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

Retailers must be wary of cybercrime

Posted February 13, 2013

While inventory tracking is a primary focus of many of today’s retailers that deploy an ecommerce site, it is also important to understand that cyberattacks and computer hackers are lurking at all times. According to recent research conducted by provider of cloud-based compliance and information security solutions Trustwave, the retail industry is the top target for cybercriminals, making up 45 percent of the data breach investigations performed by the company.

The study revealed ecommerce sites were the No. 1 targeted asset, demonstrating that the online solutions made up 48 percent of all investigations. Cybersecurity needs to be a main priority of retailers to combat their attacks.

“Businesses should take a step back and reevaluate their security posture,” said Robert McCullen, chairman, CEO and president of Trustwave. “All developers, particularly in the ecommerce industry, should implement a full lifecycle security plan that includes thoroughly educating themselves and their employees, equipping themselves with the best tools to protect themselves against attacks and making sure they are using the most reliable resources for zero day detection.”

Employees need to make sure they are protecting their virtual environment by picking strong passwords, not clicking on phishing links and keeping company information private.

Filed under: Point of Sale

Middle-aged women adapting to mobile shopping

Posted February 12, 2013

Mobile devices continue to play a larger role in the purchasing decisions of many families throughout the United States. Whether they are using their smartphones as a barcode scanner or researching product information, mobile devices are becoming a key tool before, during and after purchases.

According to data provided by programmatic advertising RadiumOne, roughly 42 percent of women shoppers between 35-54 prefer to use SMS-based based coupons, while nearly 62 percent of respondents redeem grocery and consumer retail goods-based coupons.

“As the predominate household decision-makers, women consumers represent a gaping opportunity for brands to capitalize on the mobile coupon trend,” said Kamal Kaur, vice president of mobile at RadiumOne. “We’re starting to see a pivotal shift in brand campaign strategies that are increasingly focused on reaching mobile audiences – mobile coupons in particular, are a great way to increase engagement, conversion rates and ultimately return on investment.”

Mobile coupons are gaining traction with middle-aged women who often make most of the purchases for everyone within their family, and through mobile and social channels retailers can get more of these shoppers into their stores.

Filed under: Point of Sale

Online shopping hasn’t increased since 2011

Posted February 11, 2013

Many consumers believe ecommerce is taking over the shopping world, but recent statistics released by Integer and M/A/R/C Research found that may not be the case as online shopping overall has leveled out.

According to the survey, online shopping by baby boomers has increased 4.5 percent over 2011, while Millennials have slowed their adoption of ecommerce, with the number of younger Americans who are online shopping falling 7 percent. These statistics are important to retailers that must conduct stellar inventory management for both warehouses and physical stores.

“Millennials may be feeling the pinch of a still-slow economy and making the decision to watch spending more closely,” said Craig Elston, senior vice president, Insight & Strategy at The Integer Group. “It could also be that we are starting to reach a plateau in online-shopping adoption.”

While online shopping may have slowed slightly over the course of the past year, boomers are purchasing more health and beauty products on the internet, while 18- to 24-year-olds are buying larger amounts of books, music and tickets through online channels, the most recent issue of The Checkout stated.

Filed under: Data Collection

Retail ecommerce numbers show strong annual growth

Posted February 10, 2013

Consumers are increasingly opting to sit on their couch and place orders from their favorite ecommerce sites, instead of traveling to retail stores to purchase the goods they need. Recent data compiled by comScore found U.S. retail ecommerce sales reached $186.2 billion, a 15 percent increase from the previous year.

With more companies providing customers with the opportunity to do online shopping, retailers will have to focus on inventory management to avoid issues with backorders and out-of-stock products.

“With ecommerce growth rates consistently in the mid-teens throughout the year, it is clear that the online channel has won over the American consumer and will increasingly be relied upon to deliver on the dimensions of lower price, convenience and selection,” said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore. “The only real blemish on an otherwise outstanding year for ecommerce was a holiday season that fell shy of initial expectations, apparently due to consumers’ fiscal cliff concerns.”

U.S. retail ecommerce sales were especially strong in Q4 2012, in which they grew nearly $57 billion. marking the first-ever $50 billion quarter. Digital content and subscriptions, consumer electronics, toys and hobbies, apparel and accessories, and books and magazines were a few of the categories that saw growth in the ecommerce world.

Filed under: Point of Sale

Consumers smart about purchasing decisions this Valentine’s Day

Posted February 7, 2013

Valentine’s Day is always a great opportunity for retailers to capitalize on consumers who are looking for the perfect gift for their loved ones, and more customer spending means better sales numbers. This year, 62 percent of consumers plan to spend up to $100 on Valentine’s Day gifts, according to recent research conducted by online shopping site PriceGrabber. In addition, 36 percent of consumers plan to spend more than $100 on their presents, a 4 percent increase from a similar survey released in 2012.

Valentine’s Day buying behavior will vary
Coinciding with many purchasing decisions made this year, 55 percent of consumers said the economy plays a role in Valentine’s Day gift budgets. In fact, 5 percent of survey respondents said they aren’t planning to buy a gift this year, and 17 will not pay for gifts that are as expensive as ones purchased for loved ones last year. There is a fairly even distribution of consumers who will buy gifts online versus those who will purchase presents in stores, 56 percent and 69 percent, respectively. However, both segments are planning to do extensive research before making any final purchasing decisions.

“Consumers continue to shop and conduct product research in advance of making purchases in order to find the best pricing on products,” said Rojeh Avanesian, vice president of marketing and analytics of “We expect this trend to continue as shoppers hit the stores and go online to make their Valentine’s Day gift purchases this year.”

Brick-and-mortar stores my see better sales numbers this year, as the AmEx Shop Small Valentine’s Day Monitor reported that 91 percent of consumers believe it is important to support small businesses in their communities, according to the Phoenix Business Journal.

Research will occur in stores
Many consumers are prepared to compared prices using a barcode scanner app with their smartphones and travel to the nearby store that has the lowest-priced products. While it’s possible to conduct a price comparison online, many Americans opt for the ability to go from store to store looking for the best deals.

“Our survey showed that 36 percent of consumers plan to compare prices using their mobile phones when Valentine’s Day gift shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, a jump from 29 percent in 2012, revealing that consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices to look for the best deals,” said Avanesian.

Filed under: Data Collection

In-store shoppers not as affected by social media

Posted February 6, 2013

Many of today’s consumers want to be reached by their favorite brands through the marketing channel of their choice; however, a recent report conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers revealed shopping trends are not changing as much as many experts believe due to the influx of ecommerce opportunities.

Innovations in technology have made it easier for consumers to learn more about a firm’s products or services by using their smartphone as a barcode scanner to be sent to a landing page providing more information about a brand. The PwC report found social media is not creating many commerce opportunities, with only 12 percent of respondents claiming to use social platforms to shop.

“A multichannel retail strategy can be extremely advantageous,” said Lisa Feigen Dugal, U.S. retail and consumer sector advisory leader for PwC. “The more minutely retailers can identify how consumers are utilizing the different channels, the more success they will have. Companies need a strategy that will create value by connecting with consumers and engaging with them directly online, while providing a meaningful, seamless shopping experience across all channels.”

Many marketers believe social sites will serve as a launching point for online shopping, but the research found nearly half of respondents are still visiting physical stores on a weekly basis to make purchases.


Filed under: Data Collection

Protection needed for firms using the cloud for inventory tracking

Posted February 5, 2013

Many retailers are shifting their inventory tracking to the cloud or virtualized environment without considering the security risks that come with such deployments. Recent research conducted by comprehensive data governance software provider Varonis revealed 70 percent of IT professionals have little or no auditing in place on virtual servers at their firms.

Failing to protect virtualized environments could lead to costly data breaches that can be harmful to retailers. The survey demonstrated 48 percent of respondents have either reported or believe there has been unauthorized access on their virtualized servers.

“Data protection, obviously, requires the same level of vigilance in a virtual environment — and perhaps even more so given the complexities of managing multiple operating systems on a single computing box,” said David Gibson, vice president of strategy at Varonis. “For organizations to stay on top of their digital assets it is vital to further IT education in this area, both in terms of training staff in understanding virtual file systems, as well as in effectively using automation to uncover security holes, monitor activity and control permissions.”

Managing inventory is essential for retailers to meet the needs of their customer base, but doing so without the necessary security practices could open them up to dangerous cybercriminals.



Filed under: Data Collection

Marketing increasing use of social media

Posted February 4, 2013

Today’s smaller and medium-sized retailers have a number of number of marketing tools in their back pocket, and the cost-efficiency and ease of use of social media is appealing to more marketers throughout the world. According to recent research conducted by, SMBs make up a large majority of businesses using social media.

The survey revealed more than 80 percent of companies using social media are independent consultants and SMBs. These results demonstrate how using social media can increase sales numbers and allow businesses to improve the customer experience for their client base. With a greater following, firms will need to focus more on inventory management.

“While most people think of major consumer marketers as driving the growth of social media venues such as Facebook, Twitter Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, Twitter and other platforms, the reality is that many more small and medium size businesses are now successfully driving social media marketing programs,” said Michael Crosson, publisher of

Facebook, Twitter and Google+ have the most social media business users, while nearly 55 percent of professionals that use the social networking site and primary decision makers.

Filed under: Data Collection

Cloud storage used for inventory management

Posted February 1, 2013

Inventory management for retailers is often difficult, which is why so many businesses have turned to the cloud to the store their information, as well as give everyone is the businesses supply chain an improved means of communication. While cloud computing is beneficial to many retailers, it can also create the potential for data loss.

According to a recent report by cloud-integrated storage solutions provider TwinStrata, 90 percent of organizations either use or plan to use cloud storage, while roughly two-thirds said the ability to manage storage was the cloud’s best value.

“Organizations require immediate solutions to problems such as rapidly escalating data growth and disaster recovery requirements,” said the report. “The ability to implement cloud storage incrementally at first and to grow it over time, provides a unique opportunity for organizations to solve their immediate problems while testing the viability a long-term storage strategy.”

Data loss is a serious problem many retailers have to encounter; however, the survey found cloud vendors are shoring up that issue. Eighty percent of cloud storage users said they can recover their data in less than a day, with nearly a quarter estimating instantaneous recovery.


Filed under: Data Collection

Fit, feel of products important to consumers

Posted January 31, 2013

Brick-and-mortar retailers have been losing ground in their competition with larger merchants with ecommerce sites in recent years, but a newly released study conducted by Yunchuan “Frank” Liu, a business professor at the University of Illinois, and Zheyin (Jane) Gu, a professor of marketing at the State University of New York, Albany, revealed shopping in retail stores gives consumers the opportunity to try out products, while online shopping simply cannot provide the same experience.

The fit of a garment or the feel of an item are both aspects of a purchasing decision that are extremely important to some customers, and when purchasing products online, consumers don’t get products until they show up at their doorstep.

“Retailers face two different kinds of markets – the consumers who buy goods, and the manufacturers that supply goods,” said Liu. “It’s a very important variable for local retailers and marketing managers to play with in this era of increased competition with online retailers, and it has important implications for companies and consumers.”

Brick-and-mortar always have it easier when it comes to inventory tracking. By using barcode systems, smaller retailers can easily track the availability of products.


Filed under: Point of Sale

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