Importance of Barcodes for E-commerce Brands and Fulfillment Companies

16th Oct, 2020

By Asish Devan

Many brands and marketplaces have been witnessing massive jump in online order volumes post Covid-19. Achieving operational excellence by the fulfillment partners of these ecommerce companies is critical to ensure the happiness of the end customers. One of the main ingredients for achieving operational excellence is the link and traceability between the information and the flow of materials. Barcodes provide the link and traceability between production, shipping, storage, orders, picking, packing, last mile delivery and product returns. Despite of the development of QR codes, barcodes have been invaluable in the current ecommerce world in many ways:


When every item is barcoded, it is easy to trace the inventory for all the parties involved in the business cycle. Manufacturers, e-commerce marketplaces, online stores and warehouses can scan and track the products as they come and leave. Shipping companies use the same barcodes to scan the items as they arrive in their cross-dock centers and go out for the final delivery to the customers.

Live tracking

Live tracking of the parcel is essential for both customers and the online stores in e-commerce sales. It is critical to let buyers know if their online order will reach on the time while the online store owners are always interested in monitoring the performance of its fulfillment partners and to ensure that no goods are lost in the process. Using barcodes and its proprietary fulfillment technology, Depoter provides live tracking of the movement of the parcel and the performance indicators such as time taken to pick, pack and deliver the order. Such features enrich the experience of both buyers and sellers.


Sometimes there are multiple SKUs (stock keeping unit) of a single product ID. If an online store has either many product IDs or multi-vendor each having their product IDs, then total SKUs can reach in ‘00s or ‘000s. To manage such inventory levels, barcode implementation at SKU level ensures that an article is never double counted, lost or mislabeled. Depoter’s technology generates its barcodes for each SKU to measure inventory level and to ensure the accuracy of the picking and packing process.

Managing multi-channel sales

Barcodes are inevitable if a brand is selling on multiple sale channels such as Shopify,,,, etc. If SKUs have pre-assigned barcodes, it will be easy to list the same products on different platforms.

Safe and cost effective

Experts believe that there is 1 error in 300 keyboard data entries while barcode data entry has an error rate of about 1 in 3,000,000. Also, implementing a barcode in a warehouse is very cost effective as each barcode sticker costs a few cents. Depoter extensively uses barcodes as they help in maintaining SLAs in storing, picking, packing and last-mile delivery which ultimately reduces product return rate.

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