How to use Shopcodes to drive repeat purchases to your Shopify store

You know those square bar codes that you can scan in stores using your phone? Those are QR codes, and lucky for us, Shopify recently announced the launch of Shopcodes: a QR-code based system that allows customers to scan and buy products using their mobile device. 

And while QR codes haven't been the most popular in the past years, iOS 11's new built-in scanner has re-opened the opportunity for online merchants to take advantage of this un-tapped marketing opportunity. 

How to use QR codes on your Shopify store

In brick-and-mortar stores, the most obvious place to use QR codes is on the product itself so customers can look up more information on the product they're interested in. But the possibilities extend far beyond that. In this post, we'll explore how to use this new Shopify technology to drive repeat purchases on your online store using packaging inserts.


In particular, Shopcodes can be used to upsell at one of the least-used opportunities in the customer's buying experience; right when they receive their order.

The moment they open the box they've been incessantly tracking for days, you can provide them with an in-person upsell in the form of a physical packagaging insert. This special card can offer them a specific complementary item, a discount for their next purchases, or even a brand new product you've added to your collection.

How it works

Scanning a Shopcode is easy and quick. Many mobile apps now include the ability to scan QR codes, including Facebook Mobile, Twitter, and even the default iOS camera app. As a merchant, you control what happens when a customer does a scan. Customers will be directed to:

  • The product page, so they can learn more about the item and see more photos of it
  • The checkout, with the product loaded in their cart so they can buy it in just a few clicks

For package inserts, we recommend sending them to the product page so that they can learn more about the product since they most likely won't have seen it before. 

How to generate a Shopcode

To create the code that customers will be scanning, you'll need to install the Shopcodes app from the Shopify App Store. Luckily, the app will do all the work of creating a code for you. Just follow the steps below to start sending your customers back to your store to make a repeat purchase!

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First, choose the product that the Shopcode will link to. In general, we recommend using a product that has a very simple purchase decision; these are typically low-priced products that releate to the original puchase, or have a broad appeal (something that nearly every customer could use). 

Next, you'll configure the Shopcode using the app. You can choose whether to have the customers taken to the product's page, or directly to a checkout page that allows them to make the purchase in just a couple of clicks.

You can also decide whether or not to have help text added above the Shopcode. For the purposes of your packaging insert, I would recommend excluding this (disabling the checkbox). This will allow for additional flexibility when you design the card.

Press Create Shopcode and then download it using the panel at the top-right. You'll want both the PNG and SVG file to be downloaded when you send it to a designer on Fiverr (more on that below).

Creating the inserts

Next, we'll need to actually create the cards that will be sent to customers when they buy an item from your store. If you're like me and have zero design skills, hire someone on Fiverr to create a graphic for you. These types of projects typically cost around $5-10 and will include a couple of revisions so that you get a card that looks exactly how you want it to. 

I would recommend finding a designer for a postcard-sized asset; you can type postcard in the search box and a number of designers will appear. Check out the work of a few of the listings and find one that has a style you like. 

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The #1 key to using Fiverr successfully is to be as specific as possible with the designer you choose. If you have an idea in mind, make sure to communicate it clearly when you submit your request. Remember, the designer has never met you and knows nothing about your business, so you need to thoroughly explain your vision. Here are a couple things to make sure to include:

  • The Shopcode you created above; dependent on the designer, it may be useful to include both the svg and the png file at full resolution (the original file downloaded from Shopify)
  • Your brand's logo/name
  • Colours that you would like to have included on the card
  • Text that you would like to show on the card. Include a header, a small amount of text, and instructions on what to do with the code ("Scan this with your phone to find out more about...")
  • An image of the product you're selling
  • Any other information as required by the artist

The designer you choose may include "revisions," which mean that they will work with you to adjust the original design if you aren't a fan of it. Again, being as specific as you can is very important: the designer has no way of knowing what you're picturing in your head!



After you have the postcard design, you'll need to have it printed and make sure they actually make it into your shipments. Local office supply stores should be able to print a large stack (enough to cover your orders for Black Friday) for under $50, and some online print-and-ship services may be even cheaper. Regardless of your printing choice, see if you can obtain some samples prior to committing to a full order to make sure that the file transferred correctly.

Tips and tricks for making the most out of Shopcodes

  • Add text on the card that includes a discount code, encouraging customers to visit again even if they don't want the product listed.
  • Offer the product at a lower price using Bold Discounts app. You might want to set this up as a timed sale and include an expiry date on the packaging insert.
  • Include your inserts with every shipment in a place that they will be seen; perhaps tucked in with the product itself or at the top of the box.
  • If your inserts are printed only on one side, consider writing a personalized note to your customers on the blank side of the card.
  • Include a link to your website on the insert so that customers can still take advantage of the offer if they don't have a QR code scanner.

Let us know how you're using Shopcodes in the comments below!

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Aubrey Kotelko

Written by Aubrey Kotelko

Aubrey is a marketing strategist at Bold Commerce. He drinks a gallon of milk every single day, which isn't really something to be proud of.

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