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Why You Need Barcodes For Your South African Business

01 July 2022 | 0 comments | Posted by Samantha in Shopaholics

Benefits of barcodes

Barcodes have become such a vital and important part of our everyday lives, both in the retail world and in our personal lives. They are an asset in any business, a tool you can use to expand your horizons and ensure that you will rise to new heights of success. In these competitive times, it is crucial to rise above your competitors and ensure that your business pulls ahead with an efficient and effective system.

The necessity of barcodes

There are numerous different ways to use them within your business, be it a small or large business. Before the advent of barcodes, the sales process within retail stores was a long and laborious process.

Saving time and effort

Every time the sales assistant wanted to sell an item, they would have to search for this specific item on their sales system, which would waste a fair amount of time and would mean that clients had to wait in long queues in order to be assisted. This meant that retail stores could never grow to the large retailers we find today, since keeping track of inventory would have been a nightmare.

Lower margins for error

In addition to wasting time, having to manually search for items would often lead to sales assistants making mistakes, such as ringing up the wrong item and charging a client the incorrect amount. They have essentially eliminated such human errors and ensure that the whole sales process is as smooth and efficient as possible.

Having better control over inventory

Barcodes give business owners complete control over their inventory, from the minute you receive your stock into your inventory to the moment you sell the product to your clients. You are able to do full stock checks without having to close your business. In this way, you always know exactly what inventory you have.

You will then know when it is necessary to re-order. It is important to always be fully stocked so that your clients know that they can always find what they need in your store. In this way, you will boost client loyalty and ensure a steady flow of income. Barcodes also enhance your ability to make decisions about what to stock and how many of each item to stock.

Building blocks for a scalable system

Investing in codes will also help to grow your business. If you have a system in place, it is very easy to add new products and increase your stock variation. Barcodes also make training new employees a lot easier. Using a scanner to sell products is not rocket science. Therefore, it is much easier for new employees to get the hang of it. This reduces the amount of training time that is needed. This is the time that you, as the business owner, can invest in other important aspects of your business.

Cross border sales

Many retailers in South Africa and abroad will only accept barcoded products. Therefore, by barcoding your products, you are opening up new frontiers to your business. More retailers will stock your products, which, in turn, will mean that more clients will become aware of what you offer. The more exposure you get, the better your sales will be and the more profit you will make. Not having barcodes for your products will limit where your business can go.

Which barcodes you should get?

The most common retail formats are the UPC and EAN. These are American codes that are utilised throughout the world. They are simple, one-dimensional codes that are used to sell products in retailers. The EAN and UPC are the same code actually, except that the EAN is one digit longer, making it thirteen digits long. Of these two codes, the EAN is far more popular.

Another popular code that businesses are investing in is the Quick Response code. This QR code is a more complex, two-dimensional code and is special for two reasons. It can store information (such as a website address) and it can be scanned by a Smartphone.

These two characteristics make this code very useful to have within the business setting. It has been used extensively in many payment applications such as Snapscan and Zapper.

In these applications, clients can pay for their purchases by simply scanning a QR code and following the prompts on the application. It has revolutionised the sales process by making it even more convenient and efficient.

In addition, these QR codes are being used to promote businesses within the wider community. The more people are aware of what you offer, the more clients will be attracted to your business. In this way, you will thrive and expand exponentially.

Get over your fear of barcodes

Many new business owners tend to be hesitant to buy barcodes, because they fear that it may be very expensive or it may be too complicated to implement. The world of barcodes can be quite daunting to new business owners.

It can indeed seem like too big a financial risk without knowing whether it will pay off in the long run. However, investing in barcodes can be an inexpensive and very easy process. It does not have to be a long or complicated process at all. And it is definitely worth it in the long run.

Buying barcodes for your business

So, having decided that you want to buy barcodes for your business, the most important starting point is to understand the different places from where you can buy from. There are essentially two options - directly through the international organisation GS1 South Africa, or through the hundreds of barcode resellers around the world.

Going directly through GS1 South Africa can be costly, especially for smaller businesses that are selling fewer products than the large suppliers or retailers. GS1 South Africa requires both an initial company membership fee, as well as annual renewal fees for the barcodes that you “buy” from them.

This would only be a viable option if you are a larger business with hundreds and thousands of products, in addition to selling tens of thousands of those products.

Finding a barcode reseller

Finding a reseller can be tricky, as there are many resellers out there that claim to be legit but are in actual fact selling counterfeit barcodes. It is important that you go with a reputable barcode reseller.

Ensure that the reseller's barcodes are sourced directly from the GS1 South Africa barcode database and their certificate of authentication guarantees that your barcodes are unique and that you are the sole owner of your barcodes forever. Barcode resellers can often be cheaper to use as Unlike GS1 South Africa, there is only one purchase fee, and no recurring fees ever.

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Recommended reading

If you enjoyed this post and have time to spare why not check out these related posts and dive deeper down the rabbit hole that is shopping and eCommerce.

Tags: Business, Retail Business, Guest Post

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