Barcode scanning fails to do what it says on the tin...
Some of the most popular iPhone scanning apps consistently misread product information, according to the Cranfield School of Management.
Its report into the accuracy of the three most downloaded third-party scanning apps for the iPhone found that fewer than nine per cent of scans return the correct product information.
In a statement, Richard Wilding, professor of supply chain strategy, said this level of inaccuracy was a serious concern because some consumers use barcodes to locate product information for health reasons.
"When scanning the barcode of a leading brand of cornflakes, one app provided information about dog bowls. When scanning another barcode for thick sliced bread, information about a disposable latex glove dispenser was provided."
The impact of such mistakes may have serious consequences for retailers. The report considered the consumer impact of incorrect information and found that a third of consumers would not buy a product if the app information was incorrect.
"There's a clear need here for industry to collaborate so that product data is accurate, up to date and standardised across supply chains, stores and online," added Wilding.
In contrast, barcode scanning apps created for specific retailers, such as Tesco's iPhone app, were found to be accurate in returning correct product information.