As retailers around the world prepare for a busy holiday shopping season, a shift in bar code labels to newer 2D bar codes that incorporate patterns, dots and shapes in their design is causing new challenges while opening up new marketing opportunities for brick-and-mortar stores.
New 2D labels are having a profound impact on retailers, as manufacturers and other organizations take advantage of their data-transmitting capabilities for efforts such as food traceability.
If you’ve ever found yourself at checkout unable to scan and redeem your digital loyalty card or coupon from your mobile phone – you’ve confronted this challenge. Older scanners commonly found in many retail stores use a laser to read linear bar codes – known as 1D bar codes – but are unable to read the newer codes from mobile phone screens.
Addressing this challenge, scanning technology from Honeywell is helping retailers around the world ring up purchases faster, driving new marketing programs and helping businesses comply with new regulations.
For example, a new Russian law implemented this year put in place an electronic tracking and monitoring system known as EGAIS, which is designed to significantly strengthen the control over illicit alcohol-based products. With a special 2D bar code placed on every legitimate bottle produced, regulators could track the sale to ensure only legally produced and imported products will be accepted into the system.
In order to read the new codes and comply with the regulation, retailers and grocery stores across the country had to invest in new scanning technology at the cash registers.
“The new regulation and associated standards will have a positive impact on the entire Russian alcohol industry,” said Roman Poludnev, Russia business leader for Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions. “It will protect customers from the severe health effects associated with poor quality illegal alcohol products, and also provides retailers with an opportunity to upgrade their point-of-sale technology.”
Another way that stores are leveraging the 2D bar codes is for their marketing programs, which involves sending digital coupons to provide shoppers’ personal mobile phones. In order to effectively implement mobile marketing programs, retailers must invest in the new scanners to read the bar codes at checkout.
“Retailers – particularly the medium-sized and smaller stores – are embracing the new point-of-sale 2D technology to make their brick-and-mortar stores more profitable,” said Poludnev.
Shoppers are also taking advantage of bar code innovations for mobile ‘digital wallets’ to pay for small transactions like coffee from smartphones and mobile loyalty cards. As stores add new scanning technology, shoppers can replace the plastic cards we so often forget at home.
Honeywell offers several 2D scanning solutions for retailers, including the Honeywell Voyager 1450g, Stratos 2700 and Solaris 7980g as well as a wide portfolio of mobile and printing solutions for inventory applications using 2D technology.