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.
Beaconstac: At a Glance
Both Adobe and
Here is a quick overview of the two QR code generators and how they stack up against each other.
|Free and paid plans are available.
|Type of QR codes
|Static and Dynamic
|QR Code Analytics
|Available for QR code style of pattern and color
|Available for QR code style of data pattern, color, brand logo, and frames.
|SOC® 2 Type 2 compliant and GDPR certified
|PNG, JPG, SVG
|(Free) PNG, (Paid) JPG, SVG, PDF, ESP
|Bulk QR Code Creation
|Yes (Paid Version)
At a glance,
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: 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.
- 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.
- Now, click on the ‘Customization’ button to access the drop-down menu. You can customize the
BeaconstacQR code in five ways. First up is ‘Template’.
Note: You can only add the brand logo or change the data pattern with
- Next, you can choose a suitable color for the code pattern and background. If you know their hex codes, the process will be faster.
- After the color, pick the preferred eye style. As shown below, you have six options.
- Finally, decide on a suitable frame and download the QR code in the PNG format.
And you are done. In just five steps, you can generate a QR code using
Adobe’s QR Code Creation Process
Now, let’s check Adobe’s QR code generator. It is fairly quick and only involves five steps.
- Go to Adobe Express QR code generator. This is what the page looks like.
- Enter the URL of the media you want to embed in the QR code.
- Choose your preferred pixel style. Adobe QR code provides styles of three styles: Dots, marker border, and marker center.
- Next up, pick the color of choice. Adobe’s palette consists of five colors
- Finally, choose the file format from PNG, SVG, and JPG before downloading the Adobe QR code.
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.
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,
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
Are the QR codes affordable?
As mentioned earlier, both Adobe and
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,
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.
Do you see the five elements marked in the structure? They are all customizable.
Coming to the two solutions, both Adobe and
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,
- 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,
Are the QR Codes Trackable?
With zero analytics capability, Adobe’s QR code generator takes a hard beating from
Imagine working day and night to create a marketing campaign and not knowing how the viewers are engaging and interacting with the content. With
- 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.
Beaconstac: Which QR Code Generator Should You Choose?
In the second section of the article, I asked a question.
From the quick comparison table,
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
However, if you need a basic QR code for one-time use, then Adobe would work well too.