Smart packaging in food and products with visual QR codes will change the way we interact with consumer goods or Fast Moving Consumer Goods!
Ever since mobile devices specifically smartphones, became an essential part of our lives, QR code usage has multiplied dramatically.
QR codes also now serve as an important part of each self-respecting service, business, product, or company. And eventually, they are now seen in most people’s business and visiting cards.
Originally invented in Japan, visual QR codes are now emerging and expanding all around the world. QR codes also help us keep track of important information.
That includes business details, websites, social media platforms, customer service, pictures, or even coupons or a special discount on which it was printed.
The question is- can QR codes actually help business marketers boost their sales?
What is Smart Packaging?
Basically, smart packaging is our usual product packaging but with added functionality to it. Such functionalities include improvements to extend shelf life, to protect fragile products, or to track sales and actions done with the product.
There are two most common types of smart packaging:
- Active Packaging - it improves the quality of the product itself by directly interacting with it. The most common example is extending shelf life. In beers, a certain oxygen absorber is attached to the bottle cap to extend shelf life for 3 to 6 months.
- Intelligent Packaging - it basically provides additional functions as "communication". It helps manufacturers track the changes the package has undergone. The most common example; A color change of a sticker indicates a sudden change of temperature for frozen products. This might be a sign that the product itself has changed in away.
Under intelligent packaging are also RFIDs, barcodes, QR codes, etc. These are called extended packaging. They provide information to customers which can be helpful upon purchase or usage.
Why QR Codes?
Recent studies have concluded that over 15 million people scanned 15 million QR codes over a course of one month alone. The ratio for most scanned codes was greater for those that add value to the code as discounts, coupons, or extensive information about a certain service or product.
This is a big proof that QR codes are growing in popularity.
Based on personal experience and preference, QR codes are big ease in one's life. I can already get quality content with just a simple whip of my smartphone out of my pocket.
With very simple scans of these codes, I can get a brand's information, make a purchase, get the latest offers and promotions. Overall, QR codes spare me the time to type and search for things I need on the internet.
QR Codes in Smart Packaging
Although the concept of smart packaging is new and developments are still ongoing, QR codes are not that new anymore.
QR codes added to packaging is a big help for consumers to dig into product details and maybe look for new promotion from that same brand. It also helps companies obtain certain demographics on sales. Here are common advantages of QR codes in packaging:
Smart Packaging Increases Sales
Increasing sales by using QR codes is already a common story, but it is an undying one. QR codes is proven to be a good marketing strategy for more money.
A certain example and success story are how Tesco introduced virtual stores and strategically placed QR codes in places with many people such as subway stations. Subway stations are great spots for Tesco because people tend to spend more time there waiting for their ride.
So, they made grocery shopping accessible in these areas. They added product pictures (specifical groceries) and their corresponding QR codes. By scanning the codes, those products are automatically added to the customer's cart and can be checked out anytime.
Customer Trust and Transparency
Some products need to have more detailed information. But you can't expect all of the information to be printed on the packaging. That would be messy right?
Companies now provide QR codes as smart packaging for added information about the product and the company to build customer trust and impose transparency for their brand.
Hershey's, a leading chocolate brand, introduced QR codes in their packaging to give consumers access to active ingredients used and nutritional facts.
Tetra Pack, a packaging company, also introduced dynamic QR codes in India. These QR codes then redirect consumers to content on how the products are processed and manufactured.
Smart Packaging for Consumer Insights
QR codes can be used as well to redirect consumers to customer service and feedback platform. Added to smart packaging, the buyers can quickly scan the QR code to connect to the customer service of a brand and report a problem or give good reviews. This will help producers become connected to their customers away.
Making interactive games, videos, and other related content and embed them to QR codes is a good idea to gain your brand's popularity.
With social media platforms now introducing their own QR codes, brands can make use of these to increase their online presence and make noise in the marketing industry.
Also, promotions and discounts can boost engagement as well. Strategically placing
Marketing your brand using new ways and tools is now a trend. With people spending almost all their time in smartphones, we also have to be smart and use this as our advantage.
Increasing sales and engagement, introducing transparency, building trust, and connection towards your customers are only a few of the endless possibilities of benefits in introducing QR codes to your packaging.
So if you will ask me if smart packaging is a smart move? Think of the benefits I mentioned above and tell me if you don't need those to boost your marketing campaign to a higher level.
Moreover, customized QR codes attract people more often than a regular black in white code. QR codes have become a mainstream tool to market your products, you get 80% more scan when you add a call for action like "scan", "see the video".... under your QR code. In case of further queries or suggestions, feel free to comment down below.