QR codes for beauty retail: Transforming makeup shopping with augmented reality

by Tena Androic

According to a report conducted by Allied Market Research, the global beauty market is on track to reach a staggering $463.5 billion in the next three years. 

What does this tell us? That beauty products will never lose relevance. This is precisely why old-school marketing strategies simply won’t cut it anymore.

Enter: beauty QR code.

QR codes for retail are the perfect way for beauty brands to upgrade their marketing efforts and adopt a more innovative approach when it comes to reaching new consumers and making an impact.

Incorporating this technology bridges the gap between online and offline beauty experiences. Moreover, it caters to your target market’s evolving needs and adapts to those of the mobile-first consumer market.

Keep reading to find out how the fusion of QR codes and augmented reality can enhance your consumers’ shopping journey while creating a brand-new realm of possibilities to engage with your audience.

The evolving value of the beauty QR code in retail

When it comes to new technologies, it almost feels like there needs to be some sort of catalyst for their true potential to be fully realized. And unsurprisingly, for QR codes, it was none other than the COVID-19 pandemic.

Up until 2020, QR codes were vastly underused as a digital tool. But in the past years, they’ve started to see their day in the sun.

Thanks to this remarkable resurgence, AR QR codes have seen a major shift – from being a mere novelty to becoming almost a necessity in many brick-and-mortar stores that recognize the need for superior cosmetics marketing.

What makes them so valuable is their capacity to store huge amounts of data and make instant communication much easier. After all, there’s a limit to how much content brands can provide on product packaging.

This is where the beauty QR code proves its value.

This impressive tool can shorten the gap between the shopper and your product while elevating the retail experience and doing wonders for your digital presence—which is more important than ever.


A QR code has the power to completely transform what might be an uneventful and mundane shopping experience into a highly immersive and interactive one.

As your customers stroll through the store, they will likely be tempted to try out this new, exciting feature. It can provide so much in mere seconds – from scanning a code for a special discount to viewing related content and entering virtual try-ons.

As smartphone adoption has soared in the past decade, scanning QR codes will likely become second nature to consumers whose needs are already constantly evolving.

Oh, and let’s not forget that beauty brands that incorporate AR into the customer journey tend to see up to 90% higher conversion rate. So it only seems prudent to have an augmented reality QR code become part of your beauty shopping experience. 

The impact of AR on beauty marketing

If there’s one thing cosmetics industry is known for, it’s staying one step ahead of new tech trends and innovation.

Ever since augmented reality (AR) has made its way into the beauty industry, it has opened a new world of possibilities that have made this innovative technology a game-changer in the world of beauty.

With the rise of e-commerce, augmented reality has proven itself to be a cutting-edge tool that’s reshaping the online landscape.

One of its key strengths? The seamless integration between online and offline retail experiences. In fact, it’s been proven that AR’s interactive nature keeps users engaged longer than traditional online shopping methods – by a whopping 200%.

It’s no surprise, considering that AR technology addresses the issue of not wanting to physically try products while shopping online. There are now virtual try-ons that are a perfect replica of the in-store testing process.

This ‘try-before-you-buy’ experience helps shoppers feel more confident in their purchasing decisions, and less inclined to return products. And it inevitably leads to a more satisfied and assured customer.

It’s safe to say that by leveraging AR technology, brands are in the perfect position to create memorable – and just as importantly – shareable experiences that leave a lasting impact on their audience.

Considering that 93% of Gen Z wants to use AR for shopping and 88% for makeup try-ons, embracing this technology truly is the only way to keep up with consumer needs and gain a competitive edge in the beauty arena marketplace.


✧ You can read more about Gen Z’s beauty needs and trends – and how to leverage them – right here.

Integrating beauty QR codes and AR experiences

By offering a personalized shopping experience through AR, brands can reinforce a sense of trust. And this, in turn, helps foster a stronger emotional connection with customers, ultimately leading to brand loyalty.

And at the heart of all that lies none other than the beauty QR code.

This versatile tool can be your brand’s gateway to immersive AR experiences that will provide consumers instant access to your beauty content – from interactive tutorials to incredibly accurate virtual try-ons.

Have we also mentioned that augmented reality e-commerce platforms are seeing higher conversion rates as customers gain confidence in their purchases through virtual try-ons?

Arbelle’s solutions, for example, can notably enhance a buyer’s decision-making process, leading to more definitive and satisfying purchases.

It’s no secret that consumer-created content is a major driver for the majority of shoppers. 62% of consumers prefer brands that integrate content (such as videos, reviews, tutorials, etc.) from fellow customers on their websites.

And QR codes for retail are just the cutting-edge tool for that. One quick scan eliminates the hassle consumers typically go through while trying to find the desired information.

➥ QR codes for retail in practice

Picture this.

A customer walks into your store and sets their eyes on a lipstick tube. They immediately fall in love with it. Then, they quickly scan the AR QR code and are instantly transported to a virtual makeup studio, where they can try out various shades in real time.

They can see how each color looks on their lips and skin tone, allowing them to find a perfect match without the hassle of physically trying it all on. Quick, easy, immersive, and yet so simple.

You see, by embracing QR codes and augmented reality, your brand’s creating a bridge between the physical and digital realms. It allows consumers to unlock interactive and immersive beauty experiences that will most likely result in a fun, well-informed purchase. And all that with the help of a simple scan!

Arbelle’s example as a leader in virtual makeup try-ons is a testament to the transformative power of AR in not only driving business success but also taking customer experiences to the next level.

➥ Read here how we helped our customer create a bespoke virtual lipstick try-on experience.

It’s evident that AR has the unique power to completely transform the way your audience discovers and engages with products. And this will only keep paving the way for a more immersive and interactive future in beauty marketing.

The benefits of QR codes and AR for beauty brands

✧ Enhancing product visualization

Thanks to top-notch AR technology, your customers can visualize your beauty products in incredible detail, which will allow them to make smart and well-informed purchasing decisions. This, in turn, will lead to reduced return rates.

✧ Analytics 

Thanks to this feature, you’ll know exactly which products are used and for how long, which will give you an excellent insight into your customers’ preferences.

✧ Unique and unforgettable virtual try-on experience

Strategically placing a beauty QR code on your products will take your consumers straight to the virtual try-on. They can then experiment with different looks without ever needing to use physical samples. This is a fun way to engage your customers and keep them entertained, all while enhancing the quality of their shopping journey.


✧ More engagement

Augmented reality QR codes provide beauty brands with a direct channel to engage with their customers and offer tailor-made content through interactive experiences that foster a sense of trust and loyalty. AR’s immersive nature nudges users to interact with your products, swiftly encouraging them to spend more time with your brand.

✧ Sustainability

One of the best things about embracing AR? The reduced need for using physical samples and packaging, which directly leads to a much more responsible and sustainable approach to beauty retail.

✧ Incentivized buyers

By implementing QR codes into beauty campaigns, you can share much more information about your products than you typically could. The QR code can serve as a direct link to product information and customer testimonials, which can help increase trust in your brand. You can also use it to store information on special offers and discounts, which will surely incentivize your buyers.

Arbelle: your trusted partner in beauty AR solutions

Incorporating QR codes for retail into your beauty e-commerce strategy, especially through advanced solutions like Arbelle, promises an innovative edge.

With the help of our virtual try-on, consumers can create vivid digital replicas of physical products, unlocking a whole new realm of possibilities.

With a focus on creating top-of-the-line immersive experiences, Arbelle’s cutting-edge technology helps buyers feel confident throughout the entire shopping journey.

Since beauty QR codes are opening a pathway to a whole new marketing channel, brands have no choice but to implement this new technology to keep surpassing consumers’ expectations, and craft a future-ready strategy!

Don’t let your brand stay behind. Just reach out to us and we’ll help you harness the power of AR QR code to create a personalized, enjoyable, and interactive shopping experience that will leave an indelible mark on the minds of your customers!

Harness the power of QR codes and AR

Contact us today to tell us more about your needs and let’s transform your business with beauty AR solutions.