South East Labels (SEL), the West Sussex label provider, now allows customers to try out products before purchasing them. This marketing initiative allows interested buyers to test the quality of a product before finalising a purchase.
Storeowners are often hesitant to upgrade their labelling systems, because there is no guarantee that a newer system will be more expedient. This leaves cashiers with out-dated scanners and verifiers that rarely scan on the first attempt.
Annoyed customers are then forced to stand in long queues waiting for the faulty system to register a reading – a problem most evident in grocery stores where it’s possible for a single customer to purchase over 100 items, which must each be scanned individually.
SEL’s “try before you buy” approach to labelling products removes the risk of upgrading to a system that’s incompatible with a storeowner’s needs. If storeowners are unhappy with the quality of a product, then they can try another or simply retain the system that they have.
When it comes to label manufacturers UK companies rarely offer such a transparent approach to sales. But the people at SEL are confident that their products work, and they express this belief by allowing potential buyers to try new items.
It is likely that more label companies will follow SEL’s lead in the near future. Customers like to know what they are buying, and this is especially relevant when the efficiency of their businesses is at stake.
Via EPR Network
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The barcode was born from an alliance between manufacturers and retailers. South East Labels, a leading supplier of labelling services and systems, today commented that barcodes are increasingly being used by consumers to further their own ends. It seems that the data contained in a barcode is no longer just owned by the unholy alliance of those who make and those who sell. So, exactly what are those who buy using barcodes for?
When the barcode was patented in America in 1949 retailers and manufacturers had to wait for computer science to catch up before its full potential could be realised. At its heart it is not the barcode per se that does the work but the data that can be attached to it. With such data a simple barcode scan can help track, pick and deliver stock. Once in store this stock can be counted, monitored and automatically re-ordered. Using this data checkout waiting time can be reduced – helping goods sell quicker and getting more paying customers out the door. Furthermore a barcode’s data facilitates the smooth operation of complex and varied price promotions throughout the store.
According to South East Labels, however, the barcode may be striking back. It appears it is no longer serving as the hand-maiden for the efficient supply and sale of goods. Recent events suggest the barcode may also now be a tool for consumers to use, and in ways that may not be how the manufacturers and retailers ever dreamt of.
Stroll down a supermarket aisle. Stop at the soup – keep going past the dried stuff till you reach the tins. Locate a well-known variety of Tomato Soup. Now find the 300g tin. The barcode on this if scanned by a mobile device has provided thousands of music fans with a free mixtape from The Streets’ Mike Skinner. That will be without the manufacturer’s permission. Perhaps not since Warhol appropriated the image of a can of soup as an artwork has pop culture shamelessly plundered soup tins packaging to its own advantage. If this seems too absurd to be true – download the free Mike Scanner app and try for yourself. The barcode seems to have taken on a life of its own beyond its original intentions.
Another example of the barcode being made to strike back is slightly less obscure. Fooducate is an app for mobile devices that reads the barcodes of food packaging. It provides not supermarket cost prices or stock levels however. Instead it aims to cut through the fudged wording and smoke and mirrors that can characterise food packaging. It gives each product a simple to follow health rating and suggests alternatives if you find your health snack is actually a health hazard.
The barcode, it seems, strikes back – the rich data it enables are increasingly being used by consumers as well as by retailers and manufacturers. This merely serves to underline the on-going importance of the barcode. A spokesperson for South East Labels commented that “it’s interesting to see the uses that are being made of barcodes. We have been providing labelling services, software and products since 1988. If your business needs security labels, printed labels or barcodes we can help ensure they are provided in a timely manner. We can’t, however, stop Mr Skinner from attaching a download to a scan of them.”
Via EPR Network
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