The global 2D barcode reader market was valued at USD 7.7 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 13.5 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
A barcode reader is a tool that scans and reads data encoded as black-and-white line patterns. The data can subsequently be sent to a different system, either nearby or remotely, over a network. As inexpensive and simple identification techniques for physical objects, barcodes have gained popularity because they enable instant access to vast information about everything from books to inventory items in warehouses or shipping containers. In addition, a two-dimensional (2D) barcode reader is a fixed or portable electronic device that can scan and capture data stored in 2D barcodes. A 2D barcode reader's essential parts are a reader or scanner, sensor, decoder, and cable. 2D barcode readers are capable of reading both 1D and 2D barcodes. Compared to 1D barcodes, 2D barcodes have a substantially larger data storage capacity. The 2D barcode can also identify products and capture images of documents, signatures, and other product details like price, name, and size.
Applying barcode technology as an automatic identification/scanning system has significantly reduced human errors across several sectors. A typical error rate for human data entry is estimated to be one error per 300 characters typed. However, a barcode reader's error rate is anticipated to be one error per 35 trillion characters. Whether it is to speed up the check-out process in the retail sector or track the inventory in a warehouse, barcode scanners have paved their way into a large variety of business operations. In addition, the devices help organizations conserve resources, optimize data entry, improve real-time product visibility, and enhance employee productivity.
Managers and C-suit executives in several industries, such as retail, logistics, and e-commerce, continuously look for tools to increase business operations' operational efficiency. Barcode readers have gained a pivotal role in increasing the operational efficiency of businesses. With advantages such as high accuracy, speed, reduced clerical cost, and better customer service, barcode scanning systems are becoming a prominent tool for streamlining internal and external operations. Moreover, with the compact design, flexibility, and a payback period of three to six months, barcode scanners are becoming vital for the industrial sector, fueling the market's growth.
Shopping and purchasing in supermarkets and hypermarkets have become everyday activities in metro cities. Managing the lengthy lines and crowded billing counters on weekends and holidays gets tiresome for the staff due to the increased foot traffic. The advent of wireless technology has solved this, and digital shopping is becoming a popular shopping method for worldwide consumers. In addition, the increased adoption of high-speed and wireless networks and barcode scanners have helped eliminate long waiting times for several retail stores' check-out process. This, combined with automated billing systems, has made the shopping process faster, transparent, and efficient and ranks high in consumer satisfaction.
Furthermore, a typical electronic shopping system has a handheld barcode reader for product identification and a Wi-Fi connection to the shop'sshop's server. When an operator/customer triggers the barcode scanner switch, the device scans the barcode to identify the product and update the bill. Therefore, the process automates the billing procedure and saves customers’ time. The increased adoption of such systems across the retail sector creates the demand for barcode scanners attached to every shopping cart, thereby driving the market.
Digital technology disrupts traditional business operations, making them more flexible and convenient. Mobile devices and innovative apps have created several opportunities to transform traditional business processes. Therefore, it reduces costs and improves efficiency for organizations that embrace mobile technologies. In addition, smartphone apps are becoming one of several enterprises' most convenient and reliable barcode scanning methods. Organizations with low-volume operations are increasingly adopting smartphones to reduce their operational costs. Moreover, the emergence of BYOD (bring your own device) policies is anticipated to boost the use of barcode scanning apps across industries such as entertainment, retail, and logistics. Several companies' advent of mobile barcode software development kits (SDK) for in-house retail and light industrial applications is anticipated to hinder the barcode scanner market's growth.
The online retail sector has soared over the last decade. It continues to expand globally, with developments in the warehousing and logistics sectors playing a significant role in its growth. To ensure the robust development of the online shopping industry, it has become vital to maintain sales information, precise timing, and tracking of products across the supply chain networks. In addition, the ability to maintain and track products has become a core need for online shopping providers. Therefore, the increased need to manage product records and sales information across the warehousing and logistics areas is the key factor driving the barcode reader market. Besides, barcode readers reduce paper-based and manual data entry in the shipping process. As a result, barcode readers reduce errors and discrepancies when packing, labeling, and picking products.
Additionally, online shopping providers are taking proactive measures to reduce the number of parcels lost in freight. Adopting technology to increase shipment transparency and accuracy is becoming a top priority for companies. This drives the demand for handheld scanners and barcodes, which can improve end-to-end visibility for inbound shipments. Such development also provides the added advantage of reducing the errors of delivering the wrong parcels to the end-users, creating lucrative opportunities for expanding the market.
The global 2D barcode reader market is segmented by product type and application.
Based on product type, the global 2D barcode reader market is divided into handheld and fixed barcode scanners.
The handheld segment is responsible for the largest market share and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 5.8% over the forecast period. Handheld readers are primarily designed like a handgun, with a grip and trigger to activate the scanning operation. These devices are small and lightweight and can be easily carried around in a facility, making it possible to scan products that cannot be lifted. Due to the many advantages handheld barcode readers have over fixed barcode readers, including mobility and operational flexibility, the market for this segment is projected to boost significantly during the forecast period.
The fixed type is a hands-free reader prominently used for high-volume and high-speed assembly lines in general and rugged barcoding environments. Barcode reader prices are competitive and very variable between areas. In the market, there are a variety of fixed barcode readers in various price ranges. Before purchasing, consumers frequently weigh several options, including the exact application barcode readers are intended to fulfill and the price at which they can be found. For instance, customers would pick a cheap handheld reader in a store to ensure accessibility and flexibility. Nonetheless, in an industrial setting, a customer may opt for rugged scanners that can survive challenging circumstances without sacrificing performance.
Based on application, the global 2D barcode reader market is segmented into warehousing, logistics, e-commerce, and factory automation.
The warehousing segment owns the highest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.6% during the forecast period. The barcode reader helps the user organize the inventory in a warehouse with an automated system, thereby increasing control of the operation in a warehousing facility. Using barcode readers in warehousing facilities eliminates the need for manual data-entry functions. Additionally, it reduces the time an employee spends writing down the numbers associated with the inventory and physically searching to track the item in the warehouse. As online shopping has gained popularity over the past decade, it has continued to grow at a healthy rate across the globe, with improvements in logistics and warehousing being a significant factor in this expansion.
Furthermore, maintaining sales data, exact lead timing, and product monitoring in the supply chain network have become crucial for ensuring accurate tracking of products in the online retail sector. Accurate product tracking is becoming increasingly important for online shopping service providers. As a result, one of the significant reasons anticipated to propel the expansion of the market for 2D barcode readers is the growing demand to manage and record sales information of products throughout the warehouse and logistics areas.
In logistics, a barcode reader can be applied across all channels, from product production to finished product transportation. The readers' use in transportation ensures that the operations remain lean by optimizing functions such as load planning, routing, accounting, and scheduling other activities in the supply chain. Global trade competitiveness now requires fast delivery of updated information on the status of stocks or shipment schedules. The popularity of barcode scanning in logistics facilities has grown due to the consistently rising quantities of online retailing and the extensive range of products available to consumers who shop online.
Additionally, barcode readers will likely become more popular as e-commerce and retail distribution expand, enhancing corporate logistics. As e-commerce and trade grow, logistics and transportation companies must coordinate and simplify the moving of resources and maintain accurate records of these resources across the value chain. The need for barcode readers in a challenging logistics environment is expected to be driven by benefits like maximizing efficiency, obtaining optimal read rates, and improving scanning accuracy.
Based on region, the global 2D barcode reader market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and the Middle East and Africa.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant shareholder in the global 2D barcode reader market and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 6.4% during the forecast period. Expanding the retail and e-commerce sectors in the Asia-Pacific region is responsible for the growth. The implementation of automated warehouses has also increased demand for 2D barcode readers as manufacturing processes continue to advance. The Asia-Pacific region makes up the highest market share as a result of growing funding and investments in healthcare and pharmaceutical, transportation, military applications, and other sectors in countries like China and India. In addition, the country of China has seen a growth in demand for 2D readers as a result of factors including modern living and an expanding number of businesses on online marketplaces. There is a sizable industrial sector, and the government encourages it to use cutting-edge technologies to enhance corporate activity. Barcode readers are expected to become more widely used as e-commerce and retail distribution gain popularity since they improve business logistics.
North America is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.3% over the forecast period. Regarding revenue, North America is the second most dominating region in the global market due to various significant manufacturers serving the North American market and rising capital expenditures in nations like the US and Canada. Key players such as Cognex Corporation, General Data Company, Honeywell International Inc., Juniper Systems Inc., and Omron Microscan Systems Inc. drive the global 2D barcode reader market growth.
The Middle East and Africa is expected to show the quickest growth rate. The development of the e-commerce sector in the Gulf countries is fueled by the quickly shifting consumer demands for more convenient and less time-consuming retail experiences and the advent of digitalization in the retail business. It is anticipated that rising per capita income levels in the area, rising social media usage, and the continuous installation of high-speed internet networks will encourage consumers to shop online. In order to keep up with the increased e-commerce sales, new firms are predicted to construct warehouses and storage facilities. The following requirement to monitor, track, and record product sales data and inventory levels in warehouses is also anticipated to propel the Middle East and Africa regional market's expansion.
Denso Wave Incorporated, Casio Computer Co., Ltd., Cognex Corporation, Datalogic S.p.A., Honeywell International, Inc., General Data Company, Inc., Sick AG, Juniper Systems Inc., Zebra Technologies Corp., Zebex Industries Inc., Marson Technology Co., Ltd., Omron Microscan Systems, Inc., Unitech Electronics Co., Ltd., and Wasp Barcode Technologies.
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