The Retailer - Issue 67

DATA | BARCODES

BUSINESS OPERATIONS | OMNICHANNEL

Leveraging bricks-and-mortar to compete online

2D ‘data embedded’ barcodes: A vital asset for retailers and the traceability chain Data embedded (2D) barcodes offer valuable benefits for retailers delivering savings, increased food safety, traceability and greater customer trust.

So how do you compete online for a new business? Easy…don't. +

Strengthen your brick-and-mortar business by being pro-active with the digital tools available to you.

BY MARIA PALAZZOLO [GS1 AUSTRALIA]

BY ALEX GIRGIS [FRONTLINE STORES]

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in these modern data carriers such as batch/lot number, serial number, best before date, use-by date, pack date, weight, and price. Internationally, 2D barcodes are fast becoming a vital element for retailers to increase supply chain effectiveness, delivering higher service levels for the end customer. 2D barcodes can help solve many of today’s retail business problems in the areas of meat, seafood, deli, dairy, bakery, and fruit and vegetables because one small barcode can reveal a wealth of information that just can’t be squeezed on to a traditional 1D barcode. The ability to add expiry and best before dates to a product’s barcode will help eliminate any risk of retailers selling out of date products. When scanned at the checkout, customers will be alerted that the product is past its expiry date, and the systemwon’t allow the purchase. More accurate expiration date management can assist in automatic markdowns and date-based discounts. In the future, consumers will access this information on their smartphones. Increased customer trust To keep pace with the growing needs of the consumer, 2D barcodes enable retailers to increase customer trust, better meeting their expectations for food freshness and safety.

supply chain transformation is taking place in Australia, and retail supply chains are being tuned for higher performance levels, value

Beyond food safety and food waste, 2D barcodes have the potential to improve the traceability of the farm-to-fork journey in the future. Currently, the product recall process requires all recalled products to be removed from supermarket shelves and disposed of. The information supplied by 2D barcodes will allow retailers to pinpoint the specific batch affected and trace it back through the production line, making it easier to identify the source of contamination and avoid sending unaffected products to landfill. The fresh food sector relies on accurate and complete data to track a product’s journey from the farm to the supermarket shelves. It’s great to see Woolworths leading the way in bringing 2D barcodes to shoppers at point-of-sale. Several other suppliers across health and beauty, freezer, and long-life categories have introduced 2D barcodes in anticipation of future adoption of these. GS1 Australia is actively working with industry to develop strategies and implement a future roadmap to enable adoption of 2D barcodes so retailers can enjoy the benefits of smarter, fresher, safer data carriers. 

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ou may have noticed that these days, you can buy basically anything online, and you’re spoiled for choice. Every major retailer is selling online, offering discounts, creative return policies, and excellent user experience – many have teams dedicated to managing the online aspect of their business. How can a small brick-and-mortar store compete? When the shopping mall was invented by Victor Gruen in 1954, the idea was simple: turn shopping into a social experience, give people somewhere to go between work and home where they can spend time; provide themwith a plethora of options so they can spend a whole day browsing and buying. This made sense then, customers had less choice for entertainment and welcomed the opportunity to pass the time by shopping. Today we have Netflix, social media, smartphones, podcasts; everything we need is at our fingertips, so what we seek today is convenience. The next generation to earn a disposable income is one that is accustomed to using technology and getting results fast - as customers, we can shop endlessly without moving from the couch. And so, as a generation of technology-addicted convenience-seekers inherits the earth, nearly

FrontLine provides a competitive business advantage for retailers & suppliers by delivering cost savings, retail and administrative support, digital solutions, and member services, including helping stores compete online. This gives retailers the time to focus more on improving their business, delivering significant benefits whilst lowering their operational costs along the way. For more information visit, frontlinestores.com.au It’s not about competing; it’s about the customers. It’s about using technology as a tool, just another medium for providing the same excellent service you already offer in-store, but in the way that people are coming to expect.  I receive an email informing me that you have an online sale. I’m already familiar with your business, and I had a good experience in your store, so I’ll gladly welcome the opportunity to shop your online sale, and I may even share my experience with my friends. This is just one example of how the tools of online trading can support your brick-and- mortar business. A pro-active approach toward omnichannel online retailing can yield tremendous results for those who are willing to put in the time and effort.

every retailer will need to learn how to cater to an online presence. We need to get online to cater to today’s customer, but in doing so, we must compete with every Goliath (and every other David) who is selling online; on the surface, these are two opposing thoughts. So how do you compete online for a new business? Easy…don't. As an independent retailer with a physical store, a local presence, great staff, and existing customers walking through your doors every day, you have a significant advantage over purely online retailers. You are building a potential list of online customers every time you make a sale in-store. It’s not just about getting a website to attract more customers; it’s about giving your existing customers more options for interacting with and purchasing from your store. Imagine this: as a customer, I purchase from your store, and I have a great experience. Then I go home, and you never see me again… But what if: you took my details during checkout, then as I’m sitting on my couch a week later,

creation, and customer satisfaction. Whether selling through bricks-and-mortar stores or using an online platform, the latest 2D data carriers from GS1 are helping Australian companies prepare for the hyperconnected, digitally automated future. Woolworths is the first Australian retailer to take advantage of the newly developed GS1 data carriers, transforming fresh foods at point-of-sale during a recent store pilot. Richard Plunkett, Woolworths General Manager of Business Enablement, said 2D barcodes have immense potential, and they are excited to see how they will improve food safety, traceability, and stock management. Traditionally barcodes have been one dimensional, only able to store a product identification number. With increased requirements by the government, trading partners and customers for more visibility and transparency, GS1 developed the 2D data embedded barcodes. 2D barcodes enable multiple data elements to be available in a single symbol. Significantly more substantial amounts of data can be stored

GS1 Australia is the leading provider of standards and solutions for 20 industry sectors. For more information visit, gs1au.org

26 RETAILER | NOVEMBER 2019

NOVEMBER 2019 | RETAILER 27

www.retail.org.au

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