#172: How Barcodes make your life easier as a Shopify Merchant
Discover how barcodes can benefit Shopify Merchants in this episode of the Ecommerce Coffee Break Podcast, where I'm joined by Charlie Tyler, Product Manager at EasyScan.
On the Show Today You’ll Learn:
- The advantages of working with barcodes
- An insight into your day-to-day operations using barcodes as an entrepreneur on Shopify
- The process to transfer from not having barcodes in Shopify to having every product labeled
- How barcodes help to make shipping and returns easy
Links & Resources
Shopify App Store: https://apps.shopify.com/easyscan-inventory-and-order
About Our Podcast Guest: Charlie Tyler
Charlie Tyler, is Product Manager for EasyScan: SKU & Barcode, an embedded Shopify app to help with Warehouse management and Order fulfillment. He has over 8 years of experience on the Shopify platform and more than 10 years in e-commerce.
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Claus Lauter: Hello and welcome to another episode of the e-Commerce Coffee break.
We are talking a lot about marketing, artificial intelligence, but one thing that's most importantly obviously, is the operations of your store. So we wanna make sure that your fulfillment, your order management works as flawless as possible.
So we wanna dive a little bit deeper into this topic today, and we want to talk about. Scanning, sqs, and barcode. So barcode might sound boring, but actually it's a very, very powerful tool with me on the show today. Therefore, I have Charlie Tyler. He is the product manager for EasyScan. It's an embedded Shopify app to help with warehouse management and order fulfillment.
He has over eight years of experience on the Shopify platform in more than 10 years in e-commerce. So let's talk about barcodes. Let's welcome Charlie to the show. Hi Charlie. How are you today?
Charlie Tyler: Hi there. Thank you for having me. I'm really.
Claus Lauter: You're welcome, Charlie. Operations of a Shopify store is not always easy, so any kind of tool that can make life easier is obviously very welcome.
Now, if we're talking about barcode and scanning, a lot of our listeners might not actually be aware on how much that helps. Give me an idea, actually are the advantages of working with bar?
Charlie Tyler: Barcodes are great because it enables you to really easily make sure you're picking up exactly the right item.
You don't wanna be picking up a blue t-shirt and mixing it with a gray t-shirt. You want to make sure you're actually picking up that blue t-shirt, whether you sell it to your customer. So having it barcoded up makes sure that whoever is packing your order is picking up the right item straight away and not getting the wrong item, the wrong size.
So you want a medium one, not a large one. And so you get less returns and Angry customers. We all want to just make this as efficient and waste as little time as possible with our stores. Once you sold it, you wanna get to the customer as quickly as possible.
Claus Lauter: Maybe it goes one step back.
, barcodes are around for ages, but I think they get more powerful over time. Tell me a little bit about the history of
Charlie Tyler: barcodes. Barcodes have a long history of being useful for all kinds of services, not just in e-commerce, but effectively what a barcode or a skew is, we'll start with a barcode.
A barcode, and you might have heard of say, a G 10 or A U P C or an e a N, or even on the back of book you've got an I SB N number, and these are all barkers that are globally recognized and sourced from companies such as GS one Dot. However, you don't have to, unless you are working with Amazon or Walmart or say Google Shopping, you don't have to have one of these barcodes purchased through these sources.
You can just have your own internal barcodes and a barcode. All it effectively is a string of numeric. Numbers and letters put together and then converted into lines and spaces, and that's what translates into market.
Claus Lauter: Okay. You touched on one thing that I want to dive a little bit deeper in a moment, and that would be Google Shopping, because that's obviously a tool or a, marketing channel where barcodes become very, very important.
And I want to just start with, as a small and medium enterprise, you might not necessarily have barcodes in place now. How would the day-to-day operations look for a solopreneur entrepreneur that just started with Shopify and then starting to use
Charlie Tyler: bar. The classic one is everyone who wants to get in the game of Shopify is we'll just get our stock and then we'll sort out how we pack it later.
And I'll say, Hey, just give your products a number or an k u because in the long term it's gonna really help you. Even if it's the number is almost generated by, say, our app, or you want to use your own, say Excel spreadsheets to generate your 14 digit number. Then this just makes you sure you've got some tracking in place of what that product is coming through.
Even if you don't use it initially, you can then add these just to your products, these labels with a barcode symbol on them to your products, and that's when you use a scan gun or your iPhone to scan it. You'll be able to know exactly which item you're picking up.
Claus Lauter: When it comes to the hardware you just mentioned iPhone scan gun, how does that work together , with Shopify?
How do you work with
Charlie Tyler: that? Shopify has, its its p os software, so it's point of sale. And that's really great, but you have to use a socket mobile scanner, which is really quite expensive to use that. Or you can use the camera on the iPad. And that can actually, the camera can read a bucket.
However, you don't have to use these systems. You can just use any Bluetooth scanner. you can get quite cheap ones for around $40 or so on Amazon. With those, they can just read the barcode and translate that directly to your computer or your iPhone as that barcode information. The other way is you can use the iPhone camera.
The Shopify mobile app and the iPhone camera. And with that, the Shopify app has an inventory scanner and our app Ecan has got the inventory scanner where you can even scan a bucket and add it to your products that if you've already got a barks on your products. Okay.
Claus Lauter: Now you said there's a standardized system there, I p N numbers, G numbers and so on, so forth.
Tell me a little bit more about this.
Charlie Tyler: So if you see yourself really going and shooting for the moon with your products, then I would advise going straight to GS one dog and making sure you get proper dedicated barcodes for your products.
These are barcodes that are completely unique around the world and you can scan them anywhere around the world and someone will know what they are cause they're unique only to you. If you don't see yourself growing quite as quickly or you don't want to pay out for those barcodes, then you can use a system such as ours and create them for all your stock internally.
So there are two ways of doing it. Don't forget, you can always add barcodes to products in the future. It's just a sticker. And lots of companies offer this , operation to add stickers, products later. But GS one s the go-to for gins, UPCs and EEA N numbers, and that's what you are required for.
If you pound a listing product there and if you want to have it on Google shipping, you shopping even, then you can use your custom ones, but you just have to make sure you check a certain box when you're adding it to the shopping, the marketing channel on Shopify. Once you have
Claus Lauter: everything set up and you want to get started and you already have your products in there, what's the process to basically transfer from not having barcodes in Shopify to have every product labeled?
Charlie Tyler: It's really straightforward. Shopify does, makes this very simple that if you have a product or a product variant, they have a barcode field and a SKU field within these, and, as Shopify merchants, I'm sure you've come across these and all you have to do is either type in your barcode or your SKU into these fields Or scan it using your Bluetooth attached scan gun. So that just enters the information directly into those fields to make sure it gets it perfectly right every time. And then using Shopify p o s or EasyScan or any other system, you can quickly find these products within your Shopify system cuz they're all in one place.
Claus Lauter: Now you're working already for more than eight years on the Shopify platform. What are the biggest mistakes or challenges that you see that merchants have right now?
Charlie Tyler: That's a big question. I started off in the Shopify platform way back with my own little store and learned a huge amount.
That was my first sort of entry into e-commerce. Don't get caught down in too much of the detail. Just get it out there. It doesn't matter if it's not perfect, get your store live, get your products live, and start integrating start talking to our customers. At the end of the day, it's your customer.
Feedback is the most important thing, and that's the big thing we believe five or six to IO is that our customers are the most important direction for our product. And whether that's our app development, Or your t-shirt at home. If a customer comes back and said it's poor quality or your shipping's slow, then these are things that you can quickly work on and improve your store.
Claus Lauter: One question I have, barcodes, we do this for stock management with easy scan, that's everything about SKUs. Also, there's barcodes when it comes to shipping and returns and to make the life of customers easy. How does that I.
Charlie Tyler: So currently we have a system for if you have, local pickups or if you have a very basic delivery system locally.
Then we have an address label printer a printing system, part of EasyScan. And then if you use an external system such as Hue Station or Within Shopify, its own label printing, then we can redirect you straight from e scanned straight to those places so that you can just print your shipping labels from those.
We can also, after you've printed your shipping labels, just a check order so you can grab your order. It's already had its shipping label, printed cuz that fulfills your order. Shopify determines that fulfills your order even though it may not be fulfilled. And then you can just check the order after you've had your shipping label printed.
So you can use EasyScan in many ways in terms of picking your items, making sure you're getting your items in a good order from your bin location, using bin locations, and then also, checking and packing
Claus Lauter: your order. Withs can also be a solution if you have a brick and mortar store and you're using the Shopify P.
Charlie Tyler: Yeah, definitely because if you've got your stock coming in and say, if I've got, 10 t-shirts coming in, two medium, two large and too small, I want to know quickly what I've got coming in this box. I'll scan those labels. My manufacturer has already put labels on them and barcodes that I've given.
I scan those using my scan gun and I can see by using user scan that we are going to update the store with two t-shirts in medium, two and large and two and small. And I don't have to type in and find those products manually on the Shopify system. I can just scan it and add it much faster.
Claus Lauter: When it comes to the invest for hardware, you already mentioned the handgun, and the printer.
What's the overall investment that
Charlie Tyler: need to look for? I think that's pretty much it. The scanning gun and your barcode label printer and some, if you can get your manufacturer to put the barcode labels on four, then you can even get away from wasting your time putting on the labels at home.
The scan gun is, say $40 and a good barcode printer, maybe about 200 for a decent level. One. , And then you've just got the labels if you want to when you run through those. So they're quite cheap. It's quite a limited printing for the huge amount of saving in time management and, preciseness in what you are actually picking up and making sure you're not getting things wrong.
Saving time on errors and everything is what we're all about. , that sounds absolutely perfect.
Claus Lauter: What kind of homework does the merchant needs to do before they can get.
Charlie Tyler: If you want to download the scan, download and we give an onboarding and you can jump on a video call with me or one of our, of our team.
But if you just wanna get started with barcodes, without us, then you just need to download a barcode app or start assigning, numbers to your products and good to go. I would really just dive in. You can always replace your labels. You can always reassign your barcode codes and it will start saving you time straight away.
Okay. Gimme a
Claus Lauter: bit of an overview about the features of EasyScan. Is there a reporting tool? What kind of features
Charlie Tyler: can I see? Yeah, so we are quite a basic tool at the moment. We have order packing, picking and checking feature. That enables you to pick your orders off the shelves and, pack your orders individually and then check them, say at a manager level.
We also have a order creation. So say you get someone comes in and you just want to create an order in your shop, or maybe you get orders coming in via. Telephone or something. You can just scan those items into Shopify and make sure you're picking up the right item and charging your customers the right amount.
We have the update inventory just by scanning items and updating your inventory into your Shopify. We can quickly check your inventory to check what is on the shelves, and then check that matches what you have in your inventory. If it doesn't match up, then we can update that automatically.
We have a stock transfer and it's slightly different from what shop offers. So say you want to do. A popup. So I want to go down to my local farmer's market and I'm gonna take my sausages down. interesting story actually, that's who we first built this for, was for a butcher cuz he didn't want to touch his sausages and his steaks and stuff.
He wanted to be hands free, so he wanted to have a scanner. And that's how this app first came about. Anyway, so you're taking your sausages down to the market, but you want to know how many you take. So you set up a different location called popup, and you scan them into your car or into your boxes and take them.
They're immediately transferred across to that location. , then we have the bin locations feature. So that enables you to add up to three different locations for your products. And this is great for quickly finding products around the warehouse, especially if you're bringing on new employees. Helping people know where to go and pick the items up from, but also where to place items that you've already, you are updating into your.
So it just makes the process much faster. And then for all of these processes we have a reporting for all our inventory. So we have update logs check logs and transfer logs. And we have some data analytics as well. In the next month, we're going to bring out our users features.
You'll be able to assign all of the functions within EasyScan to different users so you can see which users done which updating, which users fulfilled which order, that's gonna be coming out in the next couple of months. Okay. It sounds for me
Claus Lauter: like a very straightforward, easy to use and transparent app.
I love the example with the butcher. It shows you that e-commerce can be anything and not only selling t-shirts. what's the pricing, structure
Charlie Tyler: EasyScan starts at, 9 99 for. The most basic, just the barcode features, and it gives the opportunity to explore the other features as well once a time.
next level up is the 29 $9 per month, which enables you to have full access, to all the standard features apart from the reporting and the analytics. And then the, 49.99 enables you to have access to the whole app, and that will also have access to the user's feature in the coming months the reason we have that differentiation between the 29 and 10, the 49 99 is because we store a lot more of the data in terms of your reporting, and we have that forever.
So you never have to download it. Save yourself. We store that forever for you. That's our promise. Okay,
Claus Lauter: I see you on your app store page that you have only five star reviews. There's not a single 4, 3, 2, or one star review, so it's only five star reviews. Apparently people are really, really happy with your app.
Where can people find out more about your app?
Charlie Tyler: Yeah, we are very proud of that. It's something we work, as I said from earlier, we are really our customer focused and if you haven't a part, something you want add as the app, we will investigate that and try and work with you to add it if it is possible.
Sometimes things such as shipping carry APIs, We don't have the capacity to add, those at the moment, but we hope to in the future. But there's a huge amount we add and that's what enabled us to have such great customers. To find more about our app, we have our go to five oh six.io here.
You can go to the EASE scan page and view the videos see on onboard. Cool. Thanks Charlie.
Claus Lauter: was a very good insight in why barcode is
Charlie Tyler: so
Claus Lauter: important and makes it much easier to run your business. Thanks so much for your time and talk soon. Thank you.
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