Retailers and brands are under huge pressure, both online and off. The pandemic has dramatically accelerated e-commerce shopping and the cost of logistics, shipping and returns—which can reach 30% of purchases in categories such as apparel—are growing. With increased volume going through dominant e-commerce channels, brands need to find ways of generating higher-margin direct sales and diversifying channel concentration. At the same time, a mobile-first interface has become critical to brands’ success, including in physical stores, given heightened health concerns. To address these issues, brands such as Ralph Lauren and Puma are employing a simple technology solution: the humble QR code. Western brands, retailers and consumers are rapidly discovering what Asia already knows—that digitized products with QR codes provide consumers with an easy way to connect through their mobile phone with brands and retailers. The codes are playing a crucial role this holiday season and are set to be at the forefront of retail and consumer engagement agendas in 2021. Read more at Forbes.