So, you’ve been thinking about switching to 2D barcodes but haven’t quite convinced yourself to pull the trigger? We’ve compiled a list of our top 10 reasons to use 2D barcodes instead of linear ones. Did your favorite reason make the list? Let us know!
1. You can read damaged barcodes.
2D barcodes use error-protection formulas that keep information intact when a printed barcode is scratched, ripped, or marked through. That said, you may not be able to read a barcode that is barely hanging by a thread. But even if the barcode is substantially damaged due to the rigors of production and distribution, you can successfully scan it.
2. 2D scanners read both 1D and 2D barcodes.
Linear scanners only read one-dimensional barcodes, but 2D barcode scanners read both types. This backward compatibility is attractive to organizations currently using both linear and 2D barcodes and those that plan to use 2D codes in the future.
3. 2D barcodes store more data.
Linear (1D) barcodes store less than 25 alphanumeric characters, while 2D barcodes store thousands. More characters means more information to save and share, such as quantities, locations, serial numbers, and descriptions.
4. 2D barcodes are smaller than linear ones.
Size does matter; sometimes you simply don’t have enough space in which to stick linear codes. That’s where 2D comes in. Most 2D barcodes are physically smaller than their 1D cousins—yet they hold more data—which is one reason why they are broadly used.
5. Everyone has instant access to information.
Because of their larger storage capacity, 2D barcodes do not require databases. This allows you and your customers to immediately access information about an asset or product with one swipe of a barcode reader.
6. It’s a great way to reach a broader audience.
QR codes (QRC) are a popular way to proactively promote products. Today you can literally find them everywhere, from magazines and mailers to business cards and product packaging. What’s the advantage to using these compact codes?
With free apps on their smartphones and tablets, consumers can quickly scan a QRC; launch the device’s browser; and instantly access a website to receive a discount or purchase a product. They can also send emails and messages, dial phone numbers, and generate event tickets and boarding passes. In fact, 2D barcode technology is evolving, so opportunities for future applications are endless.
7. Mobile couponing is hot.
Paper is passé. Gone are the days of printing, clipping, and sharing. Today’s trend is mobile coupons that are quickly read from a buyers’ smartphone, tablet, or phablet. Is your retail establishment catering to consumers’ needs? With 2D barcodes, it can.
8. 2D barcode scanners are extremely reliable.
The only moving part on a 2D scanner is the trigger switch, so there are fewer parts to fail. Minimal failures mean no downtime, less frustration, and lower total cost of ownership. (And did we mention fewer headaches?)
9. You can read 2D barcodes upside down.
Or right side up. Or anywhere in between because 2D scanners read 2D barcodes from any angle. Also known as omnidirectional (for you technical types), 2D barcode scanners are ideal for environments that need a reliable way to accurately read barcodes on the first pass.
10. You can future proof your business.
You may be heavily vested in linear barcodes with no 2D in sight. That’s okay! You can still “think 2D” the next time you need to refresh your existing scanner fleet or purchase new equipment. As noted, 2D scanners also read linear barcodes, making them ideal for savvy companies investing in the future.
What’s the best reason for using 2D barcodes? Share your story with us!
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