer a similar QR code creation process: Enter a URL, customize the QR code, and download in the preferred format. This is the classic method. 

Beaconstac’s QR Code Generation Process: 

Let’s start with Beaconstac’s QR code generator first. You can use the free version to generate QR codes for URLs, app downloads, and other use cases outlined below. 

beaconstac qr code generator
  1. To begin with, enter the link to the media in the given box. It will generate a standard, box-shaped QR code, as shown in the preview on the right. 
  1. Now, click on the ‘Customization’ button to access the drop-down menu. You can customize the Beaconstac QR code in five ways. First up is ‘Template’. 
Beaconstac qr code template

Note: You can only add the brand logo or change the data pattern with Beaconstac’s paid version. Or sign up for a 14-day free trial. 

  1. Next, you can choose a suitable color for the code pattern and background. If you know their hex codes, the process will be faster. 
custom color for qr code
  1. After the color, pick the preferred eye style. As shown below, you have six options.
beaconstac qr code eye style
  1. Finally, decide on a suitable frame and download the QR code in the PNG format. 
qr code frame

And you are done. In just five steps, you can generate a QR code using Beaconstac

Adobe’s QR Code Creation Process 

Now, let’s check Adobe’s QR code generator. It is fairly quick and only involves five steps.

  1. Go to Adobe Express QR code generator. This is what the page looks like.
adobe qr code generator
  1. Enter the URL of the media you want to embed in the QR code. 
  1. Choose your preferred pixel style. Adobe QR code provides styles of three styles: Dots, marker border, and marker center. 
adobe qr code style
  1. Next up, pick the color of choice. Adobe’s palette consists of five colors 
adobe qr code color
  1. Finally, choose the file format from PNG, SVG, and JPG before downloading the Adobe QR code. 
adobe qr code file format

And there you go. Just five steps for a quick QR code creation. You can create the Adobe QR code even while you are on the go, right from your mobile phone. 

As evident, the two QR code generators have a similar and straightforward creation process. Both pass the ease of creation and usage test. So, how do the two differ, and which one should you settle for? 

What Factors to Consider When Choosing a QR Code Generator? 

At the outset, QR codes seem simple. It’s just a pixelated, 4×4 square, after all. However, there are various factors to consider to avoid safety issues and hassles of generating a QR code again and again. Listed below are three of these. 

  • Security
  • Editability
  • Pricing 

Let’s understand each factor one by one. I will also evaluate the two QR code generators with a specific use case. That is, running a product marketing campaign. 

Are the QR Codes Secure?

Technology has always been a double-edged sword, whether it’s nuclear energy or Artificial Intelligence (AI). The same goes for QR code technology as well. 

Free QR codes, in particular, are susceptible to security threats and often become targets of malware and phishing attacks. They do not provide the same layer of safety as the paid solutions do. 

And the last thing you’d want is a potential customer scanning your QR code and landing on a spammy site, or worse, getting hacked. This is why solutions with the highest grade of safety should be chosen – without a doubt.

Does Adobe fit the description? Unfortunately, no. 

Being a free, online QR code generator, it offers no to negligible safety features. On the other hand, Beaconstac is SOC® 2 Type 2 compliant and GDPR certified. With its paid plan, you also get enterprise-grade security with a custom URL, domain, and SSL. 

Now, that’s how you spell safety. 

Are the QR Codes Editable? 

If you weren’t aware already, let me tell you. There are two types of QR codes you can create for different use cases:

  • Static QR codes: These types of QR codes cannot be edited once created. This means you cannot update the content of the URL in any case.
  • Dynamic QR codes: These types of QR codes can be edited and updated multiple times once created. You can update the content of the embedded URL and track the scans as well.

Which one is the better option? Dynamic QR codes, of course.

If you were running a QR-based product marketing campaign, using a dynamic QR code would make sense. You could engage customers with interactive content, give away special offers or coupons, and keep updating the content to match the customer sentiment. At the same time, you would have the ability to track the campaign performance.

This is exactly what Beaconstac’s QR code generator delivers. Whereas Adobe’s QR code generator only lets you create static QR codes, which are not editable.  Clearly, Beaconstac takes the win here. 

Are the QR codes affordable? 

As mentioned earlier, both Adobe and Beaconstac offer free QR code generation services. There are absolutely zero costs attached to both solutions. Or is there?

You’ve got to look beyond the obvious here.

If you are creating a QR code for business purposes like a marketing campaign, you must see the real cost of using a free QR code solution: 

  • Safety compromise: As I said before, QR codes created using free services are vulnerable to safety attacks.
  • Opportunity cost: Paid QR code solutions can provide you with better avenues for engaging customers, gathering feedback, and capturing relevant data — whether you’re running marketing campaigns or boosting app downloads.

To avoid such safety mishaps and loss of opportunities, Beaconstac’s paid solutions, starting at $15/month, are great options. Adobe, on the other hand, doesn’t provide such advanced features.

These were what you would call the essential features of QR codes. Now, let’s look at the nice-to-have features.

Are the QR Codes Customizable? 

A custom QR code has your unique identity. While a basic one can do the job just fine, a custom QR code helps you stand out.

Now, before we get to customization, how about a quick refresher? (Or fresh knowledge, if you will!) This is the basic structure of a QR code. 

qr code structure

Source

Do you see the five elements marked in the structure? They are all customizable.

Coming to the two solutions, both Adobe and Beaconstac offer a variety of personalization and style options. However, with a difference.

Adobe offers basic customization during the QR code creation process. You can select the eye pattern and color of the code. Plus, all the customizations are available for free. In comparison, Beaconstac provides a wider variety of customizations during the QR code creation process itself. But not all are available in the free version.

  • Free, basic customizations: Two templates, choice of pattern and background color, six kinds of eye styles, and two frame styles.
  • Paid customizations: Brand logo, data pattern, eye color, and frames with CTA text.

Again, even with limited customizations with the free version, Beaconstac is a far better option.

Are the QR Codes Trackable? 

With zero analytics capability, Adobe’s QR code generator takes a hard beating from Beaconstac’s QR code generator.

qr code analytics

Source

Imagine working day and night to create a marketing campaign and not knowing how the viewers are engaging and interacting with the content. With Beaconstac, you can access a user-friendly dashboard and look at a wide range of metrics:

  • Number of scans, duration of engagement with the code, and device used for scanning.
  • Also, scans by IP/GPS location, top performing QR codes, scans by the time of day, and unique scans. 
  • Ability to collect customer data and analyze it using Google Analytics.

This level of campaign performance tracking can be a real game changer. Especially since the loss of third-party cookies. Adobe QR codes are static, so they cannot offer any such capabilities.

Is the QR Code Solution Scalable? 

Finally, you want to consider if the QR code generator is scalable or not. This often boils down to the scannability and durability of the QR codes.

If you are going to use the QR codes for a long time, you want a solution that offers error correction. This means that even if the QR code on print or digital gets damaged, users can still scan and access the content of the code.

Beaconstac’s paid QR code generation solution offers error correction with high-resolution, quality QR codes. This extends to not just single QR code creation but to bulk creation as well.

On the other hand, while Adobe’s QR code generator lets you create QR codes in high resolutions, they don’t have error correction. This affects the scannability and durability of the codes. Thus, it’s not suitable to use for longer durations.

Adobe Vs. Beaconstac: Which QR Code Generator Should You Choose? 

In the second section of the article, I asked a question. 

From the quick comparison table, Beaconstac seemed to have the upper hand. Going by the detailed analysis, my initial assessment remains valid. But what about scalability, as I’d asked? It turns out the answer is yes!

If you are looking for a business solution, a versatile QR code technology you can use for various use cases for a long time, don’t think twice. Go for Beaconstac’s QR code generator. It is easy to use, customize, and scalable. 

However, if you need a basic QR code for one-time use, then Adobe would work well too.

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