The presence of barcodes in our daily lives cannot be denied. Since their introduction in 1974, these black and white lines have become a common sight on product packaging in the retail industry, revolutionizing the way we conduct business through the implementation of scanning technology. However, the retail landscape has undergone significant transformations in recent years, particularly with the rise of e-commerce. This shift has brought together the Retail, Distribution, and Logistics industries, necessitating a higher level of traceability to meet the demands of consumers who expect products and services to be readily available.
Given the fast-paced nature of the industry, it is worth considering whether traditional 1D barcodes are still sufficient. While 1D barcodes remain widely used, there has been a constant evolution in barcoding technology. One such development gaining prevalence in the retail sector is 2D barcoding. This includes QR codes, Data Matrix codes, PDF417 codes, and many others. Unlike their linear counterparts, 2D barcodes utilize patterns of shapes to encode data. For instance, a QR code uses squares to hold information. Most smartphones today are equipped with the necessary technology to scan these codes. If you have a 2D scanning app on your smartphone, give it a try – you might be pleasantly surprised by its capabilities!
The Advantages of 2D Barcodes
2D barcodes offer several advantages over 1D barcodes. Instead of storing information in a linear fashion, 2D barcodes can hold data both vertically and horizontally. As a result, they can store more information in the same amount of space on a product. This efficiency allows 2D barcodes to occupy less surface area when compared to 1D barcodes, which tend to grow longer as more information is added.
Additionally, 2D barcodes provide a higher level of error correction. Even if a barcode appears damaged, 2D barcodes are designed to remain readable, whereas 1D barcodes can often become difficult or impossible to scan under similar circumstances.
Are you experiencing difficulties scanning stock in your warehouse or stockroom? 1D scanners can struggle to read barcodes in challenging positions, such as when items are stacked or placed high up. In contrast, 2D barcodes can be scanned from any direction due to their design, and most 2D scanners have the ability to read barcodes from a greater distance with scanners such as the Zebra DS3678-ER (Extended Range) scanner. This feature has the potential to reduce injuries, such as wrist strain, among employees who no longer need to strain themselves to obtain a clear scan of linear barcodes.
It is worth noting that 2D barcode scanners offer the advantage of providing both 1D and 2D scanning capabilities. Therefore, opting for a 2D barcode scanner like the Zebra DS2278 Cordless Scanner or the Zebra DS2208 (USB Corded) scanner does not mean sacrificing the ability to scan 1D barcodes.
Given their ability to contain a significant amount of information within a small space, 2D barcodes are an ideal solution for loyalty schemes or discount codes. Adding a 2D barcode to a membership card or including one in an email with a discount offer coupled with the scanners ability to scan barcodes from mobile screens, all this enables businesses to track who is making purchases and when.
Furthermore, as demand for 2D scanning devices grows, prices for such devices are steadily decreasing, making them more accessible to businesses of all sizes.
In summary, the barcode landscape is constantly evolving to meet the changing demands of the retail industry. While traditional 1D barcodes remain prevalent, the advantages offered by 2D barcodes, such as increased data storage, better error correction, improved scanning capabilities, and compatibility with loyalty schemes, make them an appealing option for businesses. As technology advances and costs decrease, the adoption of 2D barcoding is likely to continue its upward trend.
The Barcode Store - Top Recommendations
1D & 2D
1D & 2D