When I was a kid, my family opened a modest supermarket. I remember the most painful thing was to label the price of various products there. Although the supermarket wasn't that big, there were hundreds of products overall. At that time, I was afraid of facing customers who bought things and had to call my parents to ask for the correct price.
After many years, I was shopping in the convenience store downstairs, and I saw that the cashier used a barcode scanner. The scanner directly scanned the price – it’s fast and accurate. I feel like having a barcode scanner in any physical store is necessary if you have one. This can help you stay calm when serving many customers, knowing that you always mention the price correctly.
Today, there are a lot of barcode scanners on the market with many features and technological capabilities. But how do you know the best barcode scanners that suit your needs? Let's discuss about it!
1D vs 2D
The most common types of barcodes are 1D and 2D, which can be divided into different classes.
- 1D：UPC,EAN, Code39, Code128, Code 11, Code 93, Code 39 Full ASCII, Codebar, GS1, MSI, Matrix 25, Industrial 25, Interleaved 25, Standard 25
- 2D：QR Code, Data Matrix, PDF 417, Maxi Code, Aztec code
If you're wondering which barcodes you should use in your business, it mostly depends on what products you plan to sell. Generally speaking, most stores only utilize simple 1D barcodes such as the UPC and EAN, but some stores also have 2D barcodes like QR Codes or PDF 417.
1D barcode scanning guns can only scan 1D barcodes. 2D barcode scanners can scan both 1D and 2D barcodes. Naturally, they're more expensive.
Wired vs Wireless
The use of the wired scanner is widespread in daily life, such as at the convenience store, supermaket etc. It can be transmitted to terminal devices such as computers or POS machines through data cables, so it does not need to be charged.
Wireless scanning guns are generally used in the inventory of some large and medium-sized warehouses, in the fields of logistics and express delivery, on factory assembly lines, and in environments of relative movement. They transmit data through Bluetooth, 2.4 GHz radio frequency, and other methods.
It is not limited by the length of the charging cable to meet the needs of different uses. Commercial use generally falls between 10 and 30 meters, and industrial use typically falls between 100 meters. The price for wireless scanners will be higher.
Handheld vs Desktop
Handheld scanning devices are generally more flexible because you can pick them up and scan items anywhere. These scanners usually have brackets attached to them to hold the item at a specific angle. That way, you can adjust the scanner, open the beam, and scan the items from the desired position below it.
Fixed scanner’s scanning area is larger. It is great because everything can go on your desk, and you don't need to carry the scanner around. The scanning window in a fixed barcode scanner is much larger than that of an ordinary scanning gun, which means we can also catch it for moving barcodes. All we have to do to read a product barcode is present it to the scanner, and it'll recognize it instantly—it's so easy to use!
It is suitable for a big supermarket or if there are a lot of people who shop around. The scanning performance of fixed scanner is better, and you do not need to hold it, which helps improve work efficiency. If you have a small shop or a small population, or if there are few budgets, you can consider a handheld scanning gun.