Almost, if not every item purchased nowadays from retail stores, grocery, department stores, and wholesale merchandise establishments carry with it a UPC barcode. The invention of barcodes has been a big help to businesses, in the sense that it automates various forms of accounting and inventory, making inventory faster and more accurate than manual counting; hence, it increases productivity and lessens the probability of error. The use of the barcode also reduced incidence of shoplifting because price tags cannot easily be switched from one item to another.
A barcode scanner is an electronic devise used for reading printed barcodes. It was first used to automate grocery checkout, a practice which is universally done today not only by grocery stores but other businesses as well. There are different kinds of barcode scanners, depending upon the needs of the user. Retail bardcode scanners are handheld and cordless scanners, popular among retail outets. Omni Barcode Scanners are designed for higher volume scanning, and are better at reading poorly printed, wrinkled or even torn barcodes. Another kind, the Industrial Barcode Scanner are heavy-duty scanners designed to withstand rough or hazardous locations.