Streamlining Retail Operations with Mobile Barcode Reader Technology
In the retail industry, barcodes are widely used and can be found on virtually every item for sale. They are used to track and manage inventory, enable efficient point-of-sale transactions, and provide valuable data for analytics and business intelligence purposes.
Some of those use cases include:
- Inventory management: Barcodes are used to track products as they move through the supply chain, from the manufacturer to the warehouse to the retail store. This enables retailers to monitor inventory levels, restock items as needed, and ensure that products are available for sale.
- Point of sale: Barcodes are used at the point of sale to scan products and quickly and accurately process sales transactions. This helps to reduce errors and speed up the checkout process.
- Analytics and business intelligence: Barcodes provide valuable data that can be used to analyze sales trends, monitor inventory levels, and make informed business decisions.
Not all barcode types are created equally and some are better suited for the retail than others. The types that provide efficient inventory management, streamlined point-of-sale transactions, and valuable data for business intelligence purposes are more commonly used in the retail:
UPC (Universal Product Code): This is the most common barcode type used in retail, and it is used to encode product information such as the manufacturer and item number. UPC barcodes are typically found on product packaging and can be scanned at the point of sale to quickly and accurately ring up purchases;
EAN (European Article Number): EAN barcodes are similar to UPC codes but are used primarily in Europe. They are also used to encode product information and can be scanned at the point of sale. Both the UPC and the EAN are supported by our SDK within the same barcode type symbol;
QR (Quick Response) code: QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes that can store much more information than traditional one-dimensional barcodes. They are often used in retail to provide customers with additional product information, such as pricing or nutritional information, that can be accessed by scanning the code with a mobile device;
Code 128: Code 128 barcodes are used to encode alphanumeric information and are commonly used in retail for inventory management and tracking purposes;
Code 39: Code 39 barcodes are also used for inventory management and tracking in retail, and are able to encode both letters and numbers;
GS1 DataBar: GS1 DataBar barcodes are smaller than traditional barcodes and are used to encode information such as weight and expiration dates on smaller products, such as produce or baked goods;
Data Matrix: Data Matrix barcodes are two-dimensional barcodes that can encode a large amount of data in a small space. They are often used in retail for inventory management and tracking purposes;
PDF417: PDF417 barcodes are two-dimensional barcodes that can store a large amount of data, including both text and images. They are often used in retail for ticketing, identification, and inventory management purposes;
Codabar: Codabar barcodes are primarily used for inventory management and tracking in retail. They can encode numeric data as well as a few special characters;
Interleaved 2 of 5: Interleaved 2 of 5 barcodes are used in retail for inventory management and tracking purposes. They can encode numeric data and are commonly used for labeling products and packages;
Code 93: Code 93 barcodes are similar to Code 39 barcodes, but they can encode more characters and are often used in retail for inventory management and tracking purposes.
If you ever have a need to generate one of these barcode types you can try out our barcode generator!
Mobile barcode scanning has become increasingly popular in retail as consumers increasingly rely on their smartphones for shopping-related activities. The ability to have access to relevant data based on the ID of a product contained within a small printed symbol has enabled the existence of various applications that help out the end user. Customers nowadays can rely on their “pocket computers” to do the following activities:
- Price comparison: Consumers can use mobile barcode scanning apps to scan a product barcode in-store and compare prices with other retailers which enables consumers with a real time up to date overview of the best prices.
- Product information: Mobile barcode scanning apps can provide consumers with detailed product information, such as nutritional information, reviews, and product specifications. Obviously, this helps consumers make informed purchasing decisions.
- Loyalty programs: Mobile barcode scanning can be used to scan loyalty program barcodes or QR codes, enabling consumers to earn rewards and discounts for their purchases.
- Mobile payments: Mobile barcode scanning can be used for mobile payments, allowing consumers to pay for purchases using their smartphones. This eliminates the need for physical credit cards or cash.
- Inventory management: Retailers can use mobile barcode scanning to track inventory levels in real-time. Employees can scan barcodes on products to update inventory levels and ensure that products are restocked as needed.
- In-store promotions: Retailers can use mobile barcode scanning to provide consumers with exclusive in-store promotions and offers. Consumers can scan a barcode or QR code to redeem the offer.
Overall, mobile barcode scanning provides retailers with a powerful tool for engaging with consumers and improving the shopping experience. It enables consumers to access product information, compare prices, and make purchases using their smartphones, while also providing valuable data for retailers to improve inventory management and marketing strategies.