6. Barcodes from the shop's point of view

Advantages of barcodes Disadvantages of barcodes
Customers pass through the till quicker and so may increase sales and total turnover Sales can be very difficult if the computer system breaks down
Data capture of sales by item is effective, so it is easy for the manager to see what is selling and what isn't. Barcodes means having to have an IT system in place to support it. For small shops this can be a burden
Reduction of mistakes with staff keying in the incorrect price at the till. Packaging colours have to be chosen so there is enough contrast to pick up the code
No need to re-label goods when prices change, so saving on staff costs and staffing levels An incorrect price entry in the database may result in many customers paying the wrong price.
Since stocks and sales are tracked using barcodes, it is easy to see if stock is approaching its sell-by date Goods must be individually marked, so increasing the cost of packaging.
If a competitor offers a bargain or attractive sales offer, then the store can easily choose to do the same as prices are held centrally Goods must be individually marked, so increasing waste packaging
Customer loyalty: Some stores make a 'price promise' that they will refund any price difference for the same item in competitor stores. Again only possible because barcodes provide data input As barcodes need a certain size to be reliable, small items can be an issue.
Self service tills are possible allowing customers to scan things in themselves, so making it more likely that customers will come to buy just a single item such as a magazine rather than being put off by queues at the tills. Cost and maintenance of equipment is higher compared to a simple till and a marked price on the goods. So prices have to be marked-up to cover this extra cost.
Unreadable barcodes slow down sales and annoy customers. It must not happen too often otherwise customers may go elsewhere. Training staff with complicated equipment is more expensive compared to a simple till.



Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: Stock Control System