If you are getting scan activity on your QR Codes from inconsistent geographic locations (such as scans from cities/countries where you haven't deployed your QR Codes) as viewed from the Analytics section, then it could be due to the following reasons:
The location information for the scans is fetched from the IP address of the network (cellular/wifi) that the user scanning the QR Code is connected to. Beaconstac uses a third-party service provider for resolving the location information such as city and country from the IP address. The accuracy level of the location determined this way varies by city and country. You can check the accuracy for your country here.
As mentioned above, since we use the IP address of the device scanning the QR Code to determine its location, there is a possibility of getting inconsistencies in location when a user using a cellular network from one country scans a QR Code in some other country. For example, if a mobile device is using a cellular network registered in the United States and the user travels to Canada and scans a QR Code, the IP address that our system will receive is of the United States, even though the actual scanning location is in Canada.
It is possible that the URL associated with your QR Code is crawled by bots. Moreover, users scanning the QR Code with VPN, also turn out as scans from bot agents. These activities add on as QR Code scans and can show up as scans from discreet locations when viewed in the Analytics section. You can analyze the type of users viewing the contents of your QR Codes by assessing the User-Agent column upon exporting the scan details.
Accessing the QR Code from its URL
You may also receive scans on your QR Code if you have embedded the URL associated with the QR Code on any website. In general, any person that opens the URL associated with your QR Code registers as a scan, irrespective of whether the user actually scanned the QR Code or just clicked on the URL.
If you have deployed a QR Code marketing campaign in the USA and a news media agency has taken a clear photograph of the campaign material with the QR Code and published an online article, then it is possible for anyone from around the world to scan the QR Code. This means that if your brand is used to getting significant coverage from the media, then scans can come from around the globe if the QR Code is published online.
What to do to get accurate location analytics?
To track the location of the users scanning your QR Code accurately, we recommend using the GPS analytics feature which can be turned on for your QR Codes. With GPS analytics turned on, the exact GPS location coordinates of the person scanning the QR Code are determined. You can analyze the source of location being fetched by assessing the “Location Source” column in the CSV file obtained upon exporting the analytics data.
Note - The GPS Analytics feature is available only on the Pro, Plus and Enterprise plans.
Here’s how it works:
When you’re customizing your QR Code, scroll down and enable ‘GPS location’ under Advanced location analytics.
After enabling this feature, as you get more QR Code scans, you’ll see the GPS-based location pins in the map when analyzing the scan data.
You’ll also notice the difference between IP-based and GPS-based location pins as shown below:
Read next: How to enable GPS Analytics for QR Codes