The QR code, a technology used in China for everything from payments to adding new contacts, is finally making its way to the United States.
QR codes have been adopted by a wide range of beauty brands as contactless activities become the new normal. In the US market, they can be found on outdoor advertising, television, desktop campaigns, and packaging. The use of the QR code was already on the rise even before the pandemic. According to the Global Web Index, the number of people in Europe and North America who reported using a QR code in the past month doubled between 2015 and 2018. Thanks to hygiene precautions linked to a pandemic, the Consumer use is changing dramatically, as can QR codes. are found on the menus of half of American restaurants as well as in a growing number of hotels and airports.
In December 2020, Supergoop added QR codes to displays of its new Daily Dose Vitamin C + SPF 40 sunscreen in Sephora stores. Digitizing the code allows visitors to access more information about the brand’s ingredients, video content featuring Supergoop’s product development manager, and additional educational resources on the formulation.
“We are encouraged by the use to date. The functionality continues to gain momentum as consumers return to shop in-store, ”said Britany LeBlanc, vice president of marketing at Supergoop, when asked about the campaign parameters. “Our current test is in pilot mode, but we anticipate a full rollout of the feature this spring.”
Supergoop is one of the many beauty brands using this technology in recent times. Recently bareminerals used to generate UGC for an online event, Anastasia Beverly Hills is Put them on the tips in store to promote its new eyebrow application, Aveda uses them to blockchain, and Cocokind uses them on packaging for more details on durability. JLo Beauty, meanwhile, used QR codes in a promotion linked to Jennifer Lopez’s “Dick Clark’s New Years ‘Rockin’ Eve performance. The brand printed the codes on an MTA train in New York City, allowing users to scan for more information.
The ability to access information immediately and without contact has become particularly appealing to beauty brands, as Covid-19 has made customers wary of testers and face-to-face interactions with staff. In-store QR codes can directly give brands online data about product engagement, breaking down the numbers by store or geographic region.
When QR code scanning was made available through iOS cameras in 2017, it was “the tipping point that indicated there was an opportunity for a resurgence here in the States,” said Jim Norton, CRO at Flowcode, who created the QR code campaigns for Supergoop and JLo Beauty. QR codes were also quickly made available on Android and Google lenses.
Flowcode was started in 2019 by former Google Ads chief and AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, who was inspired to start the business after traveling to China and witnessing the ubiquity of the QR code, and saw the potential for a similar trajectory in the United States. in particular “the accelerated adoption of QR technology by consumers due to this switch to contactless,” said Norton.
“Customers can benefit more from QR codes right now because they are contactless,” said LeBlanc. “Because there are fewer people in the store and therefore fewer opportunities for face-to-face interaction, we also see a huge benefit of QR codes in providing additional training and product information. “