If you’re like most business owners, you want to ensure your products stand out on store shelves. One way to do that is to ensure your commercial labels are anything but boring. Although there are lots of different types of labels for food products, cosmetics, and other consumer items that can grab a consumer’s attention, QR codes make for an innovative and intriguing addition to any type of labeling or packaging. You’ve probably seen them on products and promotions yourself. But what are the perks of including QR codes on your product labels — and are they still effective? We’ll answer some of the most common questions pertaining to QR codes and labeling in today’s post.

What Are QR Codes?

First, let’s talk about QR codes and their purpose. Quick response codes look like black and white boxes filled with pixels and squares. They’re used mainly to boost a brand’s marketing, connect with consumers, and provide additional information. Because they can be easily scanned using smartphone apps, they provide a lightning-fast way for customers to learn more about a product or a business.

Why Use QR Codes on Labels?

Approximately 55% of survey respondents say that they often use labels for food products to get a general idea of that item’s nutritional content. But there’s only so much real estate available on an average product’s packaging. A QR code can store more information in a smaller space than a traditional barcode will, which makes it a good option for items that have limited room to spare. And since the majority of customers will go shopping with their smart phone on their person, QR codes can also be a great way to engage your audience and encourage them to find out more information. When done correctly, the information provided by the QR code will have a positive influence on a customer’s decision to purchase your product. And while a QR code may seem like a nominal addition to your labeling, it can be the very thing that differentiates your company from your competition.

How Can QR Codes Be Used in Label Design?

QR codes are typically featured towards the bottom or the back of product packaging, though there’s no set rule that it can’t be in a more prominent place (as long as it does not obscure any information necessitated by the FDA or other government agencies). When QR codes are used on labels for food products, personal care items, medications, and other items, they can offer all kinds of value to a customer. You can have your QR code direct to a page outlining company information, your social media channels, information about upcoming events, a how-to blog post or instructional video, and much more. You can even offer coupons via a QR code, which provides more incentive for a customer to become loyal to your brand. Even though it’s a relatively subtle addition to your label, it provides a wealth of options for customer engagement.

Should Your Business Use QR Codes in Product Labeling?

Since QR codes have been around for a while now, it’s understandable that business owners might be wondering whether they’re still worth including. There are also some people who feel that requiring customers to scan a QR code to learn necessary product information may be discriminatory against those who do not own a smartphone or who aren’t as tech-savvy.

While the majority of American adults do own a smartphone now, it’s important to note that a QR code won’t necessarily be a cure all for low engagement. That said, a significant portion of consumers have embraced this labeling element. A 2014 report found that 34% of consumers had scanned a QR code while shopping, with QR scans increasing by 7.5% on average between 2014 and 2015. However, the Center for Food Integrity published a report that showed only 8% to 9% of consumers preferred using QR codes to access information about food products. In short, essential health and safety information should always be included on labels for food products and other items; information on sustainability, business practices, and consumer perks are ideal for QR code scanning.

Want to learn about the possibilities surrounding labeling with QR codes? We’re here to help. Contact us today to find out more.