How Barcoding Your Receipts Can Help Your Retail Business


How Barcoding Your Receipts Can Help Your Retail Business

There’s an ever-widening range of uses for barcodes across all sectors of business and the service industry, some more unusual than others. Over the last few years, it has become commonplace to find barcodes at the bottom of sales receipts from many large retailers. With the retail sector including online sales ever-increasing in market value in the UK, with its market value expected to surpass €450billion in 2020, retailers of all sizes must be on top of the latest ways to boost profits and reduce ‘shrinkage’ – a term used to describe any avoidable losses.

National statistics for the last three months have shown an increase in spending across most sectors across the UK, including department stores for the first time in six months. However barcoding in general, as well as on receipts, can make internal processes easier and more secure, and gain useful insights into customers’ thoughts. It’s not just a tool reserved for the big players; smaller retailers can benefit too.

Receipt Barcode

What Information Is Held on a Receipt Barcode?

While the information held in barcodes on many retail receipts is encrypted so only that retailer can access it, the types of information held are often wide-ranging.

The barcode on the receipt will often relate to the date of purchase, store ID (useful for those larger companies with hundreds of outlets) and transaction number. The barcode will also store information on the products purchased and the purchase prices, thanks to the individual product barcodes.

Can Receipt Barcodes Aid Fraudulent Activity?

Criminals will always try to find new ways of committing fraudulent activity, and smaller business can be more susceptible to fraud than their larger counterparts. Many cases where fake barcodes have been used to purchase items at lower prices or return items at higher prices have been recorded the world over.

Initially, some retailers used consecutive receipt barcode numbers, which provided an easy way for fraud to be committed. Criminals could target legitimate customers making big purchases, purchase a small item themselves to gain a genuine receipt, and then use the information on their receipt to create fake a receipt for fraudulent refunds.

Using consecutive barcode numbers also can provide a useful insight to competitors by showing how many transactions have been processed in one day – information retailers would often rather be kept from their competitors.

These days, retailers will use barcoding technology to randomly number barcodes, meaning those outside of the organisation would not be able to link pattern to the succession of receipts printed, thus reducing the chances of fraudulent use.

How Can Receipt Barcodes Help Retailers?

Barcoded receipts have two main benefits for retailers:

  1. Streamlined refund process

When processing a barcoded receipt for refund, the barcode can simply be scanned and the transaction information recalled. The information included in the barcode can often account for any price changes and will inform the clerk of the information necessary to determine whether a refund is available, i.e. length of time since purchase or refund restrictions against certain items. Gone are the old days of annotating a receipt by hand to highlight a refund, leaving businesses open to fraud; synchronised POS technology makes the process straightforward for the consumer and more secure for the business.

  1. Customer reviews and insights

Barcodes in the form of QR codes are often included on receipts as ways to gain valuable customer insights. QR codes can encourage a consumer to leave a review, rate their experience or enter a prize draw in exchange for a short questionnaire, all of which increases the information you have about your clientele, helping you strategize and increase your sales with your target market.

If you need any further persuasion that adopting a full barcoding system is the right choice for your business – whatever its size – talk to Tanto Labels today! We can help deliver labels and barcodes that will support the security and growth of your business.

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