In What Ways Are Barcode Scanners Helpful for E-commerce Businesses?
It is quite remarkable to think how profoundly the humble barcode – which is, after all, “just” a means of representing data that a machine can read – has transformed our world.
The history of the barcode can be traced back to 1949, when inventor Norman Joseph Woodland apparently drew the world’s first barcode in the sand of a beach in Miami. However, it took until 1974 for the “era” of the barcode to be truly ushered in, when a packet of chewing gum was scanned at a checkout in an Ohio supermarket.
Before the end of the 1970s, the barcode made it to the UK, too, first appearing on a box of tea bags at a supermarket in Lincolnshire.
There’s something you might have noticed about the examples of barcode use we’ve given so far, though… they’re all instances of barcodes being used in traditional “brick-and-mortar” shops. And the fact is, in the 2020s, barcodes play a critical role in how online stores operate, too.
In what ways is that the case? Well, below, we’ve set them out.
- Barcode Scanners Assist with Receiving and Restocking
The lifeblood of an ecommerce store is, of course, the products that it stocks and makes available to be bought by customers.
But when a given e-tail store orders goods from suppliers – including when it is replenishing its stocks of products that it might have been offering to shoppers for a while – it will want to be sure that the products it receives from the supplier actually match the purchase order.
Barcode scanners can make this process slick, efficient, and relatively stress-free. They can be used to verify that a particular product is indeed what was ordered, which allows for inventory information to be swiftly updated accordingly.
- They Make the Picking and Packing Process Quicker and Easier, Too
When a customer places an order, that order will need to be processed rapidly, but also accurately, in order to ensure the satisfaction of the shopper when the packaged goods arrive at their doorstep.
Again, barcode scanners will be instrumental in this process. They will verify that all the items the customer placed an order for are included in the shipment, with no mistakes made that would result in the recipient’s disappointment.
- They Allow for The Fuss-Free Processing of Returns
No e-tail business wants to have to process customer returns, but they are a fact of life in this industry. On average, almost a fifth of items purchased online are apparently returned by the customer.
And when goods are returned to a given ecommerce business, there will be a need to account for these items and to ensure inventory records are updated to reflect the return. Again, a barcode scanner enables this process to be quickly done.
- They Help to Boost Efficiency – And Minimise Error Rates
A key theme of this article has been one of efficiency, and it is impossible to deny that barcode technology – and the use of the associated barcode scanners – has been instrumental in streamlining the operations of businesses across the sectors. For e-tail firms, the benefits have been much the same.
If barcodes and barcode scanners didn’t exist, processes like data entry, picking, packing, and labelling would depend a lot more on manual processes – perhaps even good old-fashioned “pen and paper”.
Such manual processes, carried out directly by humans, present a risk of errors being made, such as a given package not including everything the given customer ordered, or perhaps the “right” product in the wrong specifications. After all, if the customer ordered a coat in red, they won’t expect a blue coat to be the one that turns up in a package at their door.
So, you can probably further see how vital barcode scanners are when it comes to ensuring efficiency, accuracy, and customer satisfaction – and as a consequence, the strongest possible prospects for the business’s survival and growth.
Have You Been Encountering Issues with Your E-tail Store’s Barcode Scanners?
Having established above just how crucial it is for an ecommerce store to use barcode scanners for various fundamental parts of its operations, we can move onto another subject: what you can do if something goes wrong with the barcode scanners your business uses.
Whether you suddenly find your Datalogic barcode scanner not working, or damage has been caused to your firm’s Honeywell, Intermec, or Symbol barcode readers – to cite just some of the possibilities – our free-of-charge assessment process at Mobile Computer Repair can help get to the bottom of the problem.
And of course, once the specific issue is pinpointed, we will be able to carry out a rapid and complete repair for your convenience. It all means that the next time you find yourself asking, “where is the best barcode scanner repair service near me?”, there will be no need for you to look in any other direction. Simply get in touch with us today to find out more.