The Best eCommerce Business Ideas for Ditching Your 9-5

ByVladana Donevski
June 23,2022

It's no secret that eCommerce is a huge industry. In fact, it's projected to grow to $5 trillion in 2022. That's a lot of money up for grabs!

If you're looking for ways to make money online, selling products and services through an eCommerce website is still one of the most profitable options out there.

So, without further ado, let's get started! We'll discuss some interesting eCommerce business ideas that you can use to start making money online. 

Start an Online Store To Sell Products

The easiest way to make money online with eCommerce is to start your own online store. If you have unique products that you can either create or source, or that you can get shipped from around the world, this can be a great way to earn a healthy profit.

Starting an eCommerce store can be daunting because you might be at a loss as to what to sell - in all fairness, a range of eCommerce product ideas can work. This could be either vintage garments that are your finds from the local thrift shop, products that are inconvenient to get, or even regular products that you can offer at a lower price online.

You'll need to invest in a good eCommerce platform and make sure your eCommerce website is optimized for search engine ranking. Once you've got everything set up, it's just a matter of driving traffic to your site and making sales.

Here are some profitable eCommerce business ideas for your online store:

Sell Your Art, Handmade Jewelry, Accessories, or Clothing

If you're a creative type, selling handmade jewelry, accessories, or clothing on Etsy is a great way to make money online. You can start a shop and promote your products through social media and other online channels.

As Etsy is the 12th largest marketplace globally, it's got a lot of eCommerce entrepreneurs. So, you'll need to compete with other sellers in terms of price, quality, and customer service. But if you can establish yourself as a top seller, selling handmade goods online can quickly turn into a profitable eCommerce business.

Create a Store for Selling Your Craft

If Etsy is not your thing, you can also build your online store and start selling your craft there. However, you'll likely have to spend more time creating your website by using an eCommerce website builder or hiring a developer. Plus, attracting new customers might require more dedication than you would need on Etsy.

You'll also likely have to execute some part of your sales via software or rely on another person if you choose this route. However, you’ll save on fees you'd otherwise pay to Etsy or other marketplaces.

Sell Your Digital Art or Your Photos Online

If you're an artist or have some artistic talent, selling your digital art online could be a good eCommerce business idea. A number of marketplaces allow you to sell online, and many of them are quite reputable.

This can be a great way to join the online business world if you're comfortable using your artwork to create digital products. For example, if you're a photographer, you can sell your photos through stock photography sites. This can be a great way to make money if you have a good camera and some creative talent.

Finally, as with selling physical goods, you don’t have to rely on marketplaces and pay the required fees. You can set up your shop and market your wares independently.

This eCommerce business idea is perfect for getting your product out there and winning over your first set of clients. It’s also great for figuring out the ropes of the eCommerce business. Once you know how it all works, you can create a website and start selling your digital artwork on your own terms. 

Have You Created Your NFT Collection Yet?

NFT collections are a great way to showcase your work and one of the most profitable business ideas these days.

However, getting started with NFTs requires some serious know-how, plus some tech skills. Still, since they are gaining in popularity and people are becoming interested in this type of art, it’s the most profitable eCommerce business. If you’re lucky, you can become rich in the process.

Write Your eBook and Sell It Online

If you take pride in your writing skills, you can write an eBook and sell it online. This is a fantastic business idea if you have some expertise that you can share with others. It could be anything from writing a self-help book, a piece of fiction, or your autobiography. 

As with all other eCommerce business ideas on this list - it won’t rake in instant profit. You'll need to invest some time in writing your eBook, editing it, and ultimately - promoting it. However, once it's finished, you'll be able to sell it over and over again and make a great income. 

Start a Print-on-Demand Line of Products

If you're looking for a business idea that doesn't require a lot of money upfront, starting a print-on-demand line of products can be your thing. For example, starting a T-shirt business is an excellent way to become a small business owner, but you don’t have to limit your offer to T-shirts. 

Print on demand involves creating T-shirts, pillows, phone cases, puzzles, or mugs. It’s one of the best eCommerce stores to start since you can set up a printing process at home. Alternately, depending on your budget, you can rely on a service to have these custom printed when someone makes a purchase.

If you decide to go with a print-on-demand business model, you don't have to carry any inventory, and you can start with modest upfront investment. There are a number of excellent platforms that allow you to print on demand, and many of them offer support for marketing and promoting your products.

These platforms also charge commissions for their services, so you might not be able to get as much profit as you’d hope for. Luckily, this eCommerce business idea is scalable, so you can switch your initial setup into one that works better for your new online business anytime.

Create Your Online Restaurant

If you have been toying with the idea of setting up a food truck, why not start it online? This could include anything from homemade meals, jams, organic food, cakes, and baked goods, to handmade pet treats for our little furry friends.

If you decide to go with a restaurant-type online business, make sure to find a good website builder designed for restaurants. This will allow you to create a website that includes a menu and other relevant features to help your restaurant grow into a profitable eCommerce business.

Fill a Niche Food Role

These days, people are looking for convenience, especially when it comes to their meals. If you can fulfill this role and provide them with easy solutions for their meal planning, you might make a big buck online. 

Online grocery stores, meal-making kits, and fresh or frozen food subscription boxes are skyrocketing in popularity. After all, the online purchase of restaurant/meal kit delivery amounted to 33% of all online purchase categories in 2018, and the growth didn’t stop. 

This is becoming more prominent, especially for niche products and dietary restrictions, such as vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free. If you’re thinking of running a food business as someone who loves this type of food, it could be the perfect choice among our ideas for eCommerce businesses to start.

Start an Online Pet Store

Another great eCommerce business idea is to start an online pet store. If you love animals, this could be an awesome online business for you. You can sell pet supplies, food, toys, and more. You can also offer pet-sitting services or dog-walking services through your eCommerce business. 

To get started, create a website or blog to showcase your products and services. Use social media to spread the word and attract customers. With dedication and effective marketing activities, you can build a successful online eCommerce business.

Set Up a Shop To Sell Vintage Items 

Do you have a passion for collecting vintage items? If so, why not join one of the most profitable eCommerce businesses ever? You can sell vintage clothes, furniture, art, and other collectibles that you've accumulated over the years.

These eCommerce business ideas are a great way to make money online if you have an eye for spotting valuable items. Just be sure to do your research before listing anything for sale, as you don't want to undervalue your items.

Provide Services Online

Almost any service that you could provide in a brick-and-mortar venue - you can also provide through your eCommerce store.

If you’re searching for eCommerce business ideas, you don’t have to sell physical products. Instead, it could be anything from digital marketing or personal shopping to expert consulting services - anything you could already be providing offline.

If you have a skill or expertise that you think people or businesses would be willing to pay for, start offering your services online through your eCommerce business. You can promote your services through a website or social media and start making money.

Not sure which business you should transfer online? Here are some eCommerce business ideas for services.

Provide Online Classes or Tutoring Online

You can make money online by providing services such as consulting, coaching, or tutoring. Online education is gaining popularity, and you should jump on the bandwagon if you have skills to share.

This is a great way to monetize your skills and knowledge. Just be sure to set your prices competitively and market your services in a way that speaks to your target group.

Depending on your expertise, you could consider various potentially profitable eCommerce businesses. You can provide one-on-one courses via Zoom, for example, or pre-record lessons and charge subscriptions. Make sure to find the right medium for transferring knowledge to your audience. 

Translate for Others

If you know a second language, not only can you offer online courses as your eCommerce business, but you can also start a freelance translation business from home. 

You can start by creating a website or blog to promote your services. As with all good eCommerce ideas on our list, acquiring new clients will take some time. You can also use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to spread the word. When you get your first project, be sure to ask for the client's requirements so you can give them an accurate quote. 

Once you complete the project, ask for feedback so you can improve your services and include testimonials as references. With a bit of digital marketing, you can build a successful translation eCommerce business.

Become a Social Media Manager

If you're good at leveraging social media, you don’t have to look for additional ideas for an eCommerce business - you can make money online by managing social media accounts for businesses or influencers. 

Social media is a great opportunity for communicating with customers, finding new clients, and promoting your products and services. However, not everyone has the skill set needed to get the most out of their social media accounts.

This is where you could come in and assist businesses to improve their relationship with customers on social media. If you have a knack for building followership, posting engaging content, and communicating with your audience, this might be the idea to pursue and build a profitable eCommerce business. 

It’s advisable to choose businesses or influencers that are relevant to your niche. Promoting your portfolio website on social media could provide you with the metrics you need to impress potential customers.

Start an Accounting/Bookkeeping Firm

If numbers are your forte, you can turn it into a business by starting an accounting or bookkeeping firm. Many people struggle with paperwork come tax season or with day-to-day bookkeeping. If you can provide reliable service, your clients will come to depend on your assistance.

You can also consider business accounting as one of the eCommerce business ideas for people comfortable with crunching numbers. While the niche boasts renowned bookkeeping companies and is saturated as a result, you can still claim a piece of the pie for yourself. 

Consider working locally or collaborating with smaller companies that don’t need a large accounting team to manage their paperwork. These companies prefer working with someone who can provide their expertise and a bit of extra care and dedication. 

Become an Online Fitness Trainer

If you're a fitness enthusiast, you can make money by providing online fitness coaching. This is a great eCommerce website idea to pursue if you're able to build up a large following. This holds true for yoga and other types of physical activity that can be done online.

Similar to those video tapes with exercises that were all the rage in the 80s, you can also record and sell training programs or create fitness plans, diets, and so on. Depending on the online fitness coaching type you provide, one medium might work better than the other. 

Become a Freelance Writer, Designer, or Developer

If you're a writer, designer, or developer, you can make money online by offering your services on your eCommerce website. The idea is that your site should serve as your portfolio and opportunity to promote yourself to new clients, but also as a store to accept payments for your work.

While anyone can create a website in a manner of minutes with all the free website builders, these professions are still valued on the global market. Apart from creating your site, you can also join some of the popular freelance marketplaces or promote your services via social media.

Become a Virtual Assistant

On the same note, if you're good with computers and have some administrative skills, becoming a virtual assistant is among good eCommerce ideas to consider. Virtual assistants provide administrative, technical, or creative services to clients from their home offices.

For this role, you’ll need excellent organizational skills and a willingness to dedicate time and effort to finding the right clients. You will also have to compete with some established virtual assistant companies, but if you focus on smaller businesses and entrepreneurs, you’ll be able to make more than a decent living with this option.

Offer Event or Wedding Planning and Organization

When it comes to profitable eCommerce business ideas, providing wedding and event organization is another service you can promote and book online. Not everyone has the time or creativity to organize everything for their big day, company outing, or kids’ party. 

This is where your eCommerce site comes into play. You can offer services online and allow your customers to book through your eCommerce store. 

For this to be successful, you'll need to create a large network of vendors, caterers, and other third parties. However, if you already have such service providers standing by, this business could be the right idea. 

No Clients Needed

If you are an introvert and prefer not to deal with clients or customers, you can still make money online. There are excellent online eCommerce business ideas you could pursue, so let's discuss those as well.

Start With Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a type of online marketing where you promote other people's products and earn a commission on any sales that you generate. This can be a great way to make money online if you're able to drive traffic to your affiliate links. Just be sure to choose products that are relevant to your niche and audience.

So, where do you start with affiliate marketing now that you’ve chosen it among other ideas for an eCommerce business on our list? You could create a blog, social media account, or YouTube channel where you review products from an array of brands.

Having a niche market, you can tap into through your blog or account can be a great way to earn affiliate commissions, as well as build up your own brand and authority.

You'll need to invest some time and effort into creating high-quality content, but if you can build up a large following, you'll be able to make a great living reviewing products online.

Launch a Dropshipping Business

Another excellent choice that belongs to the easy eCommerce business ideas category is launching a dropshipping business. When you dropship, you simply sell products sourced and fulfilled by a supplier.

This can be a great way to get started in eCommerce with little or no investment. You just need to find a reputable supplier and set up your eCommerce store.

Once you've got everything up and running, it's just a matter of driving traffic to your site and making sales. You'll also be responsible for customer service and ensuring that your shoppers are having the best experience. After all, 91% of customers will simply leave and never return if they have a bad experience with your store, which is something new businesses cannot afford.

Bottom Line

There are plenty of ideas for an eCommerce business that involve selling products or services. So, if you're looking to get started in eCommerce, be sure to choose the option that best suits your skills and interests. Moreover, take a closer look at the professional network that you’ve built up over the years and then decide which avenue to pursue. With commitment and effort, you can start making money online in no time!

FAQ
What are the 4 types of eCommerce businesses?

There are four types of eCommerce businesses: store-based, dropshipping, affiliate marketing, and auction.

What are the disadvantages of eCommerce?

There are a few disadvantages of eCommerce that you should be aware of before getting started on your eCommerce website idea. First, e-commerce can be expensive to set up, especially if you're starting from scratch. Second, e-commerce can be time-consuming, especially if you're running a dropshipping business. You'll need to source products, manage inventory, and ship orders regularly. Finally, e-commerce can be competitive, so you'll need to make sure you're offering something unique and valuable to your customers.

What kind of online store is most profitable?

This is a difficult question to answer, as many eCommerce business ideas can be profitable. However, some of the most profitable online stores include those that sell physical products, such as clothes or cosmetics. Stores that sell digital products, such as eBooks or video courses, can also be very profitable. Finally, stores that offer a combination of physical and digital products can also be quite profitable. Ultimately, it depends on the products that you are selling and your target market.

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Creating and sending purchase orders (POs) can be daunting for inexperienced business owners. For some, it can be hard to keep track of all of them as they pile up, while others stress about filling these important documents flawlessly to ensure smooth order processing. Thankfully, there is software available that can help manage the entire process, from start to finish. Businesses can leverage technology to create and send purchase orders quickly and accurately. These systems often come with additional features such as automated reminders, tracking capabilities, and more. Our article will answer all your PO questions - e.g., What is a purchase order? Why are they important? How do they work? - and teach you about the various ways businesses use purchase orders, as well as how to create and send them yourself. Purchase Order Definition So you've heard the term many times and are wondering, “What is a PO, exactly?” In a nutshell, a purchase order is a legally binding contract created by a buyer to communicate a seller's demand for goods or services. It is generated after the buyer and seller agree on the terms of sale, such as pricing, quantity, delivery date, and payment terms. The PO serves as a formal record of the details of the transaction between the two parties and can be used as a reference in case of any disputes. POs are typically used for business-to-business transactions and can be sent electronically, via fax, or by mail. A complete PO will include all relevant information, such as vendor details, product/service descriptions, prices, delivery methods, and payment conditions. Once it is received by the seller and accepted, it becomes subject to the terms both parties must abide by. The Role of a PO in Business POs are created anytime you need to buy anything from a vendor. For example, if a company needs to buy 500 chairs for an office renovation project, it would place an order using a PO system. This ensures both parties have clear documentation outlining the specifics of the transaction. The purchase order system is essential to any successful purchasing process and helps ensure goods and services are delivered on time and per the contract terms. It also allows companies to track their spending more accurately and helps them budget accordingly. Having a purchase order system in place also ensures better communication between buyers and sellers and eliminates any confusion over what has been ordered or agreed upon. This ultimately leads to more secure transactions with less risk of misunderstandings or legal action from either side. Why Is It Important to Have a Purchase Order? Imagine you are a business owner who has just been handed a PO from a potential new client. You've never seen one before, so you're not sure what it is exactly, but you should learn how to use it. Here are some reasons buyers should know the ins and outs of POs: To make sure they’re ordering the correct items To make sure they're getting the best price possible To make sure the order is correct and can be delivered on time To keep track of buyer and vendor expenses To make sure buyers are within budget By taking the time to learn more about this vital tool, business owners can streamline their operations and improve customer satisfaction. How do POs Work? A PO is essentially a document sent from a buyer to a seller, stating the products, quantities, and agreed prices for goods or services the seller will provide to the buyer. It also serves as an offer from the buyer to purchase those products or services at the given price. The PO serves as legal protection for both parties, and it must be approved by both before any transaction can take place. Once a purchase requisition form is filled and accepted, buyers are protected from price increases or ordering errors, as all costs and terms must be clearly stated in advance. The supplier typically then sends an invoice to the buyer, which contains all of the same information as the PO. This invoice signals that the order details have been finalized and are ready for payment. Once payment is received from the buyer, it signals that all obligations regarding the PO have been completed. How to Create a PO in a Few Easy Steps Log into the company’s procurement system or software and find the purchasing order form. Fill out the PO with all the necessary information, including supplier contact info, item name, description, quantity required, unit price, total cost, payment terms, delivery terms, and expected delivery date. Once you've completed the order form and double-checked all your entries for accuracy, submit the purchase order request to management for approval. Obtain a signed copy of the approved PO from the purchasing department manager before sending it to your supplier to ensure both sides have agreed on all of its contents in writing. Forward an electronic or hardcopy version of the PO to the supplier. The supplier will confirm receipt of the PO and provide an estimated delivery date for the requested goods or services. When the goods or services arrive, check that they match what was ordered and submit payment according to the agreed-upon price. Following the purchase order process will ensure that you have a complete and accurate record of all purchases made by your purchasing department. This information can be invaluable in helping your company better manage suppliers, negotiate more favorable contracts and stay compliant with relevant laws and regulations. 10 Tips for Using Purchase Orders Effectively Planning: When issuing a purchase order, it's important to allow enough time for the supplier to fulfill the order and anticipate any delivery delays. Pay attention to detail: Make sure that all information on the PO is accurate and up-to-date, so there are no misunderstandings between you and your supplier. This includes pricing, payment terms, shipping details, product specifications, etc.  Stay organized: Keep track of all POs issued by organizing them into folders or using filing software such as Excel or Quickbooks. This allows you to quickly locate a PO if necessary and also helps with budgeting and accounting tasks. It’s also easier to rely on legal protection in case of disputes if you can easily locate all relevant documents. Follow up: If there are any discrepancies with the PO, address them immediately. This will help ensure that everything is done properly and promptly.  Use the latest technology: Automation tools such as PO software can help streamline the process by automating many of the manual tasks associated with issuing purchase orders. This can save you time and money while ensuring accuracy and efficiency. Negotiate terms: Don't be afraid to negotiate payment and other conditions that may benefit both parties involved in the transaction. Establish relationships: Good relationships with suppliers are vital for ensuring future success with purchase orders. Open communication and following up on time can go a long way toward achieving your business goals. Monitor performance: Make sure your suppliers are fulfilling their obligations according to the terms of the PO. Doing so will help you identify any areas in which improvement is needed or where alternative suppliers may be necessary. Stay compliant: Staying updated on applicable laws and regulations when issuing purchase orders is essential for remaining compliant with local, state, or federal laws. Familiarize yourself with all relevant rules and make sure that all of your purchases follow those rules accordingly. Leverage data: Analyzing the data associated with your purchase orders - be they on the buyer or seller side - can help you identify opportunities for cost savings, streamline the buying process, and improve supplier relationships. Bottom Line Using POs effectively is an essential part of any successful business nowadays. Following a strict purchase order process can help your business save time and money while ensuring accuracy and efficiency.  For example, a PO system for a small business uses automation, and tracking data from your POs can also provide additional insights and help you make more informed business decisions. By following this guide, you will be well on your way to using purchase orders effectively.
By Bojan Jovanovic · November 28,2022
It’s hard to imagine the modern world without barcodes. They are on almost every product we buy, from food to clothes to electronics. We tend to take it for granted that this technology will be there to make our lives easier.  But have you ever wondered about the history of barcode technology and barcode scanners? Have you asked yourself: When was the barcode invented, and how did it become so ubiquitous? In this article, we’ll answer those questions and take a brief look at the history of this fascinating technology. What Is a Barcode? Let’s start by explaining what a barcode is. A barcode (often spelled as two words, ‘bar code’) is a machine-readable representation of data typically used to track inventory or products. Barcodes can be found on almost any consumer product today, from food items in the grocery store to books at the library.  Barcodes work by encoding data in a series of parallel lines of varying widths. The widths of the lines are read by a scanner, which converts them into digital data that a computer can process. Before we delve deeper into the barcode history, here are the most common types:  The Universal Product Code (UPC), used on almost all retail products in the United States The European Article Number (EAN), mainly used in Europe International Standard Book Number (ISBN) A Barcode Scanner A barcode scanner employs data capture technology to read barcodes on products in retail stores, identification cards, and postal mail. A typical scanner consists of three main components: an optical reader, a decoder, and a cable connecting the two.  The optical reader is the part of the product code scanner that "reads" the lines in a barcode by shining a light on it and converting the reflected light into an electrical signal. This signal is then sent to the decoder, which converts it into digital data that a computer can read. The First Barcode We’ll take you back to 1948, the year when the first barcode was invented and created by Bernard Silver, a graduate student at Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia, and Norman Woodland, an inventor and a Drexel alumnus.  The two men came up with the idea while working on a project for a local supermarket chain, whose owner asked the institute for help in developing a way to read product information automatically during checkout. The barcode history timeline continues with Silver and Woodland realizing that a system of lines and spaces could be used to encode information that a machine could read. They got the idea from Morse code, which uses a series of dots and dashes to represent letters and numbers. The initial barcode was designed as a “bull’s eye” made up of a series of concentric circles. Silver and Woodland filed a patent for their invention in October 1949, but it was in 1952 that it was patented. However, a powerful 500-watt incandescent bulb they had built into it and a bulky oscilloscope didn’t make the system practical enough for commercial use.  Collins at Sylvania and KarTrak System The next figure in the turbulent history of barcodes was David Jarett Collins, an engineer at Sylvania Electric Products Inc. He was among the first to realize a need for an automated system to track and identify railroad cars. Working on a problem, he developed a KarTrak ACI (Automatic Car Identification) system in the 1960s.  The system used a pattern of blue and orange reflective stripes applied to the sides of railroad cars. A photoelectric sensor was used to read the stripes and could automatically identify a particular car as it went by.  Collins’s system is yet another piece of the puzzle that answers the question, “When was the barcode invented?” It was a much more efficient and upgraded version of the original Woodland-Silver barcode.  The new method soon became widely accepted and was set as the US standard in 1968. However, it was abandoned in the late 1970s due to technical difficulties, high costs, and poor read accuracy. A Gamechanger - The Introduction of Lasers Collins formed the Computer Identics Corporation in search of a new market for his barcode technology. This time he turned to helium-neon lasers, which were invented in 1960 by Theodore Maiman.  Lasers are, obviously, more precise than the 500-watt incandescent bulbs Silver and Woodland were using and can be focused into a very fine beam of light. This made them ideal for reading barcodes. Much before the first barcode scanner was invented, Collins incorporated a mirror that enabled the code to be reached from multiple angles, making things much easier and more reliable.  Collins and his Computer Identics Corporation installed the new barcode scanning system at a General Motors factory in Flint, Michigan, in 1969 to monitor the production of car axles. This marked the start of barcodes’ commercial journey. UPC Is Born After the successful installation at General Motors, the next step was to develop a system to be used on all products in a store. In 1966, the National Association of Food Chains (NAFC) formed a committee to develop such a system. RCA Corporation was among the committee’s members, and as it purchased the rights to the Woodland-Silver patent, it became one of the main players in the history of the barcode. However, the winner of the unique technology race was IBM, with its linear UPC (universal product code) system, which was ultimately selected as the NAFC standard instead of RCA’s bullseye code. The UPC was first scanned commercially on June 26, 1974, on packages of Wrigley’s chewing gum at a supermarket in Troy, Ohio. The barcode had finally arrived as the standard for product identification and tracking.  The UPC code consists of 12 digits, with the first six digits identifying the manufacturer, the next five identifying the product, and the last check digit used to verify that the barcode has been read correctly. The Usage of Barcodes Today Since the barcode invention and commercial deployment, retail has never been the same. Barcodes have become an integral part of our lives and are used in various ways.  We use them to track inventory, for security purposes, in libraries, print labels, and get information about a product. In addition, barcodes are utilized in many other industries, such as health care, manufacturing, and transportation. With the development of POS systems (point of sale), barcodes have become even more important, as they are used to price and track products at the time of purchase. In libraries, books’ ISBNs (international standard book numbers) are now barcodes used to keep track of inventory. Knowing barcodes’ origin, one could barely imagine their usage in hospitals. Yet barcodes are now printed on patients’ wristbands to help reduce medication errors. Barcoded tickets are also widely used at airports and concert venues to help keep track of people and prevent counterfeiting.  Indeed, barcodes have come a long way since their humble beginnings and continue evolving as our needs change. The Introduction of QR Codes In the 1990s, barcodes took another leap forward with the introduction of QR codes (also known as matrix-based 2D codes). QR stands for “quick response,” and these two-dimensional barcodes can store more information than traditional barcodes.  They contain the finder, alignment, and timing patterns that serve to determine the code’s orientation, distortion, and coordination.  When was the matrix barcode invented, then? The QR code history started with the Japanese corporation Denso Wave in 1994 when they were developed to track vehicles during the car manufacturing process at Toyota. In the beginning, they were simple 2D codes, but they continued to develop until the Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) registered QR codes in 1999.  Later, new forms of the code were developed: In 2004, the world welcomed the first micro QR code that could be printed in a small space. Four years later, the iQR code enabled rectangular code modules and boasted 80% higher data capacity. Finally, FrameQR was developed in 2014 and brought a “canvas area” to the code. This allowed companies to add branding and design elements to their codes more freely. Thanks to those who invented the barcode, we can now use QR technology to store website URLs, contact information, and small amounts of text. It can also be used to trigger actions, such as opening a URL in your browser or adding a contact to your address book.  The Future of Barcodes As barcodes continue to evolve, we can expect to see even more uses for them in our everyday lives. Now that we know the answer to the “How long have barcodes been around?” question, we can only imagine what the future holds for this technology.  With the advent of cloud-based inventory management software, barcodes are becoming even more important for managing products and tracking inventory in real time, no matter where you are.  We are also likely to see more uses for QR codes as they become more widely adopted. So, whether you’re using a barcode to keep track of your inventory or scanning a QR code to get information about a product, there's no doubt that these little symbols are here to stay. Final Thoughts A combination of barcodes and barcode scanners is critical to managing inventory for businesses of all sizes, especially in the grocery industry. With a long history that dates back to 1948, barcodes have come a long way, and they continue to evolve as our needs change. Laser technology made it possible to read barcodes much faster, and the QR code was introduced in the 1990s to store even more information. Today, barcodes are used in many industries, such as health care, manufacturing, and transportation. We hope you won’t take them for granted the next time you see them. In this article, we explored who created the barcode and how its history brought it to its important place in business today.
By Danica Djokic · November 22,2022
Do you ever wonder how those little black-on-white lines can hold so much information? Or how do barcodes work, and why are they so important to businesses? In this article, we will explore the world of barcodes and learn how these simple markings can do so much. Stay tuned for an in-depth look at one of the essential pieces of technology in the modern world. What Is a Barcode? A barcode is a machine-readable code in the form of numbers and parallel lines printed on product packaging. Barcodes were first developed in the 1970s from an earlier idea based on Morse code. They have since become an essential tool for businesses of all sizes. Barcodes can be printed on labels or directly onto products and are read by scanners that are connected to a computer system. Barcodes are used extensively in retail and have helped streamline the checkout process. In addition, barcode technology can be used to track inventory levels and product movement throughout the supply chain. As barcodes become more ubiquitous, they are also being used in other industries, such as health care and manufacturing. How Does a Barcode Work? Barcodes are read by optical scanners that use a beam of light to scan the code. The scanner converts the light reflections into electrical impulses sent to a computer system. The computer system then decodes the impulses and translates them into the product information stored in the barcode.  What’s also important to note is that barcodes can store a large amount of information in a very small space. This means that businesses can track a variety of product data, such as price, color, and size. Types of Barcodes All barcodes can be split into two categories - linear and two-dimensional. Linear barcodes, also known as one-dimensional (1D) barcodes, are the most common type. They are composed of a series of parallel lines that represent numbers or other characters. Two-dimensional barcodes are less common but are becoming more popular due to their ability to store more information. These barcodes are composed of a series of dots or squares that can be read in two dimensions. Now, let’s take a closer look at the different barcode types. UPC The most common type of 1D barcode is the Universal Product Code (UPC). UPC barcodes are used extensively in the retail industry and can be found on nearly every product sold in a retail store.  The universal product code consists of 12 digits divided into two parts: The first six are the manufacturer’s identifier, and the last six are the product’s identifier. The UPC barcode is printed on every product sold in stores and is a vital part of the retail industry. Thanks to the UPC, retailers can efficiently track inventory and sales and ensure that customers get the right products. EAN Code The European Article Number (EAN) is another 1D barcode example used extensively in Europe. EANs are very similar to UPCs but have a few key differences.  EANs are composed of eight or 13 numbers depending on the product size. If the product is small, such as a book, it will have an 8-digit EAN. If the product is larger, such as a piece of furniture, it will have a 13-digit EAN. These numbers combine a country code, company code, and article number, while the last digit represents the check digit. EANs are often used on products sold internationally, as scanners in any country can read them. This makes them a vital part of the global supply chain. Data Matrix Code Data Matrix codes are 2D barcodes that can encode a large amount of data in a small space. They are made up of black and white squares that form a big square or rectangle and are used in industries where tracking and traceability are critical. These codes have a maximum encoding capacity of 3,116 numerical characters and 2,335 alphabetic characters. Each Data Matrix has its own perimeter finder and timing pattern, and they are made up of square or rectangular blocks of black and white cells. Data Matrix codes may store both large and small symbols. A barcode scanner can more easily read the code if there is a blank space around its perimeter. PDF417 Code PDF417 is a type of 2D barcode used to store information. The name stands for Portable Data File 417. PDF417 codes are used in various contexts, including but not limited to driver’s licenses, passports, and other identification documents.  The information stored in a PDF417 code can include text, numbers, and other data. These codes are read by scanning them with a barcode reader. The reader decodes the information, displays it on a screen, or prints it out.  PDF417 codes are also used in some financial transactions, such as mobile payments. In these cases, the code typically represents a unique identifier for the transaction. PDF417 codes have been used since the early 1990s and are now one of the most common barcode types. QR Code QR codes are becoming increasingly popular, especially as a way of sharing information or accessing content quickly and easily. But what exactly is a QR code? Simply put, a QR code is a two-dimensional barcode that can be read by a smartphone or other devices with a camera.  When scanned, the QR code will direct the device to a specific website or online content. QR codes can be used for various purposes, including sharing contact information, providing directions, or linking to a video or social media account.  Businesses have also begun using QR codes to offer customers special deals or promotions. While QR codes are most commonly used with phones, they can also be scanned with laptops and tablets. So, the next time you see a QR code, go ahead and give it a try. Benefits of Using Barcodes Barcodes have become essential to modern life, appearing on everything from groceries to library books. While they may seem like a simple way to handle inventory tracking, barcodes offer businesses various financial benefits. Here are some of the key benefits of using barcode systems: Improved accuracy: Barcodes can be read quickly and accurately, which reduces the chances of human error. This is especially important for businesses that need to track a large number of items. Reduced costs: Using barcodes can help businesses save money on labor costs associated with inventory management. Barcodes can also be used to automate the ordering process, which can lead to further cost savings. So if you’re unsure how to use a barcode system, consider hiring a professional to help get you started. Faster transactions: Barcodes can be read quickly, which helps speed up transactions. This is especially beneficial for businesses that experience high volumes of traffic, such as supermarkets and department stores. Improved customer service: Barcodes can help businesses keep track of sales data and customer purchase history. This information can be used to improve marketing efforts and customize the shopping experience for individual customers. Improved security: Barcodes can be used to track products and prevent theft. This is especially important for businesses that sell high-value items or handle sensitive information. As you can see, barcodes offer a variety of financial benefits for businesses, large and small. How Does a Barcode Scanner Work? A barcode scanner is a device that can read and interpret barcodes. It encodes the data from the barcode into a form that a computer can read. The computer then uses this data to look up information about the product, such as the price, in a database. Barcode scanners come in various shapes and sizes, but they all work using the same basic principle. So, how are barcodes read? A barcode scanner contains a light source, a photosensor, and an electronic decoder.  The light source is used to illuminate the barcode. The photosensor is used to detect the reflected light from the barcode. The electronic decoder is used to interpret the data encoded in the barcode. Barcode scanners can be handheld or fixed. Handheld barcode scanners are portable devices that can be held in one hand while scanning barcodes. Fixed barcode scanners are mounted on stands or other surfaces and are used to scan barcodes placed within the scanner’s range. Barcode scanners are commonly used in retail settings for pricing and inventory control. However, barcode scanners can also be used for other purposes, such as tracking assets or collecting data. Final Thoughts Barcodes are essential to many businesses, helping track inventory and product movement throughout the supply chain. By understanding how they work, you can ensure you’re making the most out of them. There are different barcode types, so choose the one that best suits your needs.
By Nikolina Cveticanin · November 21,2022

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