What are the Advantages of 2D Barcodes?

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Small businesses wanting to make a big impact with customers can utilize 2D barcodes.  2D barcodes can include more information in the code than their 1D counterpart, like price, quantity, web address or even an image.

Small business owners constantly need to be improving to stay ahead of the competition and to keep up with the marketplace. One important tool that can be used to improve your small business is a 2D Barcode. There are user friendly and inexpensive for customers and employees to utilize.

Product Marketing Manager, Brad Vinson, from Wasp Barcode Technologies, suggests “the biggest breakthrough in barcode technology has been the invention of 2D barcodes and camera-based 2D image readers.” The creation of the 2D barcode enables a customer to be captured by something as simple as a sales brochure with a QR code on it.  The code will direct anyone to the desired website to make purchases and the sale can be wrapped up in only minutes.


Product Marketing Manager, Brad Vinson, from Wasp Barcode Technologies, suggests “the biggest breakthrough in barcode technology has been the invention of 2D barcodes and camera-based 2D image readers.”


Many business owners have probably encountered 2D barcodes and perhaps thought about using them for their own business. While this tool might seem to be an expensive type of marketing and only for big companies with big budgets, 2D barcodes are actually the perfect tool for a small business looking to make a big impact.

Traditional linear, or 1D barcodes, can only contain a limited amount of information, roughly the equivalent of about 20 characters.  2D barcodes can store much more information, up to 7,000 digits or 4,000 characters of information.  Most 2D barcodes can also be read by mobile devices and phones equipped with basic cameras that scan both 2D and 1D barcodes.  2D barcodes are inexpensive to create and use (you can even make personalized QR codes for free online) and with the cost of 2D barcode scanners dropping substantially, this is an affordable option for businesses of any budget.

There are many different ways to use 2D barcodes and barcode scanners for a small business. Instead of asking why 2D barcodes should be utilized, small businesses need to focus on how to use 2D barcodes and barcode scanners to help their business succeed. Below are 3 ways to improve business operations and to help small businesses grow with 2D barcodes.


Related Article: The Ultimate Guide to Barcodes

1. Identify Customers or Patients

In the case of medical service providers, unique 2D barcode labels have become important tools in protecting patient rights and ensuring quality care is provided. Clark Memorial Hospital uses 2D barcode labels on each patient to make sure the nurses and doctors fulfill the “five rights” of medication management: right patient, right medication, right dose, right time, and right route of administration.

Clark Memorial Hospital Pharmacy Systems Administrator Gary Pollock MS, Rn, MT (ASCP), explains why the hospital uses 2D Barcodes instead of older 1D linear barcodes. “The FDA mandated that all vendors of medications must add a barcode, but they didn’t mandate the quality of the barcode. Sometimes a barcode is wrapped around a tiny vial, and the curvature of the vial prevents our scanner from reading the 1D linear barcode. Others are printed on paper that doesn’t carry crisp, readable barcodes or they have reflective foil that makes the code difficult to read. 2D barcodes are physically smaller so we can place them on the small vials, medications and packets.”

2D Barcode Scanner

2. Manage and track inventory

While linear, 1D barcodes work great for retailers and products in the grocery store, they just can’t contain enough information to be of great help to companies and small businesses who may want to track more than just the name and price of a product. Many businesses have unique needs and need to keep track of multiple data points on their inventory.

2D barcodes can be used in your warehouse for locating inventory.  With one scan of an omnidirectional 2D barcode scanner, which allows you to scan from any angle, employees can read up to four barcodes and know the serial number, part number, lot and date among other things.

TopGolf is a dynamic, entertainment facility that combines the basic elements of golf with cutting-edge technology with four facilities throughout Illinois, Texas and Virginia. TopGolf implemented the use of 2D barodes and can now track just about as much information as they would want to. This improves their ability to manage inventory.

One warehouse is in charge of tracking all gaming parts, such as ball dispensers, balls, mats and various technical pieces that keep games up and running at each TopGolf location. With the warehouse handling inventory demands for all four U.S. locations it was very time consuming to determine which TopGolf locations needed certain equipment, what needed to be shipped and where items were in the reorder process.  “Manually tracking inventory was an inefficient system that affected all locations,” said Bryan Harej, inventory analyst of TopGolf.  By adding a dedicated inventory tracking software, which includes 2D barcodes, “Our inventory is accurate and everyone is connected. Our whole process has been improved and works effortlessly.”

Increased efficiency in tracking assets and inventory means hours saved for your employees and company. Everyone wins, employees are happy to work a little less and the company increases efficiency and effective use of resources.

3. Create compelling and engaging marketing experiences

As you’ve probably already seen, 2D barcodes, especially QR codes, have become ubiquitous marketing tools. Almost every big ad or major magazine spread has a QR code somewhere on it and usually the code will take users to an interesting website or provide them with a short viewing experience that enhances their engagement with the product or brand. QR codes can literally transport users into a deeper more powerful experience.

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Brands and big companies aren’t the only ones using QR codes; every company can use them in some form or another. On product brochures they can be used to bring a prospective customer right to your online store. Place a QR code on your business card and the next time you hand it to someone they can scan it to learn more about your company. You can even use QR codes on social media campaigns.

Tip: Include barcodes in a mail merge. If your company is hosting an event, you can add barcodes to an RSVP card so you can track who has responded without trying to translate anyone’s handwriting.

Most importantly with 2D barcodes in general, think outside the box, think about the ways to use 4,000 characters to connect with customers, clients and even inventory. Basically, small businesses can’t afford to not use 2D barcodes.

How would adding 2D barcodes to marketing materials help customers connect with your business?

 

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Paul Trujillo

Paul Trujillo

Paul Trujillo is a Product Marketing Manager at Informatics specializing in Inventory Warehouse Management and Supply Chain product lines. His nearly 15 years of experience has put him at the forefront of industry technology and developing trends.