5 Ways to Use QR Codes on Product Packaging [2021]

Updated May 2021

In a post-COVID world, being able to access information about products and services in a safe manner is more important than ever, so it’s no surprise that we’re seeing QR adoption pick up in recent months. Even the NHS is offering tools to make contact-tracing easier using QR codes.

Using QR codes on eco-friendly product packaging has environmental benefits too. Rather than shipping large (expensive) product manuals or paper copies of warranty information with productions, using a QR code to make that information available digitally not only reduces paper waste, but can help reduce shipping costs as well.

Scanning QR codes with your iPhone is easier than ever, with Apple shipping QR code scanners built into all of their mobile devices. And Google is doing the same thing with their own mobile offering, making it possible to scan a QR code with Android without having to install third-party apps. No more installing apps or fumbling to get them open. Every modern smartphone has a QR code scanner built right into the camera.

It doesn’t hurt that modern internet usage is largely mobile, with the vast majority of internet users accessing content from their smartphones. Odds are, if you have a modern and well-maintained website, you already have a responsive website that can be comfortably accessed by mobile users.

Looking for ways that you can use QR codes in marketing materials? Get in touch with the DR team and let’s get to work.

Original post from January 5, 2012

An enormous part of the product purchasing experience is taking the product out of the packaging for the first time. That interaction you have with the package is the deep breath that you take before you dive head-first into a product. Because of this, it only makes sense that companies spend incredible amounts of time and effort refining their product packages.

Apple is one of the most consumer experience-oriented companies that has ever existed. That doesn’t make their products perfect, by any means. It just shows where their interests lie. It has been said that Apple spends as much time designing product packages as they do designing the products that go inside of them.

Clearly, there is a lot to be said for the quality of one’s product packaging. So, for the sake of discussion, let’s assume that you have mastered the art of product package “experience design.” You are the best of the best. Your boxes are the stuff of fiction among lesser retailers.

This is all well and good, but what else could you be doing with your packaging? How can you expand this experience? Where is the envelope and how can you continue to push it? How can you take your the mind-blowing, face-melting packaging experience and move it into the digital space?

The answer is QR codes.

Best Buy QR Codes
Courtesy of HighEdWebTech.com

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “You know who loves QR codes? Agencies. You know who hates QR codes? People.” We’ve all heard it. But, we’re not talking about those crappy QR codes that you see in Wired. We’re talking about QR codes that provide an experience worthy of being associated with your insanely great product packaging.

Let’s recap.

  1. Your packaging kicks ass.
  2. You need to expand that kick ass packaging experience into the digital space.
  3. QR codes provide an awesome way to connect some digital media to your kick ass packaging.

So how can we use QR codes to provide a stellar packaging experience?  Read on.

Additional Information

People like knowing things, especially about stuff that they’re spending money on. Using a QR code to provide additional information about your product is a great way to free up space on the package. The QR code can share nutritional facts, reviews, or even some sort of video or backstory about you or your product. Keep in mind that this content can be changed at any time. This way, you can keep using the same package design but still have fresh new content.

Social Sharing

Social media is pretty big deal. Did you know that as of September 2011, one in every nine people on the planet is on Facebook? So, how can you take your product out of its package and into the social space?

Using a QR code, you can create a landing page that will enable people to tweet about the product, share it on Facebook and even connect with your brand itself. It is important not to pigeon-hole this technique with a particular social network though, as you will immediately alienate anyone who doesn’t use it.

Mobile Commerce

The key concept of business is exchanging a product or service for currency. That’s it. The goal of every business owner is to sell more of their product. With a QR code, you can take your customer directly to a page that will enable them to sign up for a paid subscription, order more of a product, or even purchase your product as a gift and have it sent to someone else. People have deep, emotional connections to their mobile devices, and with online shopping in the mobile space, that connection can be leveraged for your benefit.


Use recipes to share content in a number of different ways. “Make this at home!”.  Share a recipe with a QR code and list the other ingredients that people should pick up in addition to your product.  Include social sharing buttons so they can let friends know that they’re making your recipe.

Or make recommendations for other products in your line or recipes that people might enjoy.  ” If you like this, you’re going to love (insert name of delicious dish here).” Recipes get the consumer involved with your product and make them part of the experience. Info can be shared using landing pages, apps or even videos uploaded to services like Youtube.


When asked why they would scan a QR code, 64% of people said that they would do it to be entered into a contest or sweepstakes. This is a great chance to get your product in front of some more people and keep them using it and talking about it. You could direct the customer to a landing page with a form to get their information, and use it to enter them into a random drawing for some great prize.

These are just five great ways to use QR codes? Have you seen more? Please share in the comments!