Does the name Clyde Dawson ring a bell with you? If not, here’s a bit of trivia – In June of 1974, Clyde was the first customer to purchase a barcode scanned item in a grocery store. Since that first scan, the use of barcodes on merchandise, coupons, and loyalty cards has become integral to the purchasing process for most grocery and many C-Stores throughout North America.
For the majority of C-Store retailers with 10 sites or more, scanning is a no brainer. These retailers have learned long ago that automation through scanning brings with it the benefits of increased consumer satisfaction and higher margins through:
- Faster checkout process
- Elimination of cashier errors
- Accurate inventory assessment
- Reduced shrinkage
- Labor savings
However, many of the approximately 90,000 C-Store retailers with 1-10 sites, continue to do business without scanning technology. Instead, relying on the POS Terminal’s numeric keypad for keying in the transaction and therefore they are missing out on the aforementioned benefits. The reason given by many of these retailers for opting not to enable scanning is due to the initial implementation costs, which include: addition of the scanner hardware, possible Point of Sale upgrade, price book management.
What to look for:
- Scanner: Pass up the UPC only scanner and go straight to a dual UPC/2D scanner. This will save you from having to replace the scanners down the road as mobile payment and driver’s license scanning becomes more pervasive. (a leading use case for indoor mobile payment transactions is to use the POS scanner to scan a 2D payment barcode on the phone – we’ll save that for another blog)
- Point of Sale: At minimum, you need a Point of Sale system that can connect to an external scanner and supports UPC barcodes. Ask if the device currently supports 2D scanning, or if a future software update will handle this. If not, you may want to look at another system.
- Price Book: There are several back office partners available that cater to retailers with 1-10 sites with low cost price book and back office tools that reduce the retailer’s upfront investment. We’re even aware of one, Success Systems, which offers a free price book / reporting package to help C-Store retailers get started with scanning and electronic invoicing.
In general, a move to automated scanning can enable your store to achieve a sales increase of at least 4-5% with a full ROI in as few as 2-3 months. If you haven’t yet begun scanning at your store, it’s not too late to get started. And by doing a little homework now, you can make sure you’re ready to take advantage of new scanning implementations down the road.
Gilbarco has arranged for any Passport user to receive a FREE version of ePB-Retail Link™ from Success Systems. Please visit Success Systems® web site for more information.
 June 26, 1974: By Gum! There’s a New Way to Buy Gum, Randy Alfred
 Success Systems