How are Label Printers and Barcode Scanners Important?

Posted by Ved Krishna Dwivedi on 20th Jun 2022

A point of sale (POS) system is the modified and technologically advanced version of traditional cash registers. Modern-day point of sale (POS) systems can do more than just accept payments. They are designed to integrate with various hardware components and other applications that help with customer relationship management, tracking and managing inventory, and streamlining business operations.

In this article, we have discussed label printers and barcode scanners in depth. Before we talk about the relevance of these devices in the day-to-day business operations, let us rehash the concept of a point of sale (POS) system.

Point of Sale (POS) System: The Components and Advantages

The place where the merchants accept payment from the customers for a purchased item and issues a receipt that contains information like the name of the product, date and time of purchase, price of the product, tax, and more, to complete the transaction process. If you are shopping online or offline, the checkout counter is the point of sale, also known as the point of purchase.

It is obvious that payment is the heart of any point of sale (POS) system, irrespective of the type. To conclude the transaction process, an elaborate set of hardware and software components is used, known as a point of sale (POS) system. Unlike cash registers, recent point of sale (POS) systems support financial, sales, promotional, and operational aspects of every business, streamlining its overall operations. The inception of barcodes in the ‘70s, graphic interfaces in the ‘80s and online ordering in the ‘90s supported the evolution of traditional point of sale (PSO) systems to the modernized versions that are available these days. The rate of technological advancement accelerated since the onset of the 21st century and with that came mobile technology that revolutionised traditional payment accepting methods.

How are Point of Sale (POS) Systems Beneficial?

A fully integrated point of sale (POS) system is advantageous to retailers in numerous ways which is why many retail business owners have implemented them. Listed below are some of the benefits of a point of sale (POS) system-:

  • 1.Eases payment processes by supporting various payment processors and third-party applications.
  • 2.Helps track and manage inventory across multiple channels.
  • 3.Provides enhanced customer experience.
  • 4.With a cloud-based point of sale (POS) systems, retailers can manage business operations remotely.
  • 5.Stores customer data for future reference that eventually help in building a strong customer relationship, ensuring the security of customer data.
  • 6.Generating complete and accurate sales reports is convenient.
  • 7.Expedited product return process.

What are the Components of a Point of Sale (POS) System?

Point of sale (POS) systems comprise two essential components-

  • Hardware
  • Software

The commonly used hardware components of a point of sale (POS) system include the below-mentioned devices-

  • 1.POS Terminal
  • 2.Barcode Scanner
  • 3.Receipt Printer
  • 4.Label Printer
  • 5.Card Processor
  • 6.Customer-facing Display
  • 7.Cash Drawer
  • 8.Weighing Scale

But, to make the point of sale (POS) system function, you would require robust software. The quality of the software determines the overall functionality of the solution and is hence considered to be the brain of the point of sale (POS) system. Listed below are the types of some of the commonly used point of sale (POS) software-

  • 1.Desktop point of sale (POS) system
  • 2.Mobile point of sale (POS) system
  • 3.Tablet point of sale (POS) system
  • 4.Self-service kiosks

Now that we have recapitulated, let us get back to our main topic of discussion- label printers and barcode scanners

Label Printers: Their Types and the Popular Devices in Australia

Every product you purchase comes with a label that includes information about the product such as how to use the product, nutritional information, date of manufacture, and so on. Labels are printed using different printing methods like digital printing, wide-format printing, or flexographic printing. Ideally, label printers are used by businesses and individuals who require creating labels for various purposes.

What is a label printer?

A label printer is an electronic device that comes in various sectors and sizes and is used to print on self-adhesive label material or tags. It comes with an in-built keyboard and display for stand-alone use. Label printers require an array of label materials such as paper and synthetic plastic, and various print mechanisms like laser, impact, and thermal printing mechanisms.

What are the types of label printers?

  • 1.Thermal Transfer Label Printers: As the name suggests, these label printers are efficient in printing high-quality, durable labels and are available in different price ranges (starting from low to high) and models (including entry-level desktop models to industrial-grade printing systems). Thermal transfer printers require ink ribbons (made of wax, resin, or a blend of both). While picking the label material, you need to ensure that it matches the right ribbon to produce high-quality prints. At the same time, make sure you are picking the label applications which are chemical, oil, extreme temperatures, the outdoor exposure resistant. These printers use less heat as compared to other technologies and offer a wide variety of tags and adhesive options like paper, plastic, polyester, etc. Also, most of these printers can be used for both direct thermal printing and thermal transfer printing.
  • 2. Direct Thermal Label Printers: These printers are like thermal transfer printers, but they do not require any ink ribbon, unlike thermal transfer printers. The labels that are used to print using these printers have a special chemical beneath the surface that is heated to create printed images. Since direct thermal printers do not use printing ribbons, the cost of each printed label is comparatively low, although the label themselves are expensive because of the special chemicals added to them. Direct thermal labels are not only durable but are also quite affordable. The drawback of these labels is that the output is not as vibrant as produced from thermal transfer label printers. Direct thermal printers can be installed easily and require only one media supply to monitor.
  • 3.Laser Printers: These printers are ideal for daily home or office work and make printing labels convenient and less expensive. These labels are more economical and the perfect choice for on-site printing. The durability of these labels varies based on their applications and temperature differences. A key drawback of these printers is that only one label can be printed at a time.

Factors to Consider while Purchasing a Label Printer

Other than the type of printer and the printing method, there are a few other factors that you need to consider such as-

  • 1.The size of your printer should match the size of the labels you would be using. For example, The freight labels or shipping labels generally require a 4 inch label printer. When printer shipping labels, you need to consider the carrier requirement you would be using.
  • 2.Different printers offer different resolutions and print speeds and are available in different price ranges. Therefore, you need to choose a printer that fits your budget as well as serves your purpose perfectly.
  • 3.You need to consider how your printer needs to be connected to your computer. There are label printers that can be connected through USB, serial port, parallel port, and Ethernet. At the same time, there are printers that can be connected through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
  • 4.You also need to consider the availability of drivers for your printer and check if you would need to install a different program to use the printer.

Bestselling Label Printers in Australia

  • 1.ZEBRA ZD220D DIRECT THERMAL LABEL PRINTER
  • 2.ZEBRA ZD420D 203DPI DIRECT THERMAL LABEL PRINTER BT/ETH/USB
  • 3.TSC TE210 USB + RS-232 + ETHERNET + USB
  • 4.ZEBRA ZT410 203DPI THERMAL TRANSFER LABEL PRINTER
  • 5.ZEBRA ZD410 DESKTOP DIRECT THERMAL LABEL PRINTER
  • 6.ZEBRA DESKTOP ZD421 203 DPI DIRECT THERMAL LABEL PRINTER
  • 7.ZEBRA MIDRANGE ZT411 INDUSTRIAL THERMAL TRANSFER LABEL PRINTER
  • 8.BROTHER PRINTER PJ-773 KIT DT A4 WLAN

Barcode Scanners: Their Types and the Popular Devices in Australia

Be it efficient inventory management, minimising human error, or saving time, a barcode scanner is the answer.

What is a barcode scanner?

A barcode scanner is an optical scanning device used to scan and read barcodes and transmit the data to the linked computer. This device comprises a light source, a lens, and a light sensor. The light energy of the scanner is converted into electrical energy which is converted into data and transmitted to the computer. You can connect barcode scanners with a computer using a serial port, a keyboard port, or a wedge. A point of sale (POS) scanner can either be a stationary device or a handheld barcode scanner.

What are the types of barcode scanners?

  • 1.Charged Coupled Device (CCD) Scanner: This type of barcode scanner has a better read-range and is often used in retail stores. The shape of a CCD scanner is like that of a gun and needs to be held less than one inch from the barcode. CCD scanners, also called LED scanners are expensive as compared to other scanners but are highly accurate as it takes several scans at a time to reduce errors.
  • 2.Image Scanner: Also known as a camera reader, this type of barcode scanner uses a small video camera to capture the barcode image and decode the barcode using a digital image processing technique. Image scanners can read barcodes from about 3 to 9 inches away.
  • 3.Laser Scanner: This type of scanner can either be stationary or handheld and are highly accurate. Unlike other scanners, laser scanners need not be held close to the barcode to read it. It can read the barcode 24 inches away. This device uses a system of mirrors and lenses to allow the scanner to read the barcode and can perform about 500 scans per second. There are specialised long-range laser barcode scanners that can read barcodes from 30 feet away.
  • 4.Omnidirectional Scanners: This type of barcode scanner creates a pattern of beams in different orientations, allowing the scanner to read the barcodes from different angles too. Omnidirectional scanners are common in retail stores or supermarkets where packages are slid over a window.
  • 5.Pen Wand: This type of barcode scanner is the simplest compared to the others. They have no moving parts and are durable and cost-effective. However, pen wands are a little inconvenient as they need to be in direct contact with the barcode and must be held at a certain angle and moved at a certain speed.

Factors to Consider while Purchasing a Barcode Scanner

Barcode scanners play a crucial role in daily business operations. Therefore, it is essential to pick the right device to support your business needs.

  • 1.As listed above, there are several types of barcode scanners, available at different price ranges. Ensure that the barcode scanner you pick not only supports your business activities effectively but also is within your budget.
  • 2.Consider the design, weight, physical attributes, and overall performance of the device before purchasing one.
  • 3.The mobility of the scanner and range are the key factors that you need to consider while purchasing a barcode scanner.
  • 4. Most importantly, you need to ensure that the barcode scanner you choose is compatible with your point of sale (POS) system.

Bestselling Point of Sale (POS) Systems in Australia

  • 1.SOCKET MOBILE S700
  • 2.CIPHERLAB 1560 BARCODE
  • 3.ZEBRA LS2208 USB BLK STAND KIT HANDHELD
  • 4.DATALOGIC QUICKSCAN MOBILE QM2131 USB KIT
  • 5.CIPHERLAB 2200 2D SCANNER USB
  • 6.METROLOGIC MS7120 ORBIT BARCODE SCANNER
  • 7.HONEYWELL L-7580i GENESIS 2D USB BARCODE SCANNER
  • 8.ZEBRA SCANNER KIT DS2208 2D-SR USB

Conclusion

As already stated, barcode scanners and label printers are among the essential hardware components of the point of sale (POS) systems.

If you are looking for advanced and premium quality devices- be it barcode scanners, or direct thermal labels for sale, you are in the right place. POS Sales Australia is the one-stop destination for all point of sale needs. Contact us and our experts will help you pick the perfect device that would suit all your business needs.