June 26, 2023

Why Brands on Amazon Should Use QR Code Inserts

Kait Stephens

Prime Day 2023 is approaching, and you are making every effort to maximize sales on July 11th and 12th. Looking for an edge? Don’t forget to include an insert with a QR code.

Many brands are using QR codes as a way to collect customer emails and phone numbers. It’s no surprise because Amazon is a dark channel – brands have no idea who is buying and have no way to engage with them. 

Not only are QR codes an effective strategy for collecting customer emails, but they are a powerful way to improve the overall experience with your product. It should be integrated into your year-round playbook, but Prime Day offers an excellent opportunity to leverage QR code experiences.

Greater Than's Amazon Insert featuring a Brij QR code

How QR Codes can provide a great experience to Amazon customers

QR codes can help your customers extract maximum value from your product. To do this, use QR codes to provide links to:

  • Setup instructions
  • How to use the product
  • Branded unboxing videos
  • Warranty and product registration
  • Recipes

While seemingly innocuous, offering customers a simple and hassle-free setup experience can save time and frustration. For one brand, providing video setup instructions, moved the average Net Promoter Score (NPS) from 5 to 10! 

Furthermore, by controlling the experience, you eliminate the need for customers to seek third-party assistance on platforms like YouTube or Google.

Finally, when customers have a positive experience with their Amazon purchases, it fosters their loyalty and encourages them to return to Amazon.

Use QR Codes to collect email addresses. 

While you are improving the buying experience, seize the opportunity to gather email addresses. While most marketers think of remarketing opportunities first, there is so much you can do when you have the ability to get in touch with your customers. 

  • Send surveys
  • Interview customers
  • Get new product Ideas
  • Build brand loyalty
  • Drive review

Don’t expect customers to hand over their email addresses without a value exchange. Building upon the recipe above, you can provide one recipe for free and offer an additional ten recipes in a gated ebook.

Creative ways to use QR codes and be Amazon compliant 

For those who wish to exercise extra caution when using QR codes, you can consider 3 approaches:

  • Placing the QR code inside the product packaging.
  • Utilizing a sticker that states "Peel Me" to cover the QR code.
  • Incorporating an insert with a scratch-off component that conceals the QR code.

Dore places the QR code inside the box.

If your product includes a warranty, it is permissible to use the QR code to direct buyers to the registration page. Although unconventional, a CPG brand could develop its own version of a warranty, such as a "satisfaction guarantee." This would enable customers to register with the brand in the event of a negative product experience and receive a replacement via mail or a digital coupon.

Another value-added tactic for collecting customer information post-sale involves offering educational resources. For instance, not long ago, I purchased a coffee frother on Amazon. Upon receiving the package, there was an option to access recipes to try with my new frother. The brand got my email and I was happy with my recipes.

While we have yet to come across stories of Amazon sellers facing warnings or violations related to the use of QR codes, it is worth noting that Amazon enforcement is uneven. It is not unheard of for sellers to be reported for unjust reasons by disgruntled customers or competitors.

To be safe, use dynamic QR codes. If you experience a warning, you can quickly redirect your QR code to your Amazon shop homepage, ensuring compliance.

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What does Amazon's Code of Conduct say about QR Codes?

Within Amazon seller circles, there are frequent questions about the use of QR codes and potential conflicts with Amazon's terms of service.

There is no mention of QR codes at all. 

But many look to clause #7 related to the “circumvention of the sales process.” As I’ll point out below, brands should really be looking to clause #1 about “accurate information.

It is clear that Amazon does not like overt attempts to divert customers away from their platform, such as directing customers to a Shopify sales page.

However, where things get confusing is that pretty much every single product you order from Amazon these days has a link to a company website. After spending some time digging around on Amazon’s forum, Seller Central, we found a general consensus among sellers that including a general website link is not a violation of the code of conduct. 

Amazon Seller Centra Discussion

This viewpoint is reasonable considering that clause #1 on Amazon's Code of Conduct is about “accurate information.”

And a company’s website serves as the most up-to-date source of information and offers a platform for customer to:

  • Register their products.
  • Acquire knowledge on product setup and usage.
  • Address technical issues.

For example, Metamucil, the popular fiber supplement from P&G, includes website URLs on its packaging.

It is worth noting that while Metamucil has shopping widgets on its homepage, but they are positioned far below the fold compared to a product detail page that has a buy box above the fold..

QR codes are just a convenient alternative to typing in a website URL. Instead of squinting to read a URL and manually typing, Amazon buyers can scan a QR code and get where they need to go faster and easier. 

Like your website, Amazon sellers just need to make sure the destination experience focuses on providing accurate information and product education and not a hard sell. QR codes also can serve as a simple and effective method to direct Amazon customers back to the platform for the purpose of leaving a review.

QR Codes are Here to Stay

Today, the use of QR codes among Amazon sellers still remains relatively uncommon. As an Amazon shopper, I personally encounter a QR code approximately once every five to ten orders. QR codes are still a win-win tactic for sellers and buyers alike.

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