Using QR codes for POS and sustainability

Published: 29th April 2022

QR codes are similar to a bar code, they have barcode-like squares that can point to text or a website. Whilst QR codes have been around for some time the Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a huge sea-change of new consumer behaviour, acceptability and adoption of this format. As such the QR code has become a permanent feature as the perfect touch-free medium, allowing people to interact with the world around them while only touching their own smart phone and helping to bridge the gap between physical and digital experience.

QR Codes and Point of Sales

In terms of the point of sale (POS), and point of purchase (POP) industry, QR codes provide a fantastic vehicle to provide additional information, which previously would not be possible for lack of space or over complicating the brand message.

“When it comes to the responsibility for recycling of temporary POSM, the industry is unanimous in the belief that this should lie with retailers. However, many brands who supply retailers with displays also feel that they have a responsibility to design these in a way that promotes recycling at the end of life. Foremost amongst these was the provision of easily understandable recycling and disassembly instructions that would remain attached to displays to be implemented at the end of life, such as QR codes printed on the units.” Source: Temporary POSM & Packaging Recycling Report 2021, by Steve Lister

Prior to the issue of the above report, Lighthouse had already realised the benefits of QR codes for our marketand have been actively encouraging our retailer and brand owner customers to use them.

QR codes can be used to provide additional information, for example:

• Education around product, brand and company. This information will help consumers make an informed choice regarding the purchase of the items.

• Sustainability information such as materials, recyclable content and end of life guidance for the POS item to ensure it is placed into the correct recycling stream. Also, assembly instructions can be provided in this way which ensures they never become separated from the unit. This is practical information for store staff and as consumer interest in sustainability continues to rise this format provides the ability for them to gain all the necessary facts about the product before they buy.

“40% of consumers are interested in sustainability””50% are willing to pay more for ethical brands” and “45% of GenZ have stopped purchasing certain unethical brands.” Source: Deloitte

• Commercial information for proposals to buyers integral to the sample packs for proposed NPD and new launches.

Lighthouse have trialled QR codes with two UK retailers, where we have printed QR codes on our Clip strips, other POS materials and accessories, to provide the POS material details and their associated ‘end of life’ instructions for store staff.  In these cases, this includes returning the items to Lighthouse for reuse or recycling at the end of the campaigns – read more about our approach to sustainability, including the use of QR codes here.

By printing QR codes onto the POS items themselves, it ensures the information and instructions for end of life are inseparable from the unit, so no matter how long the materials are in store the information on how to recycle remains available. It also means simplification of the project; we don’t need to print separate instructions which can get misplaced during assembly in store and are an additional cost and activity which can now be removed.

“I wanted to say that we are so happy with the quality and look of the clip strip and the support that you have given us along the way, in helping us with the right clip strip and always being accessible, your help has been very appreciated.” Managing Director, The Go2 Brand

Please contact our sales team who will be able to answer all your questions about using QR codes on POS items as part of your campaign.

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