Packaging Innovation
QR codes
July 24, 2015

5 reasons to stop using QR codes

Ever since QR codes became a ‘thing,’ we’ve seen them on plenty of packaging materials. But are they really such a great marketing tool? It’s been several years now since the first QR code popped up, so what’s the verdict? Will we continue to see QR codes on packaging? We don’t think so, and here are 5 reasons why:

1. Where’s the App?

The whole idea of QR codes is that you scan them with a scanner app on your smartphone, and then the app directs you to the URL embedded within the code. But there’s one problem: scanner apps don’t come pre-installed on your smartphone and most consumers just never bother downloading one.

2. They basically lead to nowhere…

Sometimes—well, more often than not…— the websites to which consumers are directed via the QR code simply aren’t easy to use on a smartphone. Seriously!

3. “So how do you scan this thing?”

Apparently, only 15 percent of smartphone users know how to use a QR code scanner. 15 percent! And who’s to say that these people are even actively using one?

4. Too much useless information

Let’s face it: consumers simply don’t have much of a reason to use QR codes. The websites they are directed to are usually uninteresting and don’t offer valuable information. And why would someone who wants to know more about a product waste their time scanning a QR code that simply redirects to the company’s website?

5. They’re just ugly

QR codes simply aren’t pretty to look at. They are less subtle than classic barcodes and they just don’t blend well with most packaging designs. Packaging designers really have to design their packages around the QR code, rather than being able to integrate the QR code into the design they have in mind.