Mobile phone platforms and associated barcodes can engage consumers, Mintel

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Mintel

Brands should capitalise on the growing consumer awareness of mobile technology and take quick response (QR) codes beyond their niche positioning, by using them to provide information and enhancing the consumer experience, according to Mintel.

According to a 2011 consumer trends report from market analyst Mintel, rather than displacing our interaction with the physical, mobile technology has the potential to reinvigorate our relationships with brands, retailers and with each other.

QR code
A Quick Response code

Out with the old, in with the new

One organisation that has recognised the potential of QR technology is natural and organics organisation NaTrue.

Speaking at the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit in Paris last month, Julie Tyrell, general director at NaTrue, explained the decision to drop its star rating system and introduce its QR code database earlier this year, with plans to launch its new enhanced database.

“We are launching our new website on 10 November and there are now over 980 certified products which can be viewed at that time via the new enhanced product database,”​ she told

The Brussels-based natural and organic cosmetics association is replacing its three star labelling system for cosmetics products with the QR codes claiming the new tags will allow consumers to access more information than the labelling system currently provides, before the point of purchase.

Tyrell explained the code can be scanned using a mobile phone device, providing instant access to the database with information on the product and the ingredients used.

Consumers will still be able to access the information by visiting the website rather than via QR tags, but NaTrue believes the tags will enhance the experience of buying natural and organic products.

“I really like this idea of going to your favourite organic shop and being able to really make the product come alive, it really puts the soul back in natural and organic cosmetics,”​ said Tyrrell.

Influx of smartphone use globally

With smartphones becoming the dominant mobile force, Mintel suggests QR codes and app technology will pique interest, provide portals into unique experiences and improve the whole shopping experience.

According to its recent report, US sales of smartphones grew 82 per cent from 2008 to 2010. In the UK, 28 per cent of consumers own a smartphone and by 2015 iPhones will make up 11 per cent of all total devices used in the UK.

As consumers are empowered like never before, Mintel project that 2011 will see people take a deeper interest in where they are and presenting savvy brands with an opportunity for increased location based services, promotions and solutions.

Related topics Market Trends Naturals and organics

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