The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Excellence

Barcode scanning vs trad research

Are we about to see the end of product research as we know it? Japanese start up Research and Innovation is using barcode scanning technology to obtain consumer feedback on recently launched products.

First, a product is posted to respondents. This aspect is not exactly new, but the way they feedback is. Consumers download a dedicated app, allowing them to scan the product, then review and rate it. R&I has found a way to update a tired methodology and tap into consumers’ digital lives.

Will it take off? Barcode scanning could be a useful means of obtaining unstructured feedback on products. Much of this information is already readily available online, though, so social media listening could prove more cost-effective and efficient at gathering this type of data.

Barcode scanning technology also only enables collection of unprompted feedback, so would need to be enhanced by other methodologies, an online community or a focus group, say, which allow for specific questioning around particular product features.


Emma Muckersie
This article was first published in InBrief magazine, December 2014
Copyright © Association for Qualitative Research, 2014