QR code vs. Barcode: Which is better for manufacturing?

Last updated:   October 15, 2021

Why marketers should have an in-depth comparison and understanding of QR code vs. barcode? What are its pros and cons? Which is the best one to choose when it comes to business manufacturing and tracking capacity? 

Table of Contents

  1. QR Code vs. Barcode Explained
  2. What is a Barcode?  A comprehensive detailed guide!
  3. Uses of barcodes
  4. Pros and cons of barcodes
  5. What is a QR code? A comprehensive detailed guide!
  6. Uses of QR codes
  7. Pros and cons of QR codes
  8. QR code Vs. Barcode - which is better?
  9. QR code Vs. Barcodes- the battle between data storing!

In 2018, the U.S. manufacturing industry amount to 2.32 trillion U.S. dollars. By referring to this figure, the manufacturing industry is flourishing and shows no sign of stopping. Because of this, manufacturing businesses are using new technological systems for inventory checking. 

As the two inventory systems, QR codes and barcodes, compete in gaining the industry's trust, let us first distinguish the basic concepts of barcodes and its pros and cons. 

With the unending war of QR code vs. barcode, here are the following concepts that the manufacturing industry needs to be aware of.  

QR Code vs. Barcode Explained

qr code vs barcode

A QR (Quick Response) code is a 2D type of bar code but a far more advanced version of a standard bar code that we usually see attach to customers' goods, products, or items once we go to grocery stores or supermarkets.

A QR Code is generated using a QR code generator online and can be scanned in both vertical and horizontal dimensions.

Moreover, it can store such a lot more information that comes in different forms such as alphabetical, numerical, byte/binary, kanji.

Unlike barcodes that only provides the numeric value of a product. Barcodes functions in horizontal dimension only and requires a selected machine to be read, QR codes are accessible to smartphones using only its camera feature or QR Reader Apps just by scanning it, which makes it convenient for everybody.

The content or information behind a QR code is often decoded once scanned and may lead the scanners either to a page or website that contains tons and various information a few subjects.

Furthermore, QR Codes have a built-in correction error making them less vulnerable to damage and ensures a high scannability rate even for a long time. 

Related: How do QR Codes Work? The Beginner's Ultimate Guide!

What is a Barcode?  A comprehensive detailed guide!

A barcode or bar code is a 1-dimensional (1D) series of printed parallel lines that has varying width and is used for entering data into a computer system.

Barcode lines are typically black and their background is white. Barcode lines indicate the binary numbers 0 and 1, which interprets the corresponding data using a digital computer.

Barcodes are first used in the 1970s and are invented by Norman Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver and patent in the U.S.

It is inspired by the Morse code but instead of light tappings, the code is represented by thick and thin parallel lines. Although it gains success in the military fields, it took 20 years for people to use it commercially. 

Related: What is a sales funnel and how to build it successfully?

Uses of barcodes

The manufacturing industry uses barcodes in various product productions. They use them as a means of identifying the product's production batch or sort them with their corresponding accessories.

In this way, they will not lose or interchange their product when assembling them.

Here are some of the notable uses of barcodes in the manufacturing and commercial industry.

Product tracking

qr code vs barcode product tracking

There is no secret that shipping companies use barcodes for tracking their products. As it eliminates the manual input of parcels in hubs, the use of barcodes accelerates check-in time.

Because of these, manufacturing companies are using barcodes to speed-up product check-ins and give its customers real-time product monitoring.

In this way, they are able to keep track of their product and avoid delays in delivery.

Games

qr code vs barcode vs rfid

Before Augmented Reality technology is used in gaming, monster hunting games integrate the use of barcodes in their gameplay.

Because of this, gaming consoles have integrated barcode scanning technology. Games like Codemon use barcodes in their gameplay to reveal monsters and spells to players.

They integrate barcodes from household products and when scanned a corresponding monster or spell will appear.

Due to its popularity in the early 2000s, the era of monster-hunting games started and gain positive feedbacks from users.

Product checkouts

barcode vs qr code accuracy

In the past few years, the point of sale system (POS) has integrated the use of barcodes in their product checkout and purchasing.

As it eases the cashier's burden from manually encoding the products being sold. From scanning the barcode to registering the product to the POS, the convenience of barcodes has served cashiers from 4 different generations: boomers, millennials, Gen Y, and Gen Z.

Food intake tracking

One distinct use of barcodes is to provide additional information on the food we take using a third-party app on our phones.

By scanning the barcode indicated in the app, people can see their calorie intake and the ingredients used in making it. Because of this, health-conscious individuals can easily monitor their food intake and keep track of it.

Inventory management

benefits of QR code vs barcode

Barcodes are used in inventory management. With its integrated POS usage, manufacturing and commercial industries can easily keep track of the products they manufacture, purchased, and shipped.

In this way, companies can easily take note of the products they make and minimize the chance of losing sales and inventory shrinkage.

Related: How to use QR Codes for Inventory Management System?

Pros and cons of barcodes

With the in-depth comparison of QR code vs. barcode, here are the pros and cons of barcodes that you need to consider.

Pros

Avoid any human error

70% to 80% of data mishaps are contributed by human errors. Because of this, companies are facing higher risks of bankruptcy and are afraid to commit more human errors.

To avoid this problem, Point of sales experts introduce the use of barcodes to their data entry operations. As a result, barcodes prevent instances of committing a human error and save companies from data breaches.

Minimizes employee training time

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Point of sale training requires more time. Also, companies spend more funds on sending employees to train on basic POS operations.

To minimize the time employees spend on training, experts introduce the barcode system. In this way, employees can learn how to scan the barcodes in a short time and proceed in doing their assigned tasks in the point of sale systems. Because of this, manufacturing companies can proceed with their operations and save money.

Affordable to design and print

Barcodes are generally cheap to design and print. Because of this, manufacturing companies resort to using these barcodes in their production line.

Data is available within a scan

benefits of qr code vs barcode

Barcodes store information that is easy to access within a scan using a scanning machine. The information that you can see varies. In the assembly department, the data stored corresponds to the accessory needed to be assembled.

While in the POS, the data that you can see is the product's name, price, and company name. Because of this, companies with manufacturing and commercial purposes use barcodes to automate production to store scheme.

Cons

In every action made, there is an equivalent reaction to it. Just like the utilization of barcodes, if there are notable advantages, its disadvantages are also discussed. Here are 4 notable disadvantages barcodes possess that can create an impact on companies.

Takes time to scan

Since barcodes are one-dimensional codes, the time in scanning these takes more time than pasting them in products. Because of this, POS agents and cashiers are experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome and tend to experience numbness in their wrists.

Store limited information

barcode vs qr code accuracy

Barcodes store limited information. Because of this, manufacturers are considering to name their products with limited characters to fit other pertinent information.

But as the competition is using more pertinent information for effective product transparency, barcodes are not the best solution to use.

Can be copied easily

Barcodes are prone to forgery. Because of this, retailers are losing a significant amount of sales in a short period. As barcodes cannot easily create unique codes, forgers see this opportunity to easily duplicate and confuse people in scanning the code.

Prone to damages

Since barcodes are printed and placed on paper or plastic, the possibility of damaging it is high. Because of it, manufacturers are compromising the scannability of barcodes and make it hard for the checkout counters to sell the product.

What is a QR code? A comprehensive detailed guide!

difference between barcode and qr code pdf

A QR code or Quick Response code is two-dimensional barcodes that are usually in a box and checkered form and is black and white. In terms of its scannability, QR codes are generally faster than the typical one-dimensional barcodes.

You can find theses QR codes in the business, health care, transportation, and education sectors. People usually place these in posters, brochures, flyersmagazineswindow panesnewspapersproduct labelingbusiness cards, and even social media posts. 

QR codes are first invented in 1994 by Denso Wave, a Japanese automotive subsidiary of Toyota Motors. They are used to replace the lapses barcodes make. Today, you can find the integration of QR codes in many areas and can unlock more usages in the future.

Related: QR code types: 15 primary QR solutions and their functions

Uses of QR codes

With its ubiquitous usage in various industries, QR codes have made different solutions to mundane problems. To give a glimpse of its almost infinite uses, here are 5 common uses that you can agree with.

Product information guides

In 2017, 80% of businesses in the U.S., the U.K., and France are bidding for paperless business operations. Because of this, companies see the importance of paperless business transactions to address existing environmental issues.

As a result, companies convert their physical product information guides to digital guides and insert a corresponding QR code solution to it. In this way, they can show their support for the environment by attaching QR code-driven product information guides.

Related: How to use QR codes on product packaging

Restaurant Menus

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Restaurants are finding ways to continue their operations amidst the pandemic. As their local community advises them to employ touchless menus, restaurant menus in the form of QR codes become the solution. Today, many restaurants are employing these QR code menus as a part of their battle against the pandemic.

Related: QR code menu: The future of restaurants in the new normal

Lecture Material Sharing

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With the current occurrence of a global health crisis, everything moves online. Also, education is going online.

With millions of students interacting online with their teachers, the struggle of sending lecture material links can be a hassle. Because of this, QR code experts introduce the use of QR codes in storing the material's link.

In this way, students will not have a hard time entering the link to the domain search and backread on the links sent during lectures. You can also use QR codes for online education. 

Related: How QR codes in education innovate learning experience?

Data tracking Capacity

Thanks to modern innovations made by experts, QR codes enable data tracking and let companies track their sales activity in their target area. Because of this, marketers and companies use QR codes to collect enough data for their future business launches.

The data or information QR codes can track are the number of scans, location of the scan, device used in scanning, and the date of the scans.

Related: How to set-up QR Code tracking? A step-by-step guide 

Marketing Campaigns

It's no secret that QR codes helped marketers in making their marketing campaigns a success. Because of this, large companies are incorporating the use of QR codes in their seasonal marketing campaigns.

Related: Dynamic QR Codes Are Better for Your Marketing - Here is Why!

Pros and cons of QR codes

To complete the comparison of QR code vs. barcode, here are the pros and cons of QR codes that manufacturers need to take note of.

Why QR code is better than barcode: Pros

Can embed many types of media

qr code and barcode

QR codes are versatile in nature and they can embed many types of data. As long as they are within the maximum size capacity, there is no problem in converting them. Because of this, more people are using QR codes over the typical barcodes.

Store more data

Unlike 1D barcodes, QR codes store more data over the latter. Because of this, people can convert files into QR codes without any hassle.

Easy to scan'

QR codes scan faster than barcodes. Thanks to its two-dimensional features, people can scan the QR codes in any orientations. Because of it, the business transaction period shortens and can give businesses more time for more business engagements.

Great for visually impaired individuals

Students with visual problems can have a hard time typing lengthy URLs. Because of this, experts introduce QR codes as a substitute for URLs encoding and relieve visually impaired individuals by letting them scan the QR code and continue their searches.

Economical

QR codes are inexpensive and easy to make. Because of this, businesses can save enough funds. As they don't require money and more resources to make, QR codes are economical for small businesses and startups.

Cons

Marketers improperly use them

Since some marketers improperly use QR codes, people have growing hate with QR codes. Because of this, they see the incompetence QR codes make and create negative impressions on it. As a result, people are avoiding them and may never want to give QR codes a chance for them.

People have little or no information about them

With the continuing battle between QR code vs. barcode, information known about them is scarce. Because of it, people ignore QR codes and proceed in transacting with barcodes. As a result, they don't see much difference between barcodes and QR codes.

As much as QR codes are given importance by other countries, some countries seem to neglect its existence. Because of that, they inhibit the progression of QR code technology.

QR code Vs. Barcode - which is better?

By comparing the pros and cons of QR code vs. barcode, we can easily weigh its significant differences in terms of usage ad productivity. But to meet the changing needs of manufacturing and consumer industries, QR codes stood as a reliable and more efficient data storing system today.

Because of that, data monitoring and storing experts highly recommend the use of QR codes over the conventional barcodes.

To equip you with the reasons why experts recommend the use of QR codes, here are 3 notable comparisons manufacturing and commercial industries can agree with.

Data storing capacity

There is a huge difference in data storing capacity between barcodes and QR codes. Standard barcodes can only store data with 20 characters while QR codes can hold up to 7,089 characters.

That's a huge 7,069 characters difference! Because of these, marketers and other business ventures are switching to QR codes as they have more data storing capacity than the standard barcodes.

Uniqueness

Standard barcodes are not unique in nature. As their purpose is for inventory management, the items are coded with the same barcodes. Because of it, products with the same barcode usage are more prone to forgery.

To prevent this from happening, people resort to the use of QR codes as it offers unique features and helps secure the product's authenticity.

In terms of uniqueness, QR codes provide safe and secure features than the standard barcodes do. 

Scanning Speed

The scanning speed of QR code vs. barcode is comparable. Because of its difference in terms of dimensions, QR codes hold faster scanning speed than barcodes.

Thanks to its two-dimensional orientation, people can scan it in any position whether horizontal or vertical. As a result, QR codes hold more competitive advantage than standard barcodes.

QR code vs Barcodes- the battle between data storing!

As we continue to search for better solutions in the manufacturing industry, the battle of QR code vs. barcode strengthens. Because of this, large and small manufacturing industries are trapped in between these data storing advancements.

As we carried out an in-depth comparison between QR codes and barcodes, it is evident that QR codes hold more technical advantages than the latter.

As a result, experts campaign the use of QR codes and let the industry partner with the best QR code generator and unlock limitless uses of these codes.

This way, the manufacturing industry can try the future of data storing and put an end to the unending battle of two of the prominent data storing systems. 

Should you need to create your QR codes in bulk or have them integrated into your in-house system using a QR code API, you can contact us today for more information!