State of Green Claims 2024: ~70% of QR codes in retail are problematic

Max Ackermann

QR codes could be the key to more transparent environmental claims ("green claims"), but around 70% of QR codes in retail are problematic. Following their well-received analysis "State of Green Claims 2024", House of Change, The Goodwins and Popular Packaging shed light on the causes of the shortcomings and point out practical solutions in their new report "State of Green Claims 2024: QR Codes in Retail".

Underperformance in Accessibility and Speed

The study, based on a 10-point quality scale considering design, technology, and content, has found that the majority of QR codes score poorly. Max Ackermann, founder of House of Change, notes, "QR codes are the gateway to a brand's digital world, and sadly, many gates remain closed." About 68% of the QR codes analyzed scored 4 or fewer points out of 10, signaling significant room for enhancement.

Slow Load Times & Lack of Product-Specific Information

A concerning 85% of the QR codes are not tailored for supermarket use, primarily due to excessive loading times. Additionally, 75% of these codes lead to generic overview pages rather than providing product-specific details. This practice not only detracts from a personalized shopping experience but also fails to meet new EU guidelines that demand product-specific information for a legal compliance standpoint.

The Way Forward with Enhanced QR Codes

Despite these challenges, there are examples of good practice within the industry. The top-performing QR codes in the study achieved scores of 7 and 6 out of 10, showcasing that it is possible to craft QR codes that are both user-friendly and forward-thinking in terms of regulatory compliance.

Geoffrey Hildbrand of Popular Packaging emphasizes the importance of intentionality in QR code design. "Using a QR code is not an end in itself. This interface must be as thoughtfully and effectively designed as packaging or communication itself to generate real value," he says. This approach is not only about improving customer interaction but also about ensuring readiness for future legal requirements.

Recommendations for Brands

The report by House of Change, The Goodwins, and Popular Packaging calls for brands to rethink their QR code strategies to better harness this technology's potential. "In order for sustainable consumption to become a reality, relevant content and easy access to product information must be ensured. QR codes need to be thought of beyond mere existence," states Bernd Meyer, CEO of The Goodwins.

As digital engagement continues to shape consumer behaviors, the necessity for brands to elevate their QR codes from mere digital placeholders to robust, informative, and compliant tools is clear. Brands have a significant opportunity to position themselves for success in the digital age by embracing these recommendations and enhancing the customer experience.

For more insights and detailed findings, download the "State of Green Claims 2024: QR Codes in Retail" report.

© House of Change GmbH 2024

Made with 💚 in Hamburg & Berlin

© House of Change GmbH 2024

Made with 💚 in Hamburg & Berlin