As our team develops WooCommerce Barcode Plugins we were involved into integration barcodes for various eCommerce businesses.
Today I would like to share some experience we have about different business approaches for using barcode labels and WooCommerce platform.
Basic purpose of product label
Product labels are an essential part of the business workflow as they solve "product identification problem".
If you know where all your products are placed and how they look - my congratulations, you don't need product labels yet.
Barcode labels are important if your warehouse is big enough and there is no way to remember all the products and difficult to distinguish their variations just by having a look at them.
Product labels help salespeople and warehouse workers to find & identify products from WooCommerce orders and avoid delivering the wrong items.
Barcode Labels can contain any information from WooCommerce products:
- Product name
- SKU / EAN/ UPC or any other identification code
- Attributes like color, size, material, etc...
The more information you add on product labels from your WooCommerce the higher chance that warehouse workers won't make a mistake and there won't be another "unhappy" client who receives the wrong product.
Why you need barcode images on labels
Text information like "Product name" and "Price" are very useful for people but if you are planning to achieve some level of automatization then you will definitely need barcodes.
Barcode image contain the product identification information from WooCommerce, like SKU, EAN or UPC numbers, and printed barcode labels can be easily read by scanners and smartphone apps.
It means that a computer or smartphone can give even more information about a scanned product and also provide you with additional functionality.
Most common use cases
1. Everybody knows how barcodes are used for Point-of-Sale systems (POS) - you can see it everyday in your local supermarket.
Barcodes are used by POS for offline orders fulfilment, so salespeople don't have to remember the price for each product and it makes the order process easier and faster.
2. Another great example is fulfilling online orders using a smartphone which is integrated with your WooCommerce.
A warehouse worker receives a new order notification on a smartphone, opens the notification and sees the list of products which should be found and packed for delivery.
The worker goes to the warehouse and scans product barcodes, the smartphone reads information from the barcode, compares it with order and informs the worker if it is actually an ordered product or not. So, there is no way for warehouse workers to pack the wrong item.
3. Updating/Restocking inventory. Any shop owner wants to keep actual information about products in WooCommerce, to exclude the possibility of selling "out of stock" products.
Using a mobile app with WooCommerce integration it is very easy to restock inventory right on the spot. So, you don't have to note everything on paper or go to the computer and back all the time.
You simply scan the barcode with your smartphone and all information about the product is loaded from your WooCommerce, so you can easily change product quantity and other product information.
These 3 are the most common cases our clients have, however there is always room for extra automation and workflow improvements.
Let us know how you use barcodes in your workflow.