In this fast-paced, information-driven age, it’s never been easier for consumers and retailers to access product information on their smartphones. Whether they’re Googling nutritional information, searching for coupons or researching potential recipes, smartphones have radically changed the way consumers shop. Technology is allowing for additional ways to connect with consumers and enhance transparency.
Your customers are using their smartphones
Upwards of 64 percent of U.S. consumers own a smartphones—a number that’s grown more than 10 percent since early 2012. With the world conveniently at their fingertips, consumers are using their smartphones more than their computers to access the web, according to market analyst, Nielsen, which found Americans spent 34 hours using smartphone apps and on the mobile Web.
In the retail setting, smartphone apps and smartphone-friendly interfaces help quickly convey targeted product information beyond standard label content, which not only better informs the consumer but also forges important marketing and trust-based connections. One of the most innovative conduits for these connections is QR codes.
Why QR codes?
Short for Quick Response Code, QR codes are next-generation barcodes comprised of black dots arranged in a unique patterned square grid. While vertically-lined UPC barcodes are usually relegated to the back or bottom of a package to indicate numerical data such as price or lot/batch details, QR codes tend to be centrally located to encourage consumer interactions.
From a product brand perspective, QR codes are easy to generate and incorporate into packaging. And as it relates to brand transparency, the codes are convenient portals that can quickly link consumers with highly customizable material such as nutritional information, important ingredient details and pertinent clinical research regarding a product or ingredient’s documented health benefits.
While there’s room for growth and acceptance, more consumers are beginning to use QR codes. Natural Foods Merchandiser recently reported that 15 percent of consumers acknowledged using their phones to scan a QR code to make a purchase in 2013.
Quick and convenient
Why are QR codes gaining popularity? From a consumer perspective, they’re quick and convenient. QR code reader apps are free and once an image of the code is captured by a smartphone’s camera, the consumer is instantly whisked to a relevant, mobile device-scaled landing page that saves them the effort of having to thumb through a brand’s homepage or sift through page upon page of unrelated data to find what they’re looking for.
What’s more, the codes are also useful resources for retailers as an educational aid to help get sales staff quickly up to speed on a product’s key attributes.
Though tiny in size, QR codes are evolving into important pieces of technology that can quickly and efficiently create direct connections between consumers, retailers and brand manufacturers. They are the new shape of digital marketing.
More tech transparency solutions
- HarvestMark—A web resource and mobile app for Apple iOS and Android, HarvestMark delivers updates on the safety status of foods and food recalls Adopted by over 400 leading food brands and retailers, HarvestMark lets consumers trace food origins by entering a 16-digit HarvestMark code or QR code on participating fruit, vegetable, and poultry brands.
- The Non-GMO Project—A web resource and mobile app for Apple iOS enables consumers to quickly find products and food companies that are GMO-free.
- True Food – An Apple iOS and Android app from Center for Food Safety that helps consumers find and avoid genetically engineered ingredients as they shop. Users can browse a 16-category color-coded guide by brand or food name to learn which foods are GM. The app also enables users to directly contact companies who market GM products.
About our sponsor
Doctor’s Best carries over 50 branded ingredients in the product line; all at clinically proven doses and the trademarked ingredient is displayed on the front of the bottle as opposed to being relegated to a small portion of the back label.
QR code technology on Doctor’s Best packaging helps promote understanding within the retail environment. Using a mobile device, you and your customers can simply scan the code on the label and is taken not to a generic website as is typically done, but directly to a website about the product itself, including factual information about the ingredient, its benefits, and published scientific research. This approach is an extension of our label yet has enabled us to convey so much more about our products than a traditional label ever could.