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5 Cool Ways Ecommerce Brands Are Using QR Codes for Advertising and Customer Service

Michael Waters
May 27, 2022
The use of QR codes skyrocketed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Brands should know that these QR codes can be tools to boost their marketing and customer service.

Since the start of the pandemic, quick response codes—or QR codes—have witnessed a renaissance. Though these barcodes were once a punchline, customers now use them on a regular basis.

In one study from the end of 2020, 83% of Americans reported they scanned a QR code at least once. And QR codes have seen downloads increase 750% since the start of the pandemic.

The Next Evolution of QR Codes for Digital Marketing Campaigns and Customer Service

But QR codes are good for much more than just scanning restaurant menus. Here are some ways that e-commerce brands can use them in order to strengthen their marketing strategy, their product descriptions, and their customer service: 

Put It on Advertising

Brands—for a long time—have been placing QR codes on their:

However, one of their newest strategies is to add QR codes to their TV and streaming ads.

The idea is to reach “second screeners,” or people who look at their mobile devices—since smartphones and tablets have built-in QR code readers—while watching TV at home. Burger King has taken this approach, and so has the tennis brand Lacoste.

You can also do this with branded TV segments. When the skincare brand Hero Cosmetics sponsored a segment on “The Today Show,” a QR code popped up on the screen, directing viewers to a buy link. The number of scans were sky-high and sales that day were up 70%.

Attach Product Extras

QR codes can be a great way to add an extra layer to the customer experience:


Explain Your Ingredients in Extra Depth

The typical nutrition facts label isn't always the easiest to read or understand, and QR codes can offer more detailed product information about what’s in the food or beverage customers are consuming.

The CBD seltzer brand Recess, for instance, attaches QR codes to its cans. When you scan it, the codes take you to the company’s “What’s Inside” page, which walks through the ingredients in a Recess can and how they are likely to make you feel.

Promote your brand’s social ethics

If you scan the QR codes on Cocokind’s skincare products, they direct you to a list of sustainability facts, including information about how to recycle Cocokind products and details about the brand’s move away from microplastics.  

Verify Your Product Is Authentic

Knockoff or unsafe products do unfortunately proliferate in e-commerce, and QR codes can offer brands a way to prove the safety and authenticity of their products.

The CBD brand Feals has QR codes that direct users to its lab testing certificates. Feals has said that 5-8% of customers use the QR code.

Optimizing the QR Code Experience

Make the QR Code Attention-Grabbing

The most rudimentary version of QR codes aren’t typically very aesthetically pleasing, which is one reason why brands have been reluctant to place them prominently on their product packaging.

But it’s also possible to create working QR codes that are much more unique than the typical black-and-white square. Zara, for instance, has displayed in its retail store windows a multi-colored custom QR code that spelled out “SALE” in the middle.

QR Code Marketing Tip: If you need help creating your own, you can find dynamic QR code generators online. The dynamic variations are QR codes with added functionality.

Customize the Landing Page

QR codes can accumulate first-party insights on customers, and it’s possible to know, for instance, where someone is while they’re scanning the code. You can use this information to target messages to different groups based on geographies:

Handle Your Post-Purchase Customer Interactions

One of the simplest uses of QR codes is to send customers—after checkout—to a page where they can either provide feedback, initiate a return, or view similar products like the one they just bought.

In 2020, when Dressbarn started adding QR codes to its products in order to facilitate returns, customers quickly embraced the strategy. In the first month, 75% of returns happened after customers scanned the QR code.

You can also lean on QR codes to supplement your customer service. Chatdesk helps you create QR codes that direct customers to solutions like:

To see how Chatdesk effectively uses QR codes to boost customer satisfaction, schedule a demo.

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