Boss Lady

Barcodes 101: the benefits and how to get them


Making the decision to introduce barcodes into your small business is a tough one, especially if you are new to the whole business world. There are so many different factors to take into account. There are a wide range of different kinds that you can choose from.  Ranging from retail to box barcodes to more complex two dimensional ones. Each different format performs a very specific function.

How is one supposed to know what each one is used for and which ones one needs for each unique business? At they can answer all of your questions. Questions such as how many you will need for your business, how to go about acquiring them and how they can boost your business in the competitive market that exists today.

Why buy barcodes?

Firstly, lets answer the most pressing question of all.  Why buy barcodes in the first place? Why should I spend money to acquire them for my small business?  What difference will barcodes make in the long run?  We are here to tell you that initiating a barcoding system in your small business can make all the difference in the world.  Firstly, barcoding your products will boost your reputation and ensure that your business is completely professional and will encourage the business world to take you seriously as a competitor.

Secondly,  your products will open up new frontiers for your business. There are many retailers that will only accept products that are barcoded. With GS1 bar codes, more retailers will be happy to stock your products.  This will boost your profit margin and will lead to more clients becoming aware of your products.

Thirdly,  using barcodes in your business will help eliminate human error and ensure that as few mistakes as possible are made in daily transactions with clients.  It is very easy to ring up the wrong item. Everybody is human and are prone to making mistakes.  By using GS1 barcodes, these human mistakes are limited. This saves both time and money and, in this way, boost your profit margin and ensure that you make a success of your business.

What are barcodes used for?

Another important question to ask is what are barcodes actually used for? Firstly, they are used to assist in the sales process in retailers.  Retail assistants can simply scan each individual item in order to bring it up on their sales system. This makes the whole sales process a lot smoother and more efficient.

A second way that barcodes are used in businesses is to control the stock levels.  In the past, businesses would have to close in order to do their stock checks. However, with the use of GS1 barcodes, this is no longer necessary. You can use them to control your stock levels and to determine when you need to re-order stock. This saves even more time and money.

A third use is to promote your business in the wider community.  This is done with the use of Quick Response codes. These are two dimensional barcodes that can be scanned by a Smartphone.  They are usually linked to a specific business URL.  You can use these codes in order to promote your business and boost awareness of your products.

QRCs are also used in SnapScan and other payment applications. In these applications, it is possible for clients to pay for their purchases by scanning a QR and following the prompts. Many clients are moving away from using cards or cash and actually prefer to simply use their phone to pay.

Which ones should I choose?

Okay, you have persuaded me.  But exactly which ones should I buy for my small business? The most common barcodes are retail GS1 bar codes called EAN and UPC. These are American and have spread throughout the world. They are one dimensional and are used by retailers to sell products and to track inventory.

Another format that you may need are Case bar codes. These, also called Box barcodes or ITF-14s, are used when you need to supply your products in bulk.  Their role is to make it easier for retailers to receive your products into their inventory.  Not all retailers will require you to have both EAN/UPC and ITF-14 barcodes.  The best idea is to check with your retailer exactly which kind they require from you before making your decision regarding which to purchase. We are able to provide you with these by linking the box code to your individual EAN code.

How about QR codes?

As mentioned before, many businesses also purchase QR codes in order to promote their businesses in the wider community.  These Quick Response codes are able to store a lot more information than the more common one dimensional such as the EAN and UPC.   This will give you the tools to promote your business and the option of using SnapScan within your business.

The next question that comes up is exactly how to go about purchasing in South Africa. We aim to make this process as simple and painless as possible.  We are able to provide the full range of top quality images at cut-throat prices. Our service is fast and friendly, and we will provide you with your package before you know it.   We have specific packages that you can purchase online. Alternatively, you can ask us for a unique quotation that best suits your needs.  Once we have received payment, we will send the pack to you via email.  After this, all you have to do is attach these bar codes to your products and you are ready to go.

In conclusion, we are willing and available to assist you on your journey.  Please do not hesitate to contact us for all your barcoding needs. We are more than willing to help in any way we can.


About Lauren Robinson

A Journalist at The Business Woman, Lauren has a solid passion for the world of writing. Previously working with Fairfax Regional Media and Bauer Media Group Lauren loves beauty, entertainment, lifestyle and human-interest stories.

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