Retail Print & Labelling

Retail print & labelling is the process of creating and applying labels to products in a retail environment. This includes labels for products on shelves, price tags, shelf edge labels, and promotional labels. Retail print & labelling is an important part of the retail process, as it helps to ensure that products are properly identified and priced. It also helps to create a visually appealing and informative shopping experience for customers. A label printer is a computer printer that prints on self-adhesive label material and/or card-stock (tags). Label printers have a wide variety of applications, including retail supply chain management, retail price marking, packaging labels, blood and laboratory specimen marking, and fixed assets management. 

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Canon offers printers the power to transform their businesses at drupa 2024

1 Canon offers printers the power to transform their businesses at drupa 2024

At drupa 2024 (Messe Düsseldorf, 28 May – 7 June 2024, Hall 8a), Canon is showcasing its full capabilities as a leading provider of end-to-end digital production print solutions and services. Under the banner of ‘The Power to Move’, Canon is demonstrating how, in collaboration with partners, it works closely with customers to deliver the transformative technologies...

Lexmark’s 9-Series printers and MFPs – Versatile, simple to use and built to last

2 Lexmark’s 9-Series printers and MFPs – Versatile, simple to use and built to last

Lexmark has introduced the 9-Series printers and MFPs, built with versatility, sustainability and ease of use in mind. They are also reliable, durable, affordable and Secure by Design. Built by evolving Lexmark’s renowned A4 technology, the 9-Series is squarely focused on delivering versatility, simplicity and sustainability.

Brother International Europe and Cool Earth celebrate their 15 year partnership

3 Brother International Europe and Cool Earth celebrate their 15 year partnership

This Earth Day, Brother International Europe is celebrating 15 years since first joining forces with the rainforest conservation charity, becoming their longest-serving commercial partner.

How do electronic shelf labels work ?

4 How do electronic shelf labels work ?

By Adrian Stokes, freelance writer.

Ever wondered how some retail stores seamlessly update their product prices in real-time, avoiding the hassle of manually switching out paper tags on shelves? Discover how electronic shelf labels work and how they can boost your sales and customer satisfaction.

3 Reasons Retailers Need a Price Optimisation Strategy

5 3 Reasons Retailers Need a Price Optimisation Strategy

By Adrian Stokes, freelance writer.

In the fast-paced world of retail, simply offering quality products is no longer enough to stay competitive. To thrive, retailers must adopt a strategic approach to pricing. Price optimisation is not just a tool for boosting profits; it's a matter of survival and growth. Here are three reasons why retailers need to embrace price optimisation and the benefits of automating pricing operations.

ACS Postal Services partners with BIXOLON to enhance European courier services with mobile printing solutions

6 ACS Postal Services partners with BIXOLON to enhance European courier services with mobile printing solutions

BIXOLON Europe GmbH, a subsidiary of BIXOLON, the manufacturer of advanced receipt, label and mobile printers, has entered into a partnership with ACS Postal Services (ACS), the Greek courier service provider.

Queue busting over peak season with mobile receipt and label printers

7 Queue busting over peak season with mobile receipt and label printers

The peak season is renowned for Christmas cheer, retail opportunity, in store shopping, bustling shopping centres and queues. Additionally, shoppers and restaurant clientele are busy. They detest queues. Their time is precious. They have places to go and people to see.

Brother UK launches new MPS offering to support growing demands

8 Brother UK launches new MPS offering to support growing demands

Business technology solutions provider Brother UK has launched three new managed print services (MPS) solutions to enhance its support for resellers amid growing demand for print-as-a-service.

Are you prepared for the 2D code sunrise?

9 Are you prepared for the 2D code sunrise?

On 26th June 1974, retail history was made with the scanning of the first-ever linear barcode. It started as a method to help supermarkets facilitate price look-up at the point of sale (POS) and has now become the common standard for commerce the world over, with global specifications managed by the international standards organisation GS1.

FMI’ analyst view: ‘Ink Tranquillity: Both owners and consumers are paying attention to the food's safety and quality’

10 FMI’ analyst view: ‘Ink Tranquillity: Both owners and consumers are paying attention to the food's safety and quality’

The low migration inks market size is projected to be worth US$ 1.4 billion in 2023. The market is likely to surpass US$ 2.8 billion by 2033. It is expected to showcase growth at an impressive CAGR of 6.9% during the forecast period.

Retail Print & Labelling

Global enterprises are looking for ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency and accuracy in their supply chains. To remain competitive, distribution centres, manufacturers, and logistics providers must change the way they label and track goods. Success depends on maximizing efficiency throughout all supply chain operations—front to back. Exploiting mobile labelling technology is fundamental to achieving optimal efficiency.

There are a number of different types of retail labels, each with its own purpose. Some of the most common types of retail labels include:

  • Product labels: These labels identify the product and provide information such as the product name, ingredients, and nutritional information.
  • Price tags: These labels indicate the price of a product.
  • Shelf edge labels: These labels are placed on the edge of shelves to identify products and provide additional information such as the product's weight or size.
  • Promotional labels: These labels are used to promote products or sales. They may include coupons, discounts, or other offers.

Retail print & labelling can be done in-house or outsourced to a printing company. There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a retail print & labelling solution, such as the type of labels needed, the quantity of labels needed, and the turnaround time required.

Here are some of the benefits of retail print & labelling:

  • Increased visibility: Well-designed labels can help to increase the visibility of products on shelves, making them more likely to be noticed by customers.
  • Improved customer experience: Retail labels can help to create a more informative and visually appealing shopping experience for customers.
  • Increased sales: Well-designed labels can help to increase sales by promoting products and sales.
  • Compliance: Retail labels must comply with a variety of regulations, such as food labeling laws.

Wireless bar code and radio frequency identification (RFID) label printing is widely recognised by major retailers globally as an essential technology for enhancing store operations. The ability to print real-time information in the aisle, on demand, saves time, effort, and money—creating competitive advantages.

Mobile printing gives users the flexibility to print materials on demand wherever they may be. Seamless mobility can drive new business processes that improve worker productivity, labelling accuracy, and responsiveness to customer needs.

RFID smart label
RFID Smart label printer/encoders use media that has an RFID inlay (chip and antenna combination) embedded within the label material. An RFID encoder inside the printer writes data to the tag by radio frequency transmission. The transmission is focused for the specific location of the tag within the label. Bar codes, text, and graphics are printed as usual. Printable RFID tags contain a low-power integrated  circuit (IC) attached to an antenna and are enclosed  with protective material (label media) as determined  by the application.

On-board memory within the IC stores data. The IC then transmits/receives information through the antenna to an external reader, called an interrogator. High frequency (HF) tags use antennas made of a small coil of wires, while ultrahigh frequency (UHF) tags contain dipole antennas with a matching wire loop.

Bar code symbols may be produced in a variety of ways: by direct marking, as with laser etching or with ink jet printing; or, more commonly by imaging or printing the bar code symbol onto a separate label. Precision of bar code printing is critical to the overall success of a bar-coding solution.

On-site Printing

On-site printing generally takes place at or near the point of use. The data encoded is usually variable, entered by an operator through a keyboard or downloaded from the host computer. On-site printing most often involves purchasing label-design software as well as printer hardware. Bar code printers come with their own proprietary programming languages that support all the standard symbologies, and they are capable of printing simple data-static or serialized bar code labels on their own.

However, labels that require additional formatted text, graphics, or multiple fields will require a separate label-design software package. Currently, more than 100 packages exist that are designed for a wide range of platforms and have a wider range of features. Once the purview of programmers, label design can now be accomplished by non-programmers via easy-to-use WYSIWYG graphical interfaces.

The most common bar code print technologies for on-site use are:

Direct Thermal — Heating elements in the printhead are selectively heated to form an image made from overlapping dots on a heat-sensitive substrate.

Thermal Transfer — Thermal transfer printing is a digital printing process in which material is applied to paper (or some other material) by melting a coating of ribbon so that it stays glued to the material on which the print is applied. Thermal transfer technology uses much the same type of printhead as direct thermal, except that an intervening ribbon with resin-based or wax-based ink is heated and transfers the image from the ribbon to the substrate. It contrasts with direct thermal printing where no ribbon is present in the process.

Barcode printers with thermal-transfer and direct thermal technology produce accurate, high-quality images with excellent edge definition.

Dot Matrix Impact — A moving printhead, with one or more vertical rows of hammers, produces images by multiple passes over a ribbon. These passes create rows of overlapping dots on the substrate to form an image. Serial dot matrix printers produce images character by character; high-volume dot matrix line printers print an entire line in one pass.

Ink Jet — This technology uses a fixed printhead with a number of tiny orifices that project tiny droplets of ink onto a substrate to form an image made up of overlapping dots. Ink jet printers are used for in-line direct marking on products or containers.

Laser (Xerographic) — The image is formed on an electrostatically charged, photo-conductive drum using a controlled laser beam. The charged areas attract toner particles that are transferred and fused onto the substrate.

Off-site Printing
Generally speaking, commercial label printers may use flexographic, letterpress, offset lithographic, rotogravure, photocomposition, hot stamping, laser etching, or digital processes to produce a consistently higher-grade label than those labels produced by on-site printers.

If the content of the bar code symbol is known ahead of use, a commercial label supplier is generally the best choice. However, there are tradeoffs. Commercially supplied labels have to be ordered, stocked, and placed in inventory. A business with frequent product line changes and/or label changes will have to weigh its options carefully.

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