QR Codes for wine bottles
QR Codes for wine bottles

QR Codes: Quick Response codes are two-dimensional barcodes that can be scanned using a smartphone or other device. When scanned, a QR code can provide a range of information, including text, links to websites, or other multimedia content.

After years of potential, consumers have finally gotten used to scanning QR codes to easily access websites. Phone cameras now support scanning of QR codes without the need for special apps. Yet despite the widespread willingness among consumers to scan QR codes to access information, currently (as of 2023) less than 1% of all wine bottles have a QR code on their label. This is poised to grow exponentially in the future as wine brands finally realize and leverage the value of QR codes and the marketing content they can lead to.

The Benefits of Including a QR Code on a Wine Label

Including a QR code on a winery’s label provides many benefits for both the winery and its customers.
 
For wineries, including a QR code on the label can provide a convenient way for customers to access detailed information about the wine. This can include information on the grape variety, region of origin, vintage, and other details that can help customers make informed decisions when purchasing wine. QR codes can also be used to provide food pairing suggestions, nutritional information (a likely future legal requirement), tasting notes, and other information that can enhance the customer’s wine-drinking experience.
 
In addition to providing information about the wine itself, QR codes can also be used by wineries to grow their following and sell more wine. Some creative uses of QR codes in this context include:
 
  • Link to nutritional information (may be a legal requirement in the US soon)
  • Link to a landing page where consumers can join the winery’s mailing list
  • Link to a survey where consumers can provide feedback on the wine and see what others had to say
  • Link to a form where consumers can submit images of the wine bottle in settings throughout the world (which are then added to an interactive map on the winery website)
  • Link to a page where consumers can purchase more of the wine in one click
QR codes are equally beneficial for consumers, who no longer have to search through a complex website or land on third party websites when trying to learn more about the wine. This makes it easy for customers to access the information they need, and can help to create a more engaging and satisfying wine-drinking experience.
 
By providing easy access to information and engaging with customers in a convenient and personalized way, wineries can enhance their brand and improve the customer experience.

Do It Yourself: Generate a QR Code & Create A Landing Page or Microsite

If you are attempting to create a QR code in-house and link to material about the wine/brand, here are the main tasks you will want to accomplish:

Determine what type of content the QR code should show: The most obvious information to show consumers when they scan the code is information related to the wine itself– tasting notes, vineyard & vinification details, when to drink, food pairing recommendations, etc. However, there are a lot of other options to consider— a mailing list signup, a link to your online store to purchase direct, a submission form for feedback or to upload an image of the bottle wherever it is being enjoyed. Be creative here… the landing page or microsite can be a directory to all of these ways to engage with your brand.

Develop the landing page or microsite for the wine: A landing page would typically exist within your current larger winery website and would have the same header, footer, etc as your site. If your site is easy to edit you can probably build something decent yourself in-house, or you can have your developer create some nice landing pages within the website for you.

Another option is to create a microsite dedicated specifically to this wine. The microsite could exist on a subdomain of your brand (i.e. 2020pinotnoir.mywinery.com) and it could be built on a lightweight website CMS like Caard. The benefit of a microsite is that it is simple and focused completely on this specific bottle without the distractions and bloat of a larger website.

A third option is a speerate WordPress or Squarespace website dedicated just to having landing pages for each of your wines. This silos the website away from your larger main website and has the advantage of likely being much easier to edit and lightweight than your main brand website.

Note that Vinbound offers all three of the above solutions via our BottleQR service.

Submit the finished URL to a QR code generator: There are many QR code generators, all a Google search away. QR-Code-Generator.com works just fine and will get you what you need, although paid platforms like Flowcode allow you to track analytics (number of times scanned, etc) and will allow you to change the destination of the QR code at any time down the road.

Provide the QR code to your label designer: A QR code needs to be at least 2cm x 2cm once printed, so if your designer hasn’t included a QR code on the label before be sure they know this.

Set up analytics for the site and monitor trends: As noted above, some QR code generators also offer robust analytics of how people are interacting with the code. If you set up a microsite, you will probably want to also create a Google Analytics property for it so you can track how they interacted with the site.

Keep track of all of your codes and landing sites: If you intend to put QR codes on many different bottles across many different vintages, all pointing to their own unique landing page or microsite, you need to be organized. At a minimum have an excel or Google sheet where you can track all active QR codes, where they are pointing, how the sites are performing, etc. We recommend using a data base system like AirTable, as you can upload the QR code file into the corresponding row and can have the system send you email reminders down the road when a code should be retired or the URL changed to point elsewhere.

Why You Should Consider a Mobile-Specific Microsite

Your first instinct will be to link somewhere within your existing main brand website. The following reasons are why you should consider pointing to a SKU-specific microsite instead.

Microsites are Super Fast: Sites built on Caard or similar are extremely lightweight. They don’t need to load your ecommerce system like Commerce7 and a bunch of other WordPress plugins, and as a result the load times are lightning fast. This is ideal for people browsing from mobile devices.

Focused Content, No Distractions: Microsites get rid of the distractions and bloat of a large website and get right to the point by showing the specific content that you want to display for that specific bottle – technical data, purchase link, nutritional information, mailing list, etc can all be immediately accessed via the microsite. Some of these links, like purchase, will route to your main site of course, while other content will stay contained in the microsite.

Focused Reports: Because the site is stand apart from your site, you can run reports specific to the site, knowing all of the traffic is coming from your QR code capabilities.

Have Professionals Manage Everything with BottleQR

Vinbound Marketing recently launched BottleQR, a fully managed service for adding QR codes to wine labels. Our team offers all of the following under this outsourced service:

Microsite Creation & Management: We’ve developed simple, modern microsite templates. They are easy to use, fast to load, and ready for your content. Our team will customize microsites for every SKU needed, and will launch them either on a subdomain at yourbottle.bottleqr.com or a subdomain on your own website. We then handle all ongoing edits to the site as needed.

Landing Page Management: If you prefer to have landing pages on a website instead of individual microsites for each wine, we can manage the development of these landing pages as well for all current and future SKUs.

QR Code Generation & Management: Our team generates your QR code, keeps everything organized in a shared drive on the cloud, and will continue to manage the code by pointing it elsewhere down the road as needed.

Analytics Reports: We will set up analytics to your microsite and have monthly reports emailed to you.

Central Portal: We offer a central portal where you can view the status of QR codes across your portfolio and how they are performing. You can easily request changes via the portal, view your analytics, request new microsties & codes be created, etc.

LEarn More ABout BottleQR, Our Managed QR Code Service