Store associates need to do more these days, from online order fulfillment to stock checking, to receiving products back-of-store.
What is the one device to help do all of this and more?
Today, stores are using smartphone scanning applications to help staff handle these operations tasks. A recent example is Walmart. In July, it announced a plan to give its 740,000 store associates a Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro.
This guide will show you how to get the most out of the smartphones your staff are used to using – whether you are going for a COPE (corporate-owned device) or BYOD (bring your own device) strategy.
You will discover how to:
- Develop an in-store picking app that uses smartphone features like haptic feedback.
- Optimize shelf management – scan multiple items at once for faster workflows and efficiency.
- Simplify stock information checking – with unmatched scanning speed and top accuracy.
Scandit will help you supercharge your store ops application – and make your employees’ jobs easier and your store work more effectively.
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Order picking - find, scan, and bag the right product
As any store associate will tell you, there’s more to order picking than putting products in a basket.
Pickers need to find and scan the correct product, put it in the right bucket, scan that, and quickly move on to the next item. Often pickers are working on many different orders at the same time.
Smartphones make great order picking tools, and a Scandit-powered smartphone is an ideal solution.
But the app needs to ensure this is error-free and enables the user to move through the list swiftly. It must provide:
- Intuitive UX – you should make the most of the screen real-estate. Ensure it is simple and not cluttered with unnecessary buttons or features.
- Haptic feedback – some pickers will be picking orders while using headphones or in a noisy environment. So don’t rely on audio to indicate a scan. Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK allows the picking app to alert the user via haptic feedback.
- High-performance scanning – it is common for product barcodes to be obscured by light glare or creasing. As the video below demonstrates, Scandit can easily handle these challenges.
BOPIS - let the items come to you
Whether you call it ‘buy online pickup in-store’ or ‘click and collect,’ the pandemic has led to more customers collecting online purchases from the store.
Frequently, once the products have been picked and packaged, they are taken to a collection point. At that point, the only key distinguishing factor may be a label and a barcode.
In many cases, the store associate will need to examine or scan each bag to find the right one. Scandit’s technology can simplify this whole process.
- Pick the correct product on-screen – Scandit’s MatrixScan technology with Augmented Reality (AR) enables the store associate to scan multiple items at once and have the right product highlighted on the device’s screen.
- ID scanning – do you need additional proof of purchase, or is this an age-restricted product? If so, Scandit’s ID-Scanning technology combines barcode scanning, optical character recognition (OCR), and NFC technology to enable scanning of Machine Readable Zones (MRZ), text, PDF417 codes, as well as biometric RFID chips.
Replacing returned products (simplified)
Returning products is an integral part of managing inventory and keeping the database informed about what products are in a particular store.
Here a store operations app should utilize smartphone functionality to make the job faster and easier.
- Barcode scanning performance – the barcode scanner should be able to handle difficult angles and speed.
- Augmented Reality (AR) – with Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK, AR can be enabled to scan barcodes and overlay information about them on the device’s screen. In this situation, a simple scan of the barcode will reveal where the product should go.
Discounting and marking down products
Store associates are continually adjusting product prices and it is an area 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?
- Simultaneous scanning – why go through scanning product barcodes individually when you can do them all at once?
- Scan multiple barcodes – then take that information and use the device’s screen to display where the new pricing should go.
These two examples are where Scandit’s MatrixScan and AR functionality come in.
MatrixScan feature locates, tracks, and decodes multiple barcodes and provides instant visual feedback via AR. To do so, you simply hover a smart device over the barcodes, capture an entire set in a single sequence, and see the information overlaid on the device’s screen.
Stock information checking you can trust
We have entered an age of e-commerce where retailers must know – at a store level – what is on the shelves so they can fulfill online orders.
So barcode scanning performance is critical.
- Information – Provide on-screen information about relevant products and pricing.
- Low light and fast scanning – although smartphones can handle advanced use like AR, the scanning performance still needs to be enterprise-grade.
In the video below, we demonstrate how Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK performs – on a consumer device – in typical fashion store conditions.
Quick and easy scanning through a rack of clothes.
Receiving and shipping in any environment
Stocking retail stores is a collaborative effort between distribution centers, suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers. Receiving stock at the back of the store is a crucial store operations task where barcode scanning is critical.
When receiving goods, stores accept several pallets per week. The pallets are generally made of boxes that either contain boxed or loose items.
Standard processes, at a minimum, require the store associate to scan each box on the pallet and, if necessary, open each box and scan each item.
Receiving is often done in an environment where there is limited space and light. Here are some of the features any barcode scanning application should have:
- Speed – high-performance barcode scanning is a must.
- Difficult conditions – scanning is often done in a confined space. The scanning application must allow the user to scan at tight angles.
Clienteling and customer assistance
Customers are looking for personalized service in stores. By providing the correct information on the product, your store associates can instantly give them the information they need.
When Scandit’s barcode scanning technology is powering your app, a simple scan can provide store assistants with helpful information on items in-store.
If customers are looking for product information on their devices, your employees need access to that channel too.
- Product Information – staff can scan a barcode and give your customers instant information about that product.
- Stock Lookup – is it in stock? Just a quick scan should reveal on the device screen whether that store – or another – has it and if so how many.
Conclusion - the device that is dedicated to all store ops tasks
Stores need to do more than ever, and the smartphone can be a store associate’s extra helper. But with Scandit’s barcode scanning technology, this can be taken to the next level.
The use of smartphones for store operations is spreading – it is not just Walmart. Scandit has helped clients including dm, Coop DK, and many others develop smartphone scanning applications for staff and customers.
Scandit’s smartphone scanning capability is unparalleled. In addition to high-performance single scanning, we also bring additional features like ID Scanning, AR and MatrixScan.
Walmart also said it plans to implement augmented reality (AR) on its smartphone app for shelf management. In this case, the store assistant scans the shelf to get information overlaid on the device’s screen.
With Scandit’s technology, AR is something that you can add straight into your store operations application.
So don’t just give your store associates the best tools to do the job – give them the one tool that will help them to do all of the jobs.
A barcode scanning smartphone – powered by Scandit.