Category News Dairy Meat/Seafood/Poultry Operations Produce West

Survey: Problems Scanning Fresh Food Labels Decrease Productivity

Digimarc cashier survey

Digimarc Corp., developer of the Intuitive Computing Platform featuring Digimarc Barcode, has released findings from an online survey—conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Digimarc—revealing how damaged and misplaced retail labels from the fresh food departments reduce cashier productivity. The study focused on grocery store cashiers and label scanning. It revealed that 90 percent of cashiers scanning printed labels believe that reducing the number of hard-to-scan perishable and store perimeter labels would help improve their productivity. Thirty-two percent of cashiers who had items that did not read when scanned reported that these label issues led some customers to not purchase the items.

Survey: Problems Scanning Fresh Food Labels Decrease Productivity

The survey collected responses from approximately 500 grocery store cashiers in the U.S. to gauge their experience scanning retail labels from the fresh food departments. Retail labels are applied to fresh food items like meat, seafood, bulk and cheese products. Dairy items, for example, are the source of the largest number of scanning issues, with nearly half of cashiers encountering items that did not read when scanned (47 percent). Cashiers also noted that these dairy items caused problems three or more times per shift. Meat and seafood items also were challenging, with 63 percent of cashiers whose stores use in-store printed labels saying these items at least occasionally cause them issues.

The company says its Digimarc Barcode can be added to labels and packaging to address retail scanning problems. It carries the same data found in GS1 EAN/UPC and GS1 DataBar conventional barcodes. Digimarc Barcode is repeated multiple times across the surface of a label. This broad, repetitive coverage provides scanners and mobile devices with a larger and more reliable scanning surface than a label with a traditional barcode, the company says.

“Sales of fresh food items are increasing, and The Harris Poll survey demonstrates the need for reliable and efficient labels for cashiers to scan,” said Heidi Dethloff, VP of marketing, Digimarc. “With Digimarc Barcode, packaging and labels, even those that are wrinkled, crinkled, smudged, damaged or torn are easily scanned, preventing delays, ensuring data accuracy and improving the customer experience.”

The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of Digimarc Corp. between Oct. 13 and Nov. 4, 2017. Respondents comprised 502 U.S. teens and adults aged 16 or older who are employed full- or part-time as a cashier in a grocery store, including 468 whose store uses in-store printed labels, and 454 who ever experienced items not registering when scanned. Data are weighted where necessary by age by gender, race/ethnicity, region, education, household income, marital status, size of household, and propensity to be online to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population.

Cashier survey infographic


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