Aura Bora: Creating Branded Moments from QR Codes
Aura Bora is a craft sparkling water company creating unique flavors from herbs, fruits, and flowers. In three years, the brand has scaled its e-commerce business while expanding its brick-and-mortar presence into Whole Foods and over 2,000 natural retailers nationwide.
We sat down with Paul Voge, Co-Founder and CEO of Aura Bora, to learn how this F&B leader leverages Batch to unite digital and retail efforts. Topics include:
The difficulty of executing omnichannel user engagement
How Batch Tags helped Aura Bora bridge retail and DTC
The key benefits of Batch, from driving LTV to dynamic UI/UX
“From the moment I used Batch, I knew the product was unbeatable. So, we went all-in. By the end of 2022, we’ll have over five million Batch Tags on Aura Bora cans.”
Struggling to Bridge Online & Offline
Since selling their first can in November 2019, the Aura Bora team has grown from two co-founders to a team of 12, raised a seed round, and reached users online and in stores.
The real struggle emerged as they considered how they could effectively engage consumers across both digital and brick-and-mortar channels.
It's ultimately difficult to execute both of these playbooks effectively at the same time, and Paul was looking for a tool that could bring retail buyers online to experience Aura Bora’s story, special offers, and additional products.
“Brands love saying ‘omnichannel.’ But when it comes down to it, it’s difficult to execute both retail and digital well. We needed something to help us do both.”
Discovering “The World’s Fastest QR Code for E-Commerce”
When Paul was introduced to Batch, he was floored to discover the potential solution he’d been seeking. Batch’s QR code solution was compatible with numerous use cases he’d envisioned creating for Aura Bora, such as:
If you receive an Aura Bora variety pack as a gift or spot one sitting in your friend's fridge, you can scan the QR code to order instantly.
Or, if you buy Aura Bora from Whole Foods, you can later scan to explore their limited-edition flavors and online-only SKUs.
Despite his excitement, Paul admits he was still doubtful that a bunch of QR codes could deliver on what was promised.
Most of his experience with QR codes — at restaurants, doctor’s offices, etc. — felt clunky and unsophisticated, often bogged down by slow loading times and multiple steps, clicks, or webpage visits.
Paul recounts testing his first Batch code and experiencing an “unbeatable, lightning-fast” scan for a single-click Apple Pay checkout.
He signed Aura Bora up for Batch that same day.
“I couldn’t believe the branding, so I had Batch send me a code to test myself. It truly was a ‘lightning-fast,’ one-click purchase. I’d never seen anything like it.”
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How Aura Bora Deployed QR Codes
Since signing up with Batch, the Aura Bora team has placed QR codes on each of their limited-edition, online-only flavor SKUs that drop every other month.
They’ve also recently expanded their partnership by choosing to roll out QR codes on their five core flavors, which can be found in over 2,000 nationwide retailers.
Below, Paul points to four reasons why Aura Bora could confidently make that call.
1. Increasing LTV With Ongoing Product Testing
As customer acquisition costs continue to skyrocket with no sign of decline on the horizon, DTC brands frequently emphasize one of two strategies:
Increase AOV to make the most of a one-time buyer’s purchase
Double down on extending LTV by bringing users back
The Aura Bora team focuses on the latter, explains Paul, which is why they began producing limited-edition SKUs in the first place.
Some long-time Aura Bora fans had grown tired of the same core five products, so the Aura Bora team decided to produce new, limited-edition SKUs to continue to set their product apart.
The team uses Batch to create a channel for every customer to scan and discover new limited-edition flavors.
2. Maximizing Creative Real Estate
Looking back, Paul recalls that he was drinking roughly 10–12 cans of sparkling water by mainstream brands each day — and found them all “unbelievably boring.”
When he designed Aura Bora, Paul specifically tried to make the brand fun and creative, by imbuing its language, visuals, and digital experiences with bright, whimsical energy.
Batch’s dynamic QR codes seamlessly fit into Aura Bora’s brand.
3. Retaining Your Mid-Engagement Buyers
As subscription models soar in popularity among today’s DTC brands, Paul believes some items are perfectly suited to a regular, timed re-up. In his case:
Household goods — He has a laundry detergent subscription, which complements the fact that he does a fairly set number of loads each month.
F&B — As the CEO of a sparkling water brand, he likely drinks eight cans per day, six days per week. After crunching the numbers, he subscribes to roughly four cases each week.
However, the more common use case is the buyer who craves Aura Bora one week and then forgets it the next. Subscriptions simply do not suit every product or consumer.
Paul considers Batch the perfect alternative for this audience segment of "mid-engagement" buyers to reorder seamlessly on their own terms and schedules.
4. Integrating Dynamic QR Codes
Batch's dynamic QR codes and corresponding platform have enabled the Aura Bora team to tailor and experiment with what users see post-scan.
For instance, if Aura Bora is running low on a limited-edition SKU, they can avoid disappointing any users who scan to reorder by instead showing them the next exclusive flavor on the way.
In terms of retail, the company ships millions of cans to nearly 3,000 retailers — the ideal opportunity to experiment with codes based on flavor, location, or even day of the week.
“The goal has always been to put out fun, one-of-a-kind products and branding. The dynamic, customizable Batch QR codes have easily fit right into that.”
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