Fresh Food

Fresh Food Labels Reduce Cashier Productivity: Harris Poll

Damaged, misplaced labels can lead to lost sales

Damaged and misplaced retail labels from the fresh food department can lead to lost sales and reduce cashier productivity, according to findings from an online survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of tech company Digimarc Corp.

Examining grocery store cashiers and label scanning, the study revealed that 90% of cashiers who scan printed labels believed reducing the number of hard-to-scan perishable and store perimeter labels would help improve their productivity. Further, 32% of cashiers who had items that did not read when scanned reported that label issues caused some customers to not purchase an item.


Rochester, N.Y.-based Harris Poll collected responses from approximately 500 grocery store cashiers in the U.S. to gauge their experience scanning retail labels from the fresh department, including those on items such as meat, seafood, bulk and cheese products. Dairy items comprise the largest number of scanning issues, according to the survey, with 47% of cashiers encountering items that did not read when scanned, noting that these issues occurred three or more times per shift.

Meat and seafood products were also problematic, with 63% of cashiers whose stores use in-store printed labels reporting that these items cause issues at least occasionally.

"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 for Digimarc, based in Beaverton, Ore. The company’s Intuitive Computing Platform featuring Digimarc Barcode can be added to labels and packaging to provide a larger and more reliable scanning surface than a label with a traditional barcode. "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 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 respondents whose stores use in-store printed labels and 454 who have experienced items not registering when scanned.


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