Quick response (QR) codes are two-dimensional barcodes that, when scanned with your tablet or smartphone’s camera, give you easy access to whatever online information they’re linked to. While QR codes have been around for quite some time – since 1994, to be exact – their use has skyrocketed in recent years.
Their contactless, touchless nature is especially useful in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Restaurants and retailers alike benefited from QR code’s easy-to-use nature – at the click of a button, anyone who had a smartphone had instant access to their website, menu, promotions, apps, and more.
While QR codes are great for practical matters, they also give brands a unique marketing opportunity as it relates to their retail packaging. Here are some ways you can stand out with QR codes on your packaging.
Custom retail packaging is a powerful marketing tool that, while easy to overlook, can make a great impact on the overall consumer experience.
Let’s explore some ways you can use it on your retail packaging to boost your brand experience.
Brands can use QR codes to unlock a unique, AR-powered shopping experience. These interactive experiences can truly set your brand apart from the rest, and because of today’s technology, you can get as creative as you want.
QR codes combined with augmented reality can transport consumers back to your storefront, where they can tour it and learn more about different products. You can also include QR codes that align with the products a consumer purchased, and link them to a demo that teaches them how to use your products.
You can use AR to add a virtual aspect to your retail packaging that supplements your marketing campaigns. For instance, Bombay Sapphire teamed up with Shazam and Zappar for a brand recognition marketing campaign. They used a QR code on the product’s tag, which upon scanning, caused the “virtual product packaging” to unfold – with flowers sprouting and bees buzzing. Their brand basically bloomed before your eyes from their product. Users could also interact with the AR experience by clicking different recipe options to learn how to create tasty cocktails with their gin.
19 Crimes, a wine company, also implemented AR on their wine bottles. After opening the app, users can hover over the bottle and hear the stories of the prisoners while enjoying their drinks.
You could do something similar with your eCommerce deliveries and in-store purchases – placing a QR code on your shopping bags or shipping boxes and letting AR take your brand experience to the next level.
Use AR to show consumers how your products would look in “real life.” If you’re a jewelry brand, AR can come in handy by giving your consumers easy access to a virtual try-on feature, where they can see how your jewelry would look on them. If you sell furniture or other home goods, use AR to show consumers how your products would look in their own homes – Target, Ikea, and Home Depot are some big retail stakeholders that offer this feature. Makeup retailers, like Sephora for example, offer a virtual makeup try-on with AR. Apparel brands like Gucci and Nike give consumers a chance to virtually try on their shoes before buying.
It’s safe to say that with AR and QR codes combined, you can work some marketing magic.
Let’s be honest – in today’s world, convenience is key. Sending consumers a card with your social handles and website spelled out, while still better than nothing, requires more effort for them to engage with your brand in this way. QR codes are a simple, seamless solution that makes this much more convenient.
With a quick, simple scan, users are instantly taken to your social media pages to follow you. Or, the code can bring up your website for them to leave a review or browse new products. Leave a call to action on the card that aligns with the QR code’s purpose so that consumers know what they are scanning and what action you want them to take once they get to the destination.
QR codes give you a chance to add value to the consumer experience. Give a consumer a discount on their next purchase to keep them coming back. Use QR codes to promote your company’s other initiatives, such as supporting a non-profit organization, pledging to make sustainability a priority, standing in solidarity with a social cause, and more. Surprise consumers with special news like a new product launch, collaboration with a celebrity or influencer, or details on an exclusive contest.
Many consumers today are especially concerned with sustainability and their carbon footprint – and this is a movement that’s gaining momentum. QR codes give you an opportunity to minimize waste. Instead of a lengthy brochure, how-to guide, or product specifications, use a QR code on one flat or folded card that links to this information. Not only will your consumers appreciate the minimized packaging approach but you’ll also be able to use the money that you’d put toward these components for something else.
QR codes can be incorporated into different retail packaging components – for example, on the outside of a bag or box, or on an interior packaging component such as a hang tag or card. You want to make sure that the QR code is incorporated seamlessly into the packaging’s artwork so that it doesn’t detract from the design.
Edge2Edge is an end-to-end packaging service provider, which means we will work with you from concept to creation on your retail packaging so that you can use QR codes to their fullest potential. We’re proud to provide high-quality, custom retail packaging to brands across a wide range of industries – from jewelry to food and grocery to men’s grooming, and beyond.
Get in touch today to see how we can help you achieve your retail packaging goals.