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The benefits of integrating an EAN scanner into a retail app

Karen Savage

Head of Sales at Anyline

Jun 02, 2022

Chronic labor shortages and a desire to cut costs is leading many retailers to implement self-scanning solutions. Using technology based on EAN (European Article Number) barcode scanning, stores can make it easy to link products to the store’s database via retail apps, allowing consumers to scan their own items and complete easy checkout and payment procedures.

The most important tool for any retail app is a properly functioning, enterprise grade barcode scanner. In this blog, we’ll examine the advantages of a retail app that links with a EAN scanner and describe how the integration process works.

The rising popularity of retail apps

The pandemic led to significant increases in the automation and digitization of processes among retailers. What’s more, critical shortages of workers have put extreme pressure on retailers, who are contending with fewer staff and higher overheads. Facing these challenges, the shift towards greater digitalization has presented opportunities for retailers to implement a wider variety of self-service options.

  • New buying habits, as well as the struggle to keep retail lines moving, has raised the profile of several technologies, including those underpinning self-service kiosks and vending machine stores.
  • Self-service kiosks are tech-driven stations where customers can scan items, apply any discounts, bag their own purchases, and pay with cash or a card.

Vending machine stores are physical premises that contain a variety of vending machines or lockers stocking a host of products. Shoppers can choose their items and pay for them via an interface in the machine, which automatically delivers the product to the buyer, or unlocks the storage locker upon payment.
While implementing vending machines or storage lockers may be out of the question for stores that can’t afford to completely rework the way they do business, Scan and Go technology represents a good middle ground. With Scan and Go, customers download an app onto their smartphone. While they shop, they scan each item, creating a digital list of purchases. The customer can then process payment for the items, and adapted processes enable stores to ensure that departing shoppers’ physical purchases match the digital receipt.

Elements to consider when implementing a retail app

Some elements to consider when choosing a retail app are outlined in the following section.

  • Security. As with any app that gathers customers’ personal data, security is critical. Retailers should ensure their solution meets the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law or national equivalent, which ensures that customer data can only be used for legitimate promotional purposes that benefit the customer. To guarantee this, choose tech vendors who are ISO 27001 certified. In this way, you can be sure that each scan performed by shoppers is processed directly on the their mobile device, guaranteeing data security.
  • EAN Barcodes. Since there are many different types of barcodes used in retail, choose a solution that supports them all. Anyline can scan all types of barcodes, including, of course, EAN barcodes.
  • Age-restricted purchases. Alcohol and certain medications are age-restricted, so the solution should include a control process that meets rules concerning the purchase of these items. One option is to combine barcode scanning with ID scanning to ensure the customer is old enough to purchase restricted items
  • Performance. Shoppers may be using self-scanning apps under a variety of lighting conditions, either online or offline. Retailers should therefore ensure their barcode scanning works in all conditions, even without an active internet connection.

How is Anyline technology integrated?

By integrating Anyline scanning technology into your retail app or website, you can allow shoppers to use their mobile devices as EAN barcode and ID scanners. Anyline’s integrated scanning solution supports a variety of platforms and can be integrated into your backend systems via our mobile software development kit, which is supported by a dedicated team.

Anyline works with any smartphones running Android, iOS or UWP, and supports integration frameworks such as Xamarin, Cordova, Flutter and React Native. Retailers can add new features and upgrades, and the software can be scaled to meet your needs.