Choosing the Right Barcode Labels: A Guide to Optimizing Your Inventory Management

Choosing the right barcode labels is essential for performance-driven businesses of all sizes and industries. However, doing it yourself might not be as easy as you think. With so many different types of barcode labels available, it can be challenging to choose the right one. There are many factors that should be considered before choosing a label, as it could greatly impact an entire operation. The right labels will provide a fast and efficient way to track and manage inventory, making it easy to identify products, monitor stock levels, and manage orders.

When selecting barcode labels, the first thing to consider is the type of barcode you will be using. The most common types of barcodes include UPC/EAN, Code 39, Code 128, and QR codes. It’s important to choose the one that meets your needs as each of these barcode types has its advantages and limitations. For example, UPC/EAN barcodes are the most widely used in retail and e-commerce applications. QR codes are commonly used for mobile applications.

Environmental and Material Considerations

The next thing you should consider is the environment in which the labels will be used. Will the labels be exposed to heat, moisture, or chemicals? Will they be used in a warehouse or a retail environment? Different barcode labels are designed to withstand different conditions, so it’s important to choose a label that is appropriate for your specific application. For example, if you are using labels in a warehouse, you will want to choose a label that can withstand heat and moisture. If you are using the labels in a retail environment, you will want to choose a label that is resistant to scratches and fading.

After figuring out the environment the labels will be used in, then you should be able to choose the materials for the labels. Barcode labels can be made from a variety of materials including paper, polyester, and vinyl. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your application. For example, paper labels are inexpensive and easy to print, but they are not as durable as polyester or vinyl labels. Polyester labels, on the other hand, are more durable and resistant to heat, chemicals, and scratches, but they are more expensive than paper labels. Vinyl labels are also durable and resistant to harsh environments, but they are also more expensive than paper labels.

Shape and Size Considerations

The size and shape of the barcode labels are other important factors to consider. Labels come in different sizes and shapes, some of them are circular, square, or rectangular, and each shape has its own advantages. For example, round labels are ideal for small items or cylindrical products, square labels are perfect for flat or rectangular items, and rectangular labels are great for large items or pallets.

Label Design and Management Software Considerations

Finally, it’s important to consider the printing method and software you will be using. Different barcode labels are designed to be used with different printing methods and software. This makes it very important to choose a label that is compatible with your equipment.


In conclusion, choosing the right barcode labels for your application is essential for optimizing your inventory management. By considering the type of barcode, the materials, the environment, the size and shape, and the printing method, you can ensure that you are selecting the right labels for your specific needs.

ValuTrack’s Barcode Labeling and Supplies Solutions

ValuTrack carries print media and supplies from all the major vendors such as Zebra, Honeywell, General Data, Metalcraft, and Omni ID. We provide all the materials you need including paper, polypropylene, synthetic, and much more. Printing supplies can impact everything from printhead lifespan to operational efficiency. That’s why we provide hundreds of pretested printing supplies to ensure consistent and optimized performance. Should a stock solution not work, we can develop custom or pre-printed labels to meet your precise needs. Our specialists provide industry-leading expertise and will help you choose the most appropriate labels and media solutions to solve your toughest challenges. Talk to us today about the label specifications you need and we’ll find a solution that fits your application.

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