How to Implement Barcode System in Retail Store?
Barcodes have become an integral part of our daily lives because of their benefits. They are used in almost every industry, such as automobile, healthcare, pharmaceutical, and more. Also, they are widely used in the retail industry, making tracking and managing thousands of SKUs simple. So, if you own a retail store, you can easily manage inventory and track your sales using barcodes. However, proper implementation of a barcoding system is necessary. It requires considerable planning and making the right choices. To help you out, we compiled several important considerations. These will guide you on how to implement a barcode system in a retail store: Considerations To Implement Barcode System In a Retail Store Complying with the regulatory standards There are different online and offline tools to create barcodes unofficially. However, barcodes created this way have limited use. They are helpful if you plan to use them for a local retail store. But what if you want to list your products on e-commerce websites, ship them internationally, or operate a global retail chain? To enlist your retail store over e-commerce vendors like Amazon or ship your products internationally, you must use barcodes registered with GS1. It is an international organization that devises and regulates global barcode standards. They assign a 12-digit GTIN, more commonly known as the UPC-A, for retail items. You can then use their GS1 US data to create your barcodes. They are internationally recognized. This way, your retail products can be easily tracked and scanned globally using a barcode scanner. Deciding On The Barcode Type Nowadays, almost all retail items come printed with a barcode. UPC-A is the standard barcode used for individual retail items. However, you can use other barcode types for various retail operations. For example, you can use numeric or alpha-numeric barcodes to mark boxes in your inventory. You can then easily track bulk stock movements and keep an accurate inventory count. Furthermore, the application of barcodes goes beyond just item identification in a retail outlet. You can use 2D barcodes, such as QR codes, for brand promotion, customer service, newsletter subscriptions, and much more. You can also place QR codes at different locations within your store, detailing product discounts, item descriptions, etc. Thus, you can use different barcode types for business or operational purposes and diversify their applications. Integrating Your Items with Barcodes Most manufacturers label their products with barcodes. When scanned with a barcode scanner, you will get the details of the SKU number, vendor information, manufacturing date, etc. You can sync the barcode data with your system. Moreover, you can also do some customizations and add additional information to these barcodes, such as price, description, discount rate, etc. If you are creating your own barcodes, make sure to assort these data points carefully. You can use an excel sheet to contain and make a list of all the items within your inventory. You can then systematically assign them the necessary information and their corresponding barcodes. This way, you can easily create a robust barcode system for retail operations and seamlessly perform your day-to-day tasks. Placing the Barcodes on Items Sometimes, barcode scanning fails due to its erroneous placement. For instance, placing a barcode on a highly reflective or dark surface should be avoided. The barcode scanner will not be able to distinguish between contrasting black and white lines on the barcode, leading to scanning failure. For heavy items such as furniture, you need to place your barcode where there is a minimal chance of wear and tear. Otherwise, there is a chance that your barcode may get torn or damaged. For items such as soda cans, where condensation forms on the surface, you can use laminated or imprinted barcodes. Sometimes barcodes are irregularly placed, making it difficult to find and accurately scan them. You must follow a placement technique when placing your barcodes. It will help you to avoid scanning errors. Choosing the Right Barcode Scanning Software The final step to implementing a barcode system for retail is choosing the right barcode scanning software. Various barcode scanning solutions are available for creating an optimal barcode system for retail operations and management. Choose a barcode scanning software that is easy to use and integrates with your existing inventory management system. This way, your employees will require minimal training to operate it. It should provide wide scanning functionalities such as being able to read damaged or torn barcodes, rapid barcode identification, the ability to scan multiple barcodes at once, etc. Furthermore, your barcode scanning software should support smartphones. Your employees can use their phones as barcode scanners, further simplifying retail management. Also, ensure the solution offers the required level of customization and is flexible for your retail needs. Conclusion Using barcodes enhances the efficiency of your day-to-day retail operations. This is the reason retailers widely use them. While implementing a barcode system may seem difficult, it is quite easy. All you need is to understand your retail requirements clearly. This way, you can make the correct business decisions and implement the optimal barcode system for retail management.