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How to Start Barcode Labeling for Your Small eCommerce Business

Are you curious about barcodes and how they can affect your small eCommerce business? Do you really need them? We’ll give you a short synopsis on why you might need them to save time and money -- and, at the same time -- we can let you know if you’ll waste time and money getting involved with barcodes.

Do You Need Barcodes?

Not every small business or eCommerce business needs to use barcodes. Service businesses don’t need to use them, because it’s a bit difficult to stick a barcode on your service. But, if you sell products, you could probably benefit from using barcodes. If you manage large inventories, your need for barcodes is even more pressing.

This pressure to use barcodes for your product-based business often grows when your business grows, and that’s exactly what you want. Using barcodes can help you:

  • Manage large inventories

  • Appear more professional

  • Easily track your packages

  • Keep more accurate inventory counts

One you’ve determined that using barcodes would benefit your eCommerce business, then you need to know exactly what to expect.

What Type of Barcode Do You Need?

One way to learn about the variety of barcodes on the market today is to view our article, “Find The Right Barcode Solution For Your Business” in our Knowledge Center. You’ll learn in that article that the simplest barcodes (and the ones that have been in use the longest) are the one-dimensional barcodes used in supermarket checkout lines. These barcodes designs are read by simple helical scanners which have been in use for decades. By using a valid code, a product can be recognized and looked up by scanners anywhere.

You also  may learn that using barcodes can cost for setup.For instance, you may need a different UPC code for each product you sell. In fact, you’ll need a different UPC codes for the same product if it comes in different sizes. With each new product or variation of a product, you’ll pay a fee to the appropriate registry to get a new code for your product. While this process may sound complicated and expensive, you can purchase a capacity-based membership at GS1 US for $250 annually with renewal fees that are a fraction of the original cost. Plus, you can save money through Creating and Using Barcodes with Free Software.

You also can save money by using the right printer, media, and labels. Although you could also save money by using inexpensive barcodes that utilize another company’s GS1 US Prefix, you may regret that decision when you grow your business. Starting off with your own GS1 US Prefix may save you headaches down the road. It also means you’re ready to invest in your business’s future.

Balancing Your Small eCommerce Business and Barcode Costs

The bottom line is this: You need to balance your small eCommerce business growth with cost-effective ways to grow that business. A breakdown of how barcodes can enhance your product-based business includes:

Reduced risk of error: Every small business owner knows the nightmare of inventory. Simply put, an incorrect inventory balance can cause an error in calculation of cost of good sold and -- in the end -0- an error in the calculation of gross profit and net income. Using barcodes sounds inexpensive when dealing with this bottom line. Additionally, you can find free barcode generators that can create the barcodes you need at no cost.

Time savings: Speaking of inventory, what could be easier and faster than using a barcode reader to read your inventory quickly and accurately? Additionally, those barcode scanners cost as little as $20 and up. In addition, ease of pricing is enhanced...Instead of changing out each price tag on every product, you could make the change to your barcode database and to the card that displays the price of the product on the shelf. Compare that change to what you now spend on price tags and labeling.

Lower costs: Despite the annual fee and startup costs for scanner, printers, and labels, you will see the benefit of this change almost immediately in saving time and reducing errors. When you have an accurate inventory count, you can save money in storage costs, ordering practices, and sales techniques.

When to Implement Barcodes

If you’re reading this article, and if you are operating a small eCommerce business, the time to implement barcodes could be right now. Hopefully, we’ve helped to clarify the issues, and that you’ll use us and our Knowledge Center to answer your questions about barcode use.