I urge retailers to check in with everyone working in their businesses, to see how they scan.

Inaccurate scanning can result in register over rings, under rings, inaccurate inventory data … and more problems than these. Please don’t dismiss this advice as professional scanning reflects the professionalism of your business.

I was talking with an Australian newsagent last week about a theft problem that was not discovered as early as it could have been because of the lazy approaching the business to scanning. I know of another where customer throughout at the counter is regularly impacted by poor scanning techniques.

So, take a moment to check that your employees scan professionally:

  1. Be aware of where barcodes are located on products.
  1. Do not put price labels over barcode.
  1. Pass a barcode across the scanner once.
  1. Pass from one side to the other, always following the same path.
  1. Only hold one product when you are scanning.
  1. Rapid movement back and forth does not assist scanning.

7. Rubbing a barcode on a scanner does not assist scanning.

  1. Hitting a scanner with a product, barcode facing toward it, will not assist accurate scanning.
  1. Scanners should only be cleaned with screen cleaning cloths, using an abrasive cleaner will not help the scanner.
  1. Place the scanner on the side of the register that the majority of employees prefer – knowing left handed employees will have a different preference to right handed.

While this topic may seem to be of minor interest, there are plenty of retail businesses I have seen where following the simple steps above will improve accuracy, shopper throughput and data integrity.