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What Is a 2D Barcode? | Speed Commerce

What Is a 2D Barcode?

3PL Glossary > 2D barcode

What Is a 2D Barcode?

A 2D barcode, or two-dimensional barcode, is a graphical representation of information that stores data in two dimensions—horizontally and vertically. Unlike traditional 1D barcodes, 2D barcodes can store a significant amount of data, including alphanumeric characters, binary data, and even images. They consist of patterns of squares, dots, or other geometric shapes, and their unique structure allows for the storage of diverse information, making them widely used in various applications such as product labeling, mobile payments, and document tracking.

What Are the Types of 2D Barcodes?

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In the logistics industry, 2D barcodes play a pivotal role in enhancing efficiency, accuracy, and traceability throughout the supply chain. The technology behind these barcodes is vital in logistics, where items often have limited available surface area for labeling. 2D barcodes can encode various types of information, including product details, batch numbers, expiration dates, and destination codes. This comprehensive data encoding capability facilitates rapid and error-free scanning, enabling logistics professionals to quickly and accurately track the movement of goods, manage inventory levels, and ensure the timely delivery of products.

Moreover, 2D barcodes contribute to the seamless integration of information systems within the logistics ecosystem. By encoding more data in a single code, these barcodes streamline communication between different stakeholders, such as manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. This integration enhances supply chain visibility and enables real-time tracking, fostering better decision-making and responsiveness. As a result, the use of 2D barcodes in logistics not only improves operational efficiency but also promotes transparency and accountability, creating a more resilient and agile supply chain network.


Definitely, yes. There are plenty of 2D barcode generators online that you can use that are even free of charge.

Not all 2D barcodes fall under the category of QR codes; various types exist. Although the terms "2D barcodes" and "QR codes" are often used interchangeably, it's essential to note that QR codes represent just one subtype within the broader category of 2D barcodes. When discussing 2D barcodes other than QR codes, they are commonly referred to as "proprietary barcodes." This distinction underscores that while QR codes are a specific form of 2D barcode, the broader classification encompasses a range of proprietary barcodes beyond the QR code format.

They are resistant to damage.
The resilience of 2D barcodes is one of their distinctive features, attributed to their incorporation of an error-protection formula. This unique attribute enables the successful scanning of a matrix barcode even when it is subject to scratches, tears, or markings—capabilities that 1D barcodes lack.

2D barcodes can handle bigger data.
Utilizing bigger data while minimizing code size is a notable advantage of 2D barcodes over their linear counterparts. In situations where packaging space is limited, opting for a matrix barcode proves to be a more practical choice.

They offer more versatility.
The versatility of a single scanner is heightened with a 2D barcode reader, which can efficiently scan both 1D and 2D barcodes. In contrast, a traditional barcode scanner is limited to capturing only 1D barcodes.

2D barcodes are omnidirectional.
Unlike 1D barcodes which often require careful positioning for accurate scanning, 2D barcodes are omnidirectional, allowing them to be read from any angle. This not only saves time during scanning but also reduces wrist movement and minimizes strain on the user.

They are consumer-focused.
The compact nature of 2D barcodes presents significant opportunities in consumer engagement. Consumers are accustomed to barcode scanning, recognizing that a quick scan with a smartphone can lead them to special offers, informative websites, or other marketing communications. Leveraging QR codes provides businesses with the ability to implement mobile couponing, boost sales, expand customer loyalty lists, and enhance overall customer engagement—a marketing superpower that 1D barcodes lack.

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