AR and Smartphones: the Secret to Fast and Accurate In-Store Pricing

| Retail

AR and Smartphones: the Secret to Fast and Accurate In-Store Pricing

Store associates are continually adjusting product prices – a task where barcode scanners play a crucial role.

So why not take advantage of the smartphone’s capabilities and make it do some of the heavy lifting.

In the following blog, we will look at ways to handle price control, including:

  • Simultaneous scanning – why go through scanning product barcodes individually when you can do them all at once?
  • Go on-screen – take that information and use the device’s screen to display where the new pricing should apply.
  • How Scandit’s MatrixScan and Augmented Reality (AR) bring this together.

Never heard of MatrixScan? Well, it’s a unique Scandit enhancement. MatrixScan locates, tracks, and decodes multiple barcodes at the same time. It then combines with AR to provide instant visual feedback on whatever is captured.

With it, you point a smart device at a range of barcodes and capture an entire set in a single sequence. Then the information about them is overlaid on the device’s screen.

This data could include customer discounts, out of stocks, or in this case, price changes. Overall, it can provide a digital overview of what needs to be done in that part of the store at that moment.

How AR and MatrixScan help store associates

Over the last 12 months, many stores have been using their smartphones to enable store associates to use just one device for a number of tasks. AR and MatrixScan can take this even further.

Product prices in supermarkets are continually changing as offers and discounts come and go. At the same time, the average supermarket holds around 7,500 SKUs. Many of these will change price sooner or later – some more than once. And its store associates who are responsible for implementing them.

Here are some of the benefits a smartphone with AR can offer stores and store staff:

  • Reduce staff training and allow the smartphone app to provide direction.
  • Enable a store associate to do any task that needs to be done.
  • Be more responsive to price changes, markdowns, out of stocks and more.

Many stores divide tasks among staff – some are assigned price control, others order picking, and others may be on inventory management.

But with a barcode scanning smartphone – using AR and MatrixScan – any store associate can potentially handle any task.

Smartphone scanning pricing of products on shelf


Let’s look at a typical scenario. A store associate is on the shop floor and tasked with marking down certain products in the dairy section.

A quick scan of the shelf reveals three products to be discounted. In this case, all the employee needs to do is tap the on-screen icon to get the correct price and print it out on the spot. The product prices are updated and they move on.

Because it is done on an app, this activity is intuitive and easy to understand. Just about any store associate familiar with a smartphone app can carry it out. And the amount of training required to do so is minimal.

Using store operations technology to digitize the store

Stores can use AR and MatrixScan in many ways – not just price changes. It can help in numerous store operational tasks, like order picking and inventory management.

Moreover, Scandit’s high-performance barcode scanning technology puts the equivalent of a dedicated barcode scanning device in an employee’s hands. But at a significantly lower cost than a dedicated device.

AR and smartphones do more than empower staff. It helps digitize the store and connect the shop floor with centralized systems and infrastructure.

Walmart, Metro – stores that are using AR

AR also fits perfectly with retail applications on the store associate and consumer side. Walmart recently announced plans to use AR in a shelf management application that runs on corporate-owned smartphone devices.

Scandit has also produced an app for Metro, the German wholesale store, which provides personalized prices to shoppers.

metro employee discussing with customer


Metro targets customers with individual pricing. So here, the customer points the smartphone’s camera at the shelf and their personal price is displayed over the product.

A smartphone can do so much more than markdowns

The rise in omnichannel retailing means store associates need to do more than ever – not just markdowns and pricing. In this way, the smartphone can help them cover many essential tasks.

The use of smartphones for store operations is spreading. In our recent research into the US retail sector, we discovered that 52% of retailers handed them to staff for tasks.

Smartphone scanning multiple items on shelf


Scandit has helped clients including dm-drogerie markt, Coop DK, and many others develop smartphone scanning applications for staff and customers.

In addition to AR and MatrixScan, Scandit’s smartphone scanning capability and robustness are unparalleled. And we also bring additional features like ID Scanning that can be used for tasks like age verification.

For more on this see our free guide “How to Transform Your Store Operations App Like a Boss”. Or contact us to find out more about how Scandit can help digitize your store and empower staff.