Why Retailers Should Migrate to 2D Barcode Imagers

Written by  on 14 December 2017
Barcoding technology has become an integral part of retail and grocery operations. It makes inventory management and customer check out more efficient and accurate and has been proving its worth as a productivity enhancing tool for decades.

Barcode systems, however, have evolved over time. While the retail space still primarily uses a linear or 1D code — the UPC — for check-out, other types of barcodes have been put into service for supply chain, marketing, and other applications. Many of these applications rely on 2D barcodes that can’t be read using the same laser scanners traditionally utilized to scan UPC codes. That’s why many retailers are turning to 2D barcode imagers across their operations to enable new applications and improve existing solutions.

There are multiple uses of scanners in retail:  at the front end POS and in mobile devices for associates.  Each can take advantage of greater flexibility and productivity by use of 2D scanners.

New Options

Deploying 2D barcode imagers can create a number of benefits for retailers. In fact, imagers are a better investment for retailers than laser scanners for a variety of reasons, including:

1.      Traditional laser scanners can only read 1D/linear codes.Imaging scanners, on the other hands, can read both 1D and 2D codes effectively.  The retail environment now includes 2D codes for coupons, which often can’t be read by 1D readers.  Also, 2D codes such as PDF417 are sometimes used on driver’s licenses, which can be used for age verification or other customer information.  Imagers can also be used to capture other types of images. On mobile devices in some applications, text can be scanned for optical character recognition (OCR) solutions. The scanners can also be used to take photos of damaged goods or new marketing displays.  2D barcode imagers are also more efficient and effective for reading all types of barcodes, providing a productivity boost at the check-out counter and in the stockroom or distribution center.

2.      Laser scanners require that barcodes are aligned with the scanner at a certain angle. There are some POS scanners that provide multiple lines at the same time, which can help decode 1D barcodes at multiple angles fairly well, but not as good as 2D imagers.  2D barcode imagers are omnidirectional, so they can scan codes no matter the orientation. With faster scanning comes faster service at the check-out, and faster, more accurate inventory data.

3.      2D barcode imagers do a better job of error correction for damaged barcodes.When codes are obscured, torn, or scuffed, laser scanners often can’t decode them. Imagers do a much better job of scanning damaged barcodes because they are scanning the entire image and use superior decode algorithms. This is important in retail because items are often exposed to temperature extremes, moisture or abrasion that can affect the quality of the barcode label. With more reliable scanning retailers can improve the check-out experience and reduce bottlenecks in inventory processes up and down the supply chain.

4.      2D barcodes hold more information than 1D barcodes.When retailers scan 2D codes, they can provide customers with more information about their products. Using 2D barcodes in the store also allows customers to use their own personal mobile devices to scan barcodes in order to receive information or take advantage of special promotions. 2D QR codes, for example, are frequently used for these types of consumer-facing applications. Customers scan the codes and are directed to web links that contain videos, forms, or other information. Imagers can also scan most drivers’ licenses, which helps automate loyalty program enrollment and confirm personal information.  Having the 2D reading also available on the associates mobile devices allow better interaction with your customers.

5.      Laser scanners can’t read digital barcodes.Customers are increasingly using their mobile phones to take advantage of coupons, loyalty programs, and store promotions that rely on QR Code or other 2D codes. You can only scan those codes using a 2D barcode imager. In an increasingly competitive retail environment, 2D imaging technology allows retailers to leverage mobility to provide special offers to their customers. This can improve the effectiveness of a loyalty program and boost repeat business by making your stores more attractive to shoppers.

Maintaining a laser scanning environment not only slows down your operations but severely limits your ability to provide your customers with the flexibility, functionality and features they demand. Upgrading your hardware to 2D barcode imagers will be well worth the investment because of the improvements in efficiency, productivity, and the customer experience. These imagers can help you provide the flexible, information-rich experience customers want.

Contact us at Quest Solution to discuss the benefits of deploying 2D barcode scanners in your retail location. 

Read 116 times Last modified on Thursday, 14 December 2017 18:00