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Barcode, Auto-ID, Point of Sale and RFID articles from Barcode Discount

Survey shows the popularity of online shopping

Posted February 28, 2013

Credit card readers are getting less of a workout in today’s retail stores, and more on ecommerce sites as some Americans continue to opt for the online shopping experience over traveling to stores and picking out their desired products.

A recent survey conducted by credit card comparison website revealed some interesting statistics that reveal the mindset of many American shoppers. Roughly 41 percent of consumers have memorized the security code on the back of their credit cards, while only about one-quarter of respondents know their driver’s license number.

“The sign of a heavily used card nowadays is whether its owner knows the security code by heart,” said Charles Tran, founder of “After all, the main reason why anybody would need the code is to complete their purchase online. If you shop online frequently enough, soon enough you’ll discover you have memorized your security code as well.”

With ecommerce opportunities becoming the preferred means of shopping for some customers, retailers must continue to try to entice customers to come into their stores with money-saving deals and discounts that make the trip worth it.

Filed under: Point of Sale

Retail trends changing how marketers approach customer relationships

Posted February 27, 2013

Consumers have spoken, and they are showing that they want a point of sale system that they can interact with on ecommcerce sites, as well as in physical locations when they head out to their favorites stores. Retailers are hoping to improve the customer experience by changing many of the ways they are marketing and selling their goods, as well as moving to several digital processes. With Experian Marketing Services set to release its 2013 Digital Marketer Report, marketers will learn how to better meet the needs of their client base.

A multichannel approach is becoming a necessity
According to the research, 74 percent of marketers surveyed have either coordinated, or are in the process of coordinating, customer interactions on ecommerce sites, as well as in retail stores. Brands are going to need to cater to customers on many platforms to keep them loyal to the company. In some instances, those efforts won’t be enough, with showrooming forcing brick-and-mortar stores to either lower prices to drive customers away from online shopping opportunities or try new marketing tactics to get more people in the stores. Americans are continuing to look online for the best prices on the products they intend to purchase.

“The way consumers gain information from brands – the means by which they get it, even the ways in which they process it – is constantly evolving given the complexity of our multichannel world and evolving consumer behavior driven by economic variables,” said Bill Tancer, general manager of global research for Experian Marketing Services.

Retailers must learn to cater to ‘always on’ consumers
Smartphones, tablets and laptops give Americans the ability to constantly be online, and therefore, always be connected to their email, text messages and social media platforms. The survey revealed 59 percent of adults send and receive emails from at least two devices each week, while a similar survey from Experian showed 36 percent of U.S. organizations are using five or more channels to connect with their customer base.

“With the recent retail numbers coming out of January, retailers can anticipate consumer hesitation, making it imperative that marketers create integrated customer experiences and maximize digital marketing opportunities and return on investment,” said Tancer.

In fact, mobile marketing is beginning to gain traction with consumers, with the 2013 Digital Marketer Report showing nearly half of adults in the U.S. feel that a conversation over a text message is just as meaningful as talking on the phone. This provides another opportunity for marketers to reach potential customers at their convenience.

Filed under: Point of Sale

Customer satisfaction found better with ecommerce

Posted February 26, 2013

Retailers that have yet to explore the online realm may be soon losing out of many customers, thanks to the customer satisfaction provided by ecommerce and online sopping sites. According to recent research from the American Customer Satisfaction Index and customer experience analytics firm ForeSee, experiences with ecommerce websites are found to be more appealing to consumers than traveling to brick-and-mortar stores.

The annual E-Commerce Report measures customer satisfaction and found the average online retail aggregate posted a score of 82, while the brick-and-mortar retail trade sector achieved a score of 76.6. With consumers enjoying their experiences online shopping more than going into stores, retailers may see fewer transactions sliding through their credit card reader and POS stations.

“Just as we have seen in the public sector, consumers enjoy the convenience and power of ecommerce and online transactions,” said Claes Fornell, founder of ACSI and professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. “Ecommerce is maturing, and even the smaller companies are improving, keeping up with or sometimes surpassing larger, more established companies.

Those retailers who have yet to give customers an opportunity to buy product online may want to begin implement an ecommerce strategy.

Filed under: Point of Sale

Federal tax law limiting consumer spending

Posted February 25, 2013

Many Americans have been operating on lean budgets in recent years because of the status of the economy, and now they are going to be even more conscious of their spending due to the change in federal tax law that lessened take-home pay. According to a recent survey conducted by insights firm BIGinsight, more than 73 percent of respondents revealed that their spending plans are taking a hit.

“We cannot grow the nation’s economy until consumers consume,” said Matthew Shay, CEO and president of the NRF. “A smaller paycheck due to the fiscal cliff deal early last month, higher gas prices, low consumer confidence and ongoing uncertainty about our nation’s fiscal health is negatively impacting consumers and businesses across the country.”

Americans not ready to spend
Nearly 34 percent of respondents said they are planning to cut down on some inexpensive luxuries, such as trips to coffee shops, manicures and high-end cosmetic items, while more than 54 percent will spend less on clothing. Retailers are going to work on marketing strategies to bring in customers because of their reluctance to spend. Point of sale systems that are innovative and exciting for customers may be a solid strategy for improving the sentiment of Americans.

“Every day we hear about building the middle class,” said Shay. “We can only do that if we tear down barriers that prevent consumers from investing their hard-earned money back into our nation’s economy. It’s really that simple.”

Families with less income will really limit spending
The volatile economy has also made many Americans accept jobs that pay them less they have hoped for. The survey revealed half of people who make less than $50,000 will spend less overall. Nearly 17 percent of such Americans will spend less on groceries, while almost 28 percent will make plans to shop at more discount stores. With consumer spending taking a hit, it will be interesting to see how businesses try to influence buyer behavior.

“Thanks to years of practice stemming from high gas and food prices, and an uncertain economy, families will adjust to the changes in their take-home pay by purchasing generic brands, searching for coupons, downgrading on services like cable and internet and reevaluating their overall spending habits,” said Pam Goodfellow, director of consumer insights for BIGinsight.

Filed under: Point of Sale

Mobility driving budget growth for retailers

Posted February 22, 2013

Mobile point of sale systems are a source of contention for today’s retailers who are making an effort to better meet the wants and needs of their customer base. According to a recent survey from multi-industry business and technology analysis firm Technology Business Research, large North American retailer IT budgets will grow 5 percent in 2013 to supplement the demand for mobility.

“Mobile is driving IT today,” Stuart Williams, director of software and cloud practice for TBR, told Retail Info Systems News. “It is driving investments in solutions, infrastructure, hardware and services. Mobile POS is where a great deal of the money is going and many other elements of the IT budget are tied to it.”

Customers want more mobile commerce options
Increased consumer confidence, ecommerce growth, and smartphone and tablet use are driving the need for retailers to begin more investments mobile solutions, forcing budgets to grow, and companies to do more to make the POS interaction more favorable for their customers. A few of the internal forces leading toward greater mobility include inefficiencies in systems, more competition in the marketplace and a sense of needing to capitalize on renewed opportunities.

“The ways customers interact with us and make purchases are changing,” the CFO of a large retailer said in the report. “Investments in ecommerce, mobile solutions and analytics will help us better support our customer needs and create business opportunity.”

IT investments and budgets must supplement mobility
With larger North American retailer IT budgets growing to nearly $44 billion, companies will have to pour more funds into mobile commerce opportunities for their customer base. Currently, firms spend an average of $380,000 on retail POS and $790,000 on ecommerce and mobile commerce. With the demand for mobility continuing to grow, companies will have to increase their spending to make sure consumers are able to interact with the firm in their preferred means. Investing more in technology could lead to greater efficiencies in inventory management and business visibility.

“To capitalize on the migration to multichannel commerce and the resulting transformation of IT among large retailers, IT vendors must connect their own portfolio of products and solutions with the broader ecosystem of vendors that are top of mind for 2013 purchases,” said Williams.

Filed under: Point of Sale

Retailers can still benefit from email marketing after the holidays

Posted February 21, 2013

After the holiday season has come and gone, many brands took a look back at their marketing strategies. Email is still standing strongest, according to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive, which found 51 percent of Americans who purchased products during the past holiday season said they did so due to an email, while online and social media was only a driving force in the purchasing activity of 33 percent and 17 percent of U.S. consumers, respectively.

Retailers who have tried out other marketing strategies must realize the potential of email to get customers interacting with the company’s point of sale system.

“Email has typically been our strongest medium in terms of marketing effectiveness, and this year in particular was a huge success,” said Wayne Miller, digital marketing manager at Zumba Fitness. “We targeted some of our most engaged users with relevant messaging and content, resulting in our campaign success far exceeding our expectations.”

Zumba Fitness was just one the many success stories that marketers can look at when determining their next initiatives. However, it’s important to only send emails when they are appropriate, with 67 percent of survey respondents claiming to unsubscribe from mail lists because they received too many messages.

Filed under: Point of Sale

Electronic payments improving customer sentiment

Posted February 20, 2013

While consumer spending has been down in recent years, electronic payment methods are believed to be luring customers back into stores and onto ecommerce sites to increase consumption. According to a recent report conducted by Moody’s Analytics on behalf of Visa, credit and debit cards have added $983 billion to the gross domestic product of the 56 countries in the the past four years.

Understanding that global spending is growing thanks to electronic payment products, retailers must be sure their inventory management systems are up to date. By having products in stock when customers come calling, brands are able to increase the potential for return clients.

“Card usage makes the economy more efficient, yielding a meaningful boost to economic growth, year after year, through a multitude of factors, including transaction efficiencies, consumer access to credit and consumer confidence in the payment system overall,” the report stated.

Electronic payment methods are believed to be reducing transaction costs and improving efficiency in the flow of goods and services. Retailers are also able to benefit from credit and debit card usage by ensuring they are able to receive payments with capable payment terminals and MSR.

Filed under: Data Collection

Point-of-sale systems in the cloud provide several benefits

Posted February 19, 2013

Many businesses are beginning to take advantage of the power and accessibility of the cloud, and now smaller retailers are looking to move their point-of-sale systems to the online storage solution. By investing in the cloud, retailers are able to save money on costly legacy systems, as well as give everyone in the firm access to sales numbers and daily transaction, reported Street Fight magazine.

Software-as-a-service POS and customer-resource management solutions give retailers the opportunity to get a better feel for everything going on at the business in a much more efficient and time-sensitive manner than legacy systems.

“As local businesses adopt open point-of-sale systems, that’s going to be a key thing to occur before you can see a significant increase in mobile apps that work for mobile businesses and purchasers,” said Scott Wolfgang, vice president of strategic investments at Hearst Interactive Media, during a recent panel with other investors at the Street Fight Summit.

Understanding how to save money with point-of-sale systems in the cloud will allow retailers to add create a virtual infrastructure at the firm that can only improve communication and collaboration.

Filed under: Point of Sale

Retailers forecast modest revenues in 2013

Posted February 15, 2013

After getting back to normal sales numbers after the holiday season, retailers are looking at their inventory management system and seeing that purchases are starting to go back to normal. According to recent statistics compiled by professional services firm BDO, retail chief financial officers project a 3.2 percent increase in total store sales, down from the previous year, while they also believe to see a 2.3 percent increase in comparable store sales in 2013.

Retail industry appears to be stabilizing
The economy is beginning to improve from the recession, allowing retail CFOs to take a deep breath and approach the upcoming year while no longer fearing the “worst-case scenario.” Roughly three-fourths of respondents are anticipating that their ecommerce sales will grow this year, and, on average, retailers are expecting a near 7 percentage point increase in their overall online sales. Many Americans are growing to become fans of ecommerce, demonstrating why retailers need to create ecommerce sites accessible on computers, smartphones and tablets.

“The mixed results of the past few months have retailers looking ahead with caution,” said Doug Hart, partner in the retail and consumer products practice at BDO. “But they no longer fear the worst-case scenario. As housing markets and other influencers of consumer confidence improve, the possibility of a decline in sales grows less likely.”

Consumer confidence not at its highest
While more consumers are turning to online shopping to purchase products, they are still not willing to return spending to pre-recession levels. The research showed 40 percent of retail CFOs believe unemployment will drive down consumer confidence, while 24 percent believe tax increases willing affect the amount of money consumers are planning to spend. Retailers can try to improve their sales numbers by taking advantage of mobile channels. By engaging Americans on their smartphones and tablets, as well as maintaining their investment in mobile marketings, businesses may be able to get consumers to interact with them.

“Retailers have already observed increased consumer anxiety due to the expiration of the payroll tax holiday at the beginning of the year,” says Randy Frischer, tax partner in the retail and consumer products practice at BDO. “The national tax debate is not over, and retailers know that customers may have less money to spend this year than last.”

Filed under: Data Collection

Engage customers during the time of the sale

Posted February 14, 2013

One the best ways to ensure customer will find their way back to the store is to have a point-of-sale system that leaves a lasting impression. A recent press release from technology firm Synqera outlined how engaging with customers in a unique way will help retailers get their customers to stay loyal to their brand.

Rewarding customers during the checkout can give retailers the opportunity to create loyal customers. Providing money-saving opportunities on some of their favorite products gives retailers the chance to have a client base that will continue to keep coming back.

“Introducing a consumer engagement tool at the checkout turns the payment process into a positive experience, while providing a route for retailers to upsell other products or offer discounts to loyal and returning customers,” said Kirill Gorynya, CEO of Synqera. “Opportunities to up-sell and cross-sell to consumers during the payment process have been unexplored until now.”

Innovations in technology have given retailers an added tool to increase customer loyalty that can lead to higher sales numbers in the future. Failing to take advantage of these solutions can lead to lost customers.


Filed under: Point of Sale

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