If you own or run a business, you’d know how important inventory management is. And if you use channels to service customers, logistical operations become even more complex and challenging. Some of these channels may include e-commerce, marketplaces, and direct-to-customer.
So, you are looking for a solution that can help your multi-channel inventory system.
And the best part is that there is a solution—QR Code technology. QR Codes are modern, tech-savvy, and a smart way to manage inventory.
Keep reading to know more.
A. Why use QR Codes for multi-channel inventory management
Multi-channel inventory management is managing inventory across all channels where you sell.
For years, businesses have been using barcodes for inventory tracking. Though they are useful, they still suffer various issues. For example,
- Barcodes take more space than QR Codes for the same information stored. Hence, QR Codes are especially useful when there are printing space constraints
- Inventory handling involves a lot of wear and tear. And any damage to the barcode will render it non-operational
- A barcode can only be read from left to right. If it is placed on a product in the wrong position, it will lead to non-scannability
- You can only encode up to 20-25 characters in the barcode
But QR Codes have the upper hand compared to barcodes. Here’s how:
- Their size doesn’t expand as the content stored increases
- QR Codes can scan well even after they get damaged, distorted, or dirty by up to 30%
- They can be scanned from any direction— 360 degrees scannability
- QR Codes can be small in size and don’t suffer placement issues
- They can add up to 7,089 characters. This amount is more than enough for inventory management
Apart from these fundamental factors, QR Codes offer various other features such as:
1. Automated generation via your own system
Do you already have an inventory tracking system in place? Then you can integrate QR Code generation into it. How? With QR Code API. It allows you to generate QR Codes in real-time programmatically. That means a one-stop solution with increased efficiency.
No need to go to a QR Code generator every time you need a QR Code for a product.
2. The flexibility of design customization
You can customize QR Codes by adding designs to them. How? By adding a logo and color or even a background image to make the QR Code branded.
Hence, unlike barcodes that cannot be designed, your QR Codes can be visually appealing.
In fact, you can use custom-designed QR Codes to distinguish products based on various categories.
For example, it could be helpful if your inventory comes from or goes to different locations. You can add different colors to QR Codes for both of these cases.
That means a simple way to label and organize the multi-channel inventory.
3. A better customer experience
Say a customer orders a product on your website. You check the inventory to find out that the required product is not available. Such situations can adversely impact the buying experience of your brand.
But don’t worry. Multichannel inventory management via QR Codes can help ensure that the listed products are in stock. That means all you need to do is scan QR Codes on both in-house products and items under shipment. Doing so shall tell you their current status.
You can make an excel sheet having all the data to know when to re-stock the inventory.
B. How to create QR Codes in bulk for multi-channel inventory management
Since you have a multi-channel inventory, you’d need QR Codes in bulk. And you can generate them via two ways—bulk QR Code generator and QR Code API.
Let’s discuss both the methods in detail:
1. Bulk QR Code generator
A bulk QR Code generation service allows you to create up to 100,000 QR Codes in one go. Thus, it eliminates the need to generate QR Codes one by one.
For inventory tracking, you can opt for Serial Code QR Code or Text QR Code.
Once decided on the QR Code category, you need to find a QR Code generator that allows you to create them.
To do it, you can head on to a search engine and look for a suitable bulk QR Code generator for your use case. But comparing top results is a hectic and tiring task.
To make it easier for you, here’s a comparison chart for the top bulk QR Code generators online. You can go through it to make a sound decision.
Create QR Codes in bulk
Using QR Batch for demo purposes, here are the steps that you’ll have to follow:
1. Go to QR Batch and sign-up
2. Now, choose the Serial Code QR Code category. Here, you can create QR Codes by encoding alphanumeric characters in series. Or you can even go for the Text QR Code category if needed
3. On the page that loads, enter the details and click Review Data
4. Now, click Next
5. Now, you’ll see three design options to choose from—Standard Design, Custom Logo Design, and Custom Background Design
Standard Design: It is the generic black-and-white QR Code.
Custom Logo Design: It allows you to add a logo and color to your QR Codes.
Custom Background Design: It helps you place your QR Code on an image
6. After finalizing the design, click Select
7. A window will open prompting you to name the batch. You’ll also get the option to specify the export options (QR Codes’ size and format)
8. After you specify the details, proceed ahead
9. On the page that loads, click Proceed To Payment. Once you complete it, your batch of QR Codes will start getting processed
10. After it gets processed, you’ll receive an email attached with a zip file containing the QR Codes
Alternatively, you’ll also be able to download the batch from the My Batches section on your account dashboard.
2. QR Code API
If you have your own inventory management system, then you can directly integrate QR Code generation into it.
That’s right. You can integrate QR Code generation into your own information system with QR API.
It allows you to generate QR Codes programmatically in real-time. Hence, there is no manual intervention required to create the QR Codes.
To find an appropriate QR Code API service provider, you’ll probably go to any search engine and type the query. It will fetch you many options to choose from.
But going through all the search results to find the best one is a tedious process. For your convenience, here is a detailed comparison of the best QR Code API available online. This will help you make a sound decision.
Using Scanova’s QR API for demo purposes, here’s how you can proceed:
Create QR Codes programmatically
1. Go to QR API and sign-up for the free trial
Note that you will get the first 50 API requests for free when you sign-up. Also, you need not enter your card details while signing up.
2. On the page that loads, you’ll see your cycle usage with details such as total allowed requests, requests used, and days remaining. Here, you’ll also see the option Get API Key. Click on Create
Note that if you choose to sign-up via Google and click on Create, you’ll receive a 6-digit code on your email address. Copy it and paste it into the dialog box. You’ll then be able to see your API Key.
3. Copy the API key and click on Documentation on the dashboard
4. As you scroll down a bit, you’ll see the Authorize button on the right
5. Click on the Authorize button. A window will open prompting you to paste the API key in the value box. Once you’ve pasted it, click Authorize
6. Select the Text QR Code category and click on the Test button
7. Add the inventory tracking information that you want to encode in the QR Codes. You can also start customizing the QR Code here
8. Next, you can specify the level of error correction and other design parameters
9.Once you’ve finalized the QR Code content and other parameters, click on Execute
10. Here, you’ll see responses such as Curl, Request URL, and Response Body. When you scroll down a little, you’ll also see the image of a QR Code with encoded content
11. Now copy the Request URL and integrate it into your information system or mobile application
That’s it. QR Codes will be generated as the number of response URLs are sent to the API system.
Now you know why it makes sense to use QR Codes for multi-channel management. So don’t wait up and make your inventory better and more innovative. Get started here: