eCommerce thrives through the incorporation of new technology in the process of production, storage and shipping. However, barcode scanning seems to defy all the odds. In spite of the development of QR codes, this technology has become invaluable in the current e-commerce world.
Barcodes Vs. QR Codes
Both technologies use the same principle in the reading information on an item. The main difference is that barcode scanning is linear and one dimensional. QR codes, on the other hand, are two dimensional hence can be read both vertically and horizontally.
Consequently, QR codes can hold 7100 characters whereas barcodes can only contain 20 characters.
Recent developments in scanning technology have significantly increased the benefits code scanning can bring a business. Here are some of them.
Since every item has a barcode, it easy to have tight control over the inventory. Warehouses can scan the products as they come and leave. Shipping companies too can scan the items as they are loaded and compare the information at the offloading point. Customers can also scan the product to acknowledge receipt of the product.
Web-based Inventory Management
Barcode scanning technology makes inventory management easy. It automatically updates information on the produced, sold and remaining items on the web-based inventory system. All one needs to do is hold a scanner near the shelf. This is especially important for online stores where the customer needs to know if the item is out of stock before ordering.
Minimises Inventory Errors
Human error when taking inventories is about 1 in every 100 entries. The barcodes error margin is 1:10000. A slight inventory mistake, especially in large online stores, can lead to huge losses. It significantly reduces shipping and delivery mistakes.
The ability to track a package is one of the core needs of e-commerce. It is essential for both the customer and the store. The buyer needs to know if the product will be delivered on time while the store owner has to ensure no goods are lost in transit. Barcode scanning makes the process fast and accurate.
Some shipping service providers provide all shipping and tracking information in one barcode. It has not only sped up the scanning process but also reduced package losses significantly.
Increased Preference For Online Stores
Studies have shown that most people use their phones in making purchase decisions. Nine in ten shoppers use their smartphones to scan codes when shopping in brick and mortar stores. Half of the customers use the phones for price comparison and checking product information.
Online retail shops can take advantage of this reliance on technology by customers to win them over from in-stores to their online stores. A Barcode scanner is the best way to achieve this. Manufacturers can add codes to their products, which in return diverts scans to the shop.
Even though using scannable codes is pretty old-fashioned, one can think outside the box and use the barcodes effectively in marketing campaigns. This implies limiting the number of locations where you intend to apply your QR code. The following are practical ideas that can be applied to put QR codes back in the market game:
1. Use Discretion
The flooding of QR codes was the cause of the decline in the utilisation of said codes. Therefore, it would be wise to use the codes in moderation. What this implies is that the places in which you choose to place your QR codes should be selective and discreet. Think of it as an option, not a necessity.
2. Social Media Marketing
You can use social media as a tool to make QR codes work for you. Aligning them in merchandise when promoting a sale or advertising coupons on social media platforms such as Facebook or Snapchat can help you get to your targeted market audience. This amalgamation of technologies would make perfect sense.
3. Analytical Progression
An advantage of QR codes is that you can use it in data analytics. See how many scans the code is getting. These statistics will help you know whether or not QR code marketing was a profitable market venture. If your projections are not met, you can always find a new strategy for
Conclusion: Reinvent the wheel
Data transfer at a fast pace is essential in this day and age, be it online shopping or physically shopping. Our lives have been made easier by the advancements in barcode scanning being applied in apps and websites in different ways. Finding new ways to reinvent the technology can prove to be cost-effective and might even find the system making a full comeback in the world of marketing.