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Mobile Applications Bring Barcodes to Consumers

Now consumers can get in on the barcode action, with mobile applications. Smartphone users can take pictures of barcodes to get product information and reviews on demand. These innovations will surely revolutionize the barcode industry. As consumers come to expect accessible information, virtually all barcodes will be part of an “open loop” system that includes not only manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, but also end users. Thus conforming to industry standards and ensuring barcode quality will continue to gain importance.

Current Barcode Applications for Mobile Devices

A wide variety of applications designed for smartphones use barcodes to access internet information about countless products, including reviews, related products, and even local retailers.

Ultimately the possibilities for scanning with smartphones are virtually limitless. Eventually consumers may scan barcodes to add items to their online wish lists or solicit feedback about products from their social networks. Customers may even be able to scan barcodes on business storefronts and upload their own reviews, immediately after their visit.

Implications of Mobile Barcode Applications

As these applications grow more ubiquitous, retailers will need to ensure that their barcodes consistently meet international standards. Many small businesses that manufacture and sell their own products, without distribution to outside vendors, choose to administer their own “closed loop” barcode programs. Transitioning to standard UPC’s offers multiple advantages to these businesses.

Consumers will come to expect instant information on their purchases. Providing this access helps potential customers feel more confident about their purchases and adds to the retailer’s credibility. Therefore barcodes must be in an “app friendly” format—either UPC, EAN or Code 128. A reputable barcode company can create retail labels that meet these standards.

Barcode accuracy will become more important than ever, making a robust verification program indispensable. The cost and technical expertise required for barcode verification usually exceed most businesses’ resources. Thus outsourcing barcode production to a reliable company that guarantees its work and conducts rigorous barcode verification is an excellent option.

The development of mobile barcode applications has introduced new opportunities for businesses to blend their online presence with bricks-and-mortar customer interactions. This technological evolution means that businesses will need outstanding barcode programs to meet customers’ expectations. Outsourcing these programs ensures high quality, standardized barcodes necessary for today’s discerning consumers.