75 per cent of consumers want connected packaging to help them recycle

Experience-led SaaS partner, SharpEnd has today released a report revealing why consumers engage with connected packaging using different technologies such as QR, NFC, and AR – unearthing some surprising consumer trends and attitudes.

Over three quarters of consumers (77 per cent US vs 75 per cent UK) will use their mobile devices to learn how to recycle a product. The recycling information provided by a connected product is location-based, so the packaging itself can advise where the nearest recycling centre is. Over half of UK respondents (57 per cent) also want to use packaging to learn about the sustainability credentials of the product, compared to 63 per cent in the US.

Consumers are more likely to buy a product if the connected packaging provides information about the ingredients in the product or the materials used (60 per cent UK and 68 per cent US).

Whilst brands might have been slow to adopt connected packaging in the past, over a third of consumers want to see a large and clear view prominent display of QR codes and over two thirds (77 per cent UK and 76 per cent US) said they would only use their smartphone to scan products if it was easy to do so – making visibility key.

Consumer expectations of AR are different to QR and NFC, with the technology more defined by bringing an external virtual world to life. The top three products they would expect to see AR harnessed are clothing (luxury), clothing (non-luxury) and footwear.

The new report is the first edition of an annual benchmark planned by SharpEnd that counts Levis, Yeo Valley, PepsiCo, Estée Lauder Companies, Campari Group, and many more amongst their clients.

A brand already leading the way in connectivity is Yeo Valley Organic who boldly announced in 2020 how all of its packaging was now connected as part of its move towards more sustainable materials. Unilever is also launching sustainability initiatives through connected packaging.

“There’s been a lot of technology-led research over the years that doesn’t really inspire brands or marketers. It’s why we’ve explored the why and what before the how and our findings support unequivocally that an experience-led approach needs to be taken to succeed with connected packaging” said Founder of SharpEnd, Cameron Worth.