QR Codes vs Barcodes: Which Is Better for Inventory Management?

Have you considered using QR codes in your business?

You may not even be aware that there is a discussion to be had about QR codes vs barcodes for your business.

But these scannable codes are a vital part of any business and the landscape is quickly shifting.

Barcodes have been around for a long time now, since the 1960s. And they provided a major step forward for business productivity and inventory management.

But QR codes, the new kid on the block, have been in use since 1995 and are now surging in popularity due to their versatility.

In 2020, more than 11 million households scanned a QR code and the number is growing.

Finding out how switching to QR codes could help your business is important, so we have compiled the details for you.

The Pros and Cons of Barcodes

Barcodes are everywhere, every book on your shelf and most packages that appliances come in will have a barcode on it.

They provide a great alternative to manually inputting information about products such as SKUs and Prices. As well as other minor details as long as it fits in the standard 20 to 25 characters of information available.

When using barcodes for inventory management or POS, they provide a system that is much more efficient than manually inputting data.

They can securely store information like the SKU and price to make processes less time-consuming. The 20-25 alphanumeric characters are sufficient for these needs.

However, the rectangular one-dimensional structure does mean it can only read horizontally and the structure is only readable by specialized scanning devices.

This can put serious limitations on what you can do with them.

The Pros and Cons of QR Codes

QR Codes on the other hand are known for their incredible versatility. Depending on the size of the code, it can store up to potential 7,089 characters of information.

This allows a QR code to be used in many other ways and store more detailed information.

QR codes stand for quick response, and they certainly achieve that. By using a streamlined system similar to shortened links which are often used on social media, they can quickly and accurately scan.

The increased capacity for characters along with two-dimensional structures which can read horizontally and diagonally makes QR codes much more versatile than a standard barcode.

QR codes for inventory management are an excellent example of their capabilities but they can also be used in many other ways. They can encrypt the information stored in them and they are much more resistant to errors. 

They can be scanned by most devices. In fact, most smartphones have the technology installed natively so you can simply point your camera at the code and find the correct information.

This is great for products that can then have interactive scanning features for the customers.

They can also be uniquely customized. Instead of simple black and white bars, logos and other images can be integrated to improve the clarity of the QR code itself and further promote your brand.

They can also use analytic information making tracking and analyzing how effective they are simple.

The only considerable drawback when it comes to QR codes is when damaged. It is considerably tougher to do than with barcodes, but they do become unreadable.

And when it comes to how to make QR codes yourself, the process is incredibly simple with software like C# QR code generator.

Which Is Right for My Business?

Weighing up whether to use QR codes vs barcodes ultimately comes down to how much information you now need to store, or one day expects to need.

If you think you may now need, or one day will need more info, QR codes are an excellent choice. However, if all you want is to store the SKU and product price, Barcodes can hold their own. 

For more articles on tech and business, explore the other blog posts on this site.