Driving Sales and building Brand loyalty with QR Codes on packaging
QR code on food packaging and labels is surfacing everywhere, and it has become a common sight. The market and business these days are facing tight and robust competition every now and then. There is a new brand entering the market with all fresh innovations, ideas, better marketing tactics, and long-term customer loyalty plans. As a matter of fact, this robust competition and awareness of the customers have made it impossible for conventional and rigid business ideas. Those who don’t opt for the latest techniques are extracted from the market in a second. Therefore businesses are making sure they are adapting to the change; an example of this change is the use of QR codes as food packaging part. Today, QR codes are integrated everywhere, including QR codes for food products, tickets, banners, lottery tickets, table tents, flyers, etc.
The food industry or FMCG food industry is also one of the fastest-growing markets, thereby people involved in this business must think beyond regular techniques such as mainstream advertising.
QR Codes for smart packaging revolutionizes consumer interactions with your brand. It reinforces trust and improves brand perception significantly. Businesses should leverage QR Codes on product packaging to cater to their mobile-first audience and foster long-term brand loyalty.
Most Fortune 500 brands such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Amazon have already incorporated QR Codes on their packaging, and indeed witnessed a massive surge in sales, ROI, and achieving KPIs.
With the increase in smartphone usage and integration of QR Code readers in all the latest smartphones, smart packaging is the future in the packaging industry.
What is a packaging QR Code?
A packaging QR Code is one that communicates relevant product details with consumers to help them learn more about the product, its benefits, and its uses. Packaging QR Codes serve as a valuable medium for sharing all kinds of information with consumers at every stage of the consumer buying journey.
How global brands are killing it with QR Codes on packaging
According to research from Smithers Pira, The Future of Active & Intelligent Packaging by 2023, the smart packaging market is forecasted to grow at an annual average rate of 5.9%, reaching $7.56 billion by 2023.
Smart packaging using QR Codes has yielded a number of benefits for several factors.
1. How Hershey’s nailed product transparency using smart QR Codes on packaging
QR Codes for smart packaging serve as the benchmark for fighting counterfeit and ensuring the authenticity of the product.
How to implement product transparency with QR Codes
In Europe and Brazil, SIG observed that consumers were particularly interested in production and expiry dates, as they wanted to learn about the product’s journey and quality. The usage of QR Codes is massive in Asian countries, especially China and Japan.
In the Asian Pacific region, Korea and Japan, including China have implemented QR Codes as a means of using packaging to serve as a medium of translator between the physical and digital worlds. According to Mintel, there was an increase of 83% in the usage of QR Codes in the APAC region between 2014-2018, attributing to the large-scale usage and benefits of QR Codes on smart packaging.
QR Codes on smart packaging and product labels instill trust in consumers letting them know about their product origin, steps involved in its manufacturing, logistics, and ingredients.
Hershey’s unveiled SmartLabel QR Codes on its Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolate to promote ingredient transparency and provide quick access to brand representatives. The inclusion of QR Codes on the product packaging was not just to offer relevant information but also to alert their consumers of any allergens or artificial sweeteners present. All consumers had to do was scan the QR Code and they were redirected to a landing page to read a glossary of ingredients, view nutrition facts or allergens and directly contact the brand with any further queries.
2. Improve customer engagement like Coca-Cola with QR Codes on product packaging
Product packaging that comes with QR Codes is an excellent method to increase and improve customer engagement drastically.
How to boost engagement with QR Codes for products
QR Codes on custom products can help retailers and brands stay connected with their customers during the entire purchase cycle, including post-purchase. With QR Codes being embedded into the product packaging, customers can scan them to –
- Know about the product’s origin, and contents
- Participate in any of the customer retention programs such as loyalty programs and coupons and discounts
- Alerts about product usage such as product expiration dates, recipes, and videos related to the product
- Closest points of purchase in case of repurchasing
Coca-Cola deploys smart QR Codes to strengthen customer engagement.
This QR Code was used to connect consumers with a UEFA tournament, sponsored, in part by Coca-Cola. The dynamic QR Code was used on their products with new content that provided special experiences to customers every time they scanned the QR Codes, thus promoting customer engagement.
3. Data collection and insights with dynamic QR Codes for products
Retailers of product packages are best advised to host dynamic QR Codes because of their versatility and ability to provide the best insights.
Dynamic QR Codes on product packaging can help brands and retailers to analyze the number of customers that have scanned the QR Codes to track and analyze them. Smart packaging that has dynamic QR Codes can help brands to track and monitor purchased goods with their respective apps to convert important business opportunities to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Packaging QR Codes can also be leveraged to identify supply chain inefficiencies, reduce costs and errors, improve product performance thus increasing profit margins. QR Codes for products are crucial to help report product loss and reduce product theft. UPS (United Postal Service) estimated that 1% of their shipments are either lost or damaged.
The integration of QR Codes on a product’s packaging could potentially reduce the overall theft rate and damage rate significantly.
4. How Huhtamaki UK combated food wastage with QR Codes on product packaging
According to the United Nations, roughly one-third (over 1.3 billion metric tons) of all food products for human consumption is lost or wasted annually. This is mainly because of poor practices and the storage and logistics of goods. The giant wastage of food adds up to the significant financial burden for the food industry plus, is a major environmental hazard due to its packaging and food supply practices.
However, the designing and manufacturing of product packaging can help fight food wastage rather strongly. QR Codes on product packaging can serve as a powerful tool to prevent food from going to waste. Encourage customers to scan the QR Code to set up reminders on their smartphones about the product, different ways to use the food, expiration dates, and disposal method in case of expiration.
Huhtamaki UK’s move towards recycling with smart QR Codes
Huhtamaki launched an initiative to increase cups recycling in the UK.
Single wall hot cups and paper vending cups are placed with smart QR Codes on them to redirect the users to a landing page containing the details of the growing numbers of cup recycling sites and schemes across the UK.
Becci Eplett, marketing manager for Huhtamaki UK says, “The cup aesthetic is a vital contributor to the overall drinking experience but we also wanted to do more to help communicate the recycling message.”
The QR Code on the cups really helped them list out all the recycling schemes in the UK in an effort to promote conscious living.
5. Adhering to regulatory standards and compliance with QR Codes for product identification
A number of countries including the US have strict regulations on maintaining and adhering to the food standards in order to be able to serve the consumers authentic products.
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) needs consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs) to be able to recognize the immediate supplier and recipients of a product, owing to the responsibility to the manufacturers to monitor the path of the products.
Track-and-trace via QR Codes or RFID through product packaging can help retailers scan and retrieve data for all the inventory items instantly across the entire value chain.
This method also decreases recalls as well as minimize the impact by pinpointing the exact location of any contamination that has occurred by easily locating the products.
4 ways to build brand loyalty & boost sales and increase customer retention using QR Codes on product packaging
These aforementioned methods are usually how brands leverage QR Codes on their packaging. Apart from these, incorporating the following actions can also impact a brand’s ROI and boost sales –
1. Increase sales with QR Codes for product information:
QR Codes on smart packaging and product labels serve as a terrific arena to increase sales. By placing QR Codes on labels, they can become an integral part of the product. Or, in other words, an upbeat marketing strategy to increase sales and engage customers.
Customers in this era want to know what goes inside their products, and the demand for transparency is more than ever. Thus, the more information a brand provides, the customer will purchase the product with more conviction, and the faster the decision will be made.
For instance, let’s say, add a QR Code on wheatgrass formula to instruct the customer about the product usage, best practices, and directions to use. This information will not only be useful but will also encourage the customer to spread the word and push them to repurchase.
Brands are using the Zapier platform with dynamic QR Codes to automate trigger notifications, such as tracking every time a user scans one of their QR Codes – this helps to determine a Campaigns effectiveness.Once you integrate your account with Zapier, you can set certain triggers upon scanning the QR Code on the product package. Zapier automatically sends out predefined messages to the customer as soon as scanning the product as set by the owner.
By implementing these practices, QR Codes indirectly and directly increase the interaction level between the brand and the customer and seamlessly connects with each other.
2. Loyalty programs using QR Codes on product packaging
65% of a company’s business is initiated from the existing customers. Not just that, by increasing customer retention even by 5% boosts profits by 25%-95%. Straydog strongly believes that QR Codes for smart packaging can help brands and businesses boost sales and retain customers by implementing loyalty programs.
QR Codes for loyalty programs can help identify a customer, their likes, requirements, and pain points thus, increasing sales and generating a positive ROI.
Place QR Codes on food packaging, or any kind of product package to encourage customers to scan them. Link the QR Code to a landing page that is dedicated to loyalty programs such as coupon codes, discounts, or free product trials even.
Let’s say a customer scans a can of soda and the landing page alerts the customer that they have received bonus points, with which they get another can free.
This approach works wonders with customers. 67% of loyal customers spend more than fresh customers.
Plus, it costs 5-25X to invest in a new customer. QR Codes for smart packaging to boost customer retention and increase loyalty serves as a powerful tool. In addition to that, QR Codes can also be used to collect reviews and feedback from the customers to improve their product quality.
Adding QR Codes for feedback forms instead of traditional paper forms save a lot of time, minimizing commotion, and thus amplifying the customer experience. QR Codes for feedback and reviews add a lot of value to the brand perception, helping them to personalize and serve better.
3. Connect customers with social media channels
Whether your aesthetically pleasing products define Instagramable or your social media team is famous for their smart Twitter replies, social media is going to be an unavoidable part of your company’s marketing and brand strategy.
QR Codes allow you to link your customers directly with all of your channels — all it takes is a simple scan for them to snap and share your product.
Connecting your customers directly with your socials has a huge range of benefits.
It does everything from boosting your brand awareness to providing a point of customer care contact.
4. Ensure brand transparency and to establish authenticity
Purchasing behaviour has shown that consumers prefer brands that are transparent about their authenticity, and product claims such as natural, organic, GMO free, fair-trade etc… This builds trust and brand loyalty. Brands are using QR codes that direct consumers to a page on their website informing them of their brand practices and product promises.