To the uninitiated, in-store order picking is no different to shopping with a mobile self-scanning app. Just more items.
But many store associates would disagree.
For a start, an order picking session may involve working on multiple orders at once. Then add the busy environment, tight schedule, possibly being asked questions by customers, the definitive product list, and the challenge becomes clearer.
It also means an order picking app needs to be simple, easy to use, and effective.
So to help you make your store associates’ lives easier – and make them more efficient – we’ve put together our best practice recommendations for smartphone order picking app development.
The video below is the culmination of months of work. In fact, we have even built our own order picking application for testing and research.
10 Steps to an order picking app with Scandit
This guide explains how to optimize a Scandit-powered app and its camera interaction for each step in the picking process. In this shopping picking session, there are 22 items to pick across different buckets.
1. Clicking on the list
First off, the picker clicks the list. At this point, the scanner is switched off to avoid unnecessarily draining the battery. It can be resumed by tapping anywhere on-screen.
2. Effective use of screen real-estate
When the list is clicked, the first item to be scanned appears on-screen. Here effective use of screen real-estate is crucial – provide both information about the product and space to scan. Avoid adding rarely used features as this complicates the user interface.
3. Item information neatly laid out
The information needs to include the item location, quantity, and the bin it needs to go in. If the price is in the database, this can also be displayed to distinguish between different product sizes.
4. Display the next item
The next item should also be displayed. If a picker has walked away from the pick cart to retrieve the first item, they are able to select the next one if they pass it.
5. Scanning the item
Once the picker has found the item, they just have to tap anywhere on-screen to start the camera. Then are then notified once the product has been correctly scanned.
6. Adding the item to the right bin
The next step is to place the item in the correct bin. The on-screen bin indicator also changes color to direct the product to the right place.
7. Alert the picker if they place an item in the wrong bin
Here the app scans the bin barcode and lets the picker know if they are about to put it in the wrong container.
8. Alert the picker if they have scanned a product twice
Mistakes happen. Here the picker has forgotten they have already scanned the item. Fortunately, the app recognizes the error and notifies the picker the previously scanned item should be placed in a bin.
9. Options for unavailable products
If a product is unavailable, the picker should have the option to mark it up or substitute it for another product.
10. How many products are left in that order
Moving onto the next product, the picker is notified of how many products are left for that order.
More features and steps for an order picking app
There are many other features that can be integrated with Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK. Here are just a few.
- Single-handed operations. For example, zoom in and out with a vertical swipe. Or use a sideways swipe if an item is unavailable.
- Haptic feedback. In certain store environments, a picker might be unable to hear an alert or confirmation as they are wearing headphones.
- Accessibility. A color-blind picker will struggle if the app uses colored notifications. Scandit’s technology provides accessible feedback via the settings.
With Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK your order picking app works better for store associates working on order fulfillment tasks.