9 great tools to manage your Shopify barcode inventory

An easy way to take control of your inventory is through a Shopify barcode scanning app. Here’s a guide to the different software available to help you take barcode scanning to the next level as a Shopify merchant.

Working scanning barcodes on packages with their Shopify barcode scanning.
Last updated: 10.01.2023

Shopify is great — it comes with the tools you need to sell online and quickly integrates with many other services to give you the flexibility you need to grow your business. But as more and more orders come in, relying on counting inventory by hand starts to expose the cracks in this inventory checking method.

Here are just a few:

  • Stock levels become inconsistent
  • Incorrect information is saved
  • Items get lost

These are just a few reasons why e-commerce manufacturers turn to Shopify barcode scanning to manage sales and manufacturing orders and inventory. This article explores Shopify barcodes, why you need them, how to use Shopify’s barcode scanning app, and more.

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Cosmetic manufacturer scanning inventory on a shelf with a smart device.

Why a barcode app is essential for effective Shopify inventory control

While Shopify comes with an inventory management system perfect for merchants, it lacks the necessary features for manufacturers. If you decide to upgrade your stock-taking capabilities with a Shopify barcode scanner, you’ll need to consider these limitations. According to a study by FMI, the barcode scanner market is estimated to be worth $7 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow 7.6% over the next decade.

But once you do adopt a third-party barcode scanning system or app into your workflow, you will see benefits like:

  • A reduction in the number of human errors made
  • Data readily available and updated in real-time
  • Optimized inventory control and handling
  • Low-cost implementation
  • Improved decision-making

However, third-party Shopify barcode scanners have different functions to help you perform certain tasks, monitor stock, and track items based on barcodes. But, the trick is finding the best one for manufacturers selling on Shopify. But before we look into that, let’s quickly explain how the free Shopify barcode version works and what the limitations are for manufacturers.

PRO TIP: Manufacturers using Shopify + Xero can take their business to the next level by learning how to:  

Business owner reading an article on their smartphone about payment processing with Shopify barcode inventory.

How to use Shopify’s Retail Barcode Labels app for barcode scanning

Shopify has developed a few dedicated apps to enable barcode scanning for merchants. But they need to be downloaded from their app store and enabled manually. To start using them, you will need to search for and find an app called Retail Barcode Labels and set it up. Here’s how.

Step 1

Log into your Shopify account, go to Apps.

Step 2

Select Create a template to create templates for your items, then select Get started and selecting one of the two options:

  • Skip — Which will skip creating barcodes and head straight to template
  • Create barcodes  which will allow you to create barcodes for your products

Step 3

Let’s assume you’ve chosen Create barcodes. You can now:

  • Write the template title
  • Select a label type
  • Choose a paper brand and code

Step 4

Under the Label attributes section, you can begin to include the information you want to be displayed by the barcode. Once you’re finished, go ahead and create a template. You can do this for groups of products or specific products. H

However, the Retail Barcode Label app is built for merchants and not those who need to track raw materials, WIP inventory, MRO inventory, and finished goods. So, let’s look into the different apps that are available on the market.

Katana + Shopify — harmonize your sales and manufacturing

Easily implement barcode scanning into your sales and manufacturing orders for improved inventory control and scalability.
Employee scanning inventory in their warehouse with a handheld barcode scanner.

Why manufacturers use Katana to manage their Shopify barcodes

As a manufacturer looking for an app for Shopify barcode scanning, you’re going to need to find software that can smoothly integrate with both your selling and manufacturing operations. With a third-party solution built for manufacturing workflows, you can set up a seamless workflow between your different processes.

Screenshot of Katana homepage.

Manage your Shopify barcode inventory with Katana

Built for manufacturers selling on Shopify, Katana’s barcode inventory management platform gives you the live insights they need to optimize and manage their inventory from products to materials. You can also sync your sales and manufacturing orders and monitor related shop floor operations.

As a Shopify merchant, you can use Katana to:

  • Scan, receive items, and simply stocktaking — use a barcode scanner or smart device to improve how you receive and count items from suppliers by avoiding accidentally inputted figures
  • Scan multiple types of barcodes — including your supplier item codes, any internally registered barcodes, and your batch barcodes
  • Improve pick lists — boost accuracy and item handling within your business
  • Export and print barcodes — printing barcodes will allow you to make your physical machine-readable items
  • Track and monitor batches and items — Shopify barcode inventory allows you to use batch tracking with a unified barcode inventory system
  • Autogenerate barcodes — Automatically generate Shopify barcodes within Katana for your items and batches using internal barcodes to track them on and beyond your shop floor.
  • Quickly and easily locate items — easily find items across your business, from the shop floor to one of your warehouses, using accurately stored data in real time

Best of all, Katana natively integrates with your Shopify account to bridge between sales and manufacturing in one visual platform.

PRO TIP: Here’s the secret formula for D2C manufacturers:

Shopify + Katana + Accounting tool = Success

Get your Shopify barcodes sorted and the rest of your business fully integrated for a smooth workflow with Katana.

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Other apps and software you can use for Shopify barcode scanning

Suppose you’re just looking for basic barcode features to help keep your business moving before upgrading to a full manufacturing platform with a Shopify barcode system. In that case, you can get started with one of the following apps.

1. StockSavvy

StockSavvy Barcode Scanning by Savvison LLC provides Shopify users the tools they need to manage their Shopify barcode inventory. Shopify D2C manufacturers can use the app to:

  • Perform cycle counts to check inventory levels
  • Receive products
  • Update stock levels

Not only that, Stocksavvy comes equipped with tools for importing CSV lists of barcodes or exporting them, assuming your scanner has memory built-in, giving you flexibility when managing your Shopify barcodes to make better business decisions.

2. Retail Barcode Labels

Developed by Shopify, Retail Barcode Labels allows users to generate and print Shopify barcode labels for their items. With the Retail Barcode Labels app, you’ll be able to make label templates to pair with your different item types. This feature allows you to create your templates and print labels with popular paper types.

3. Multi-Label Barcodes

Multi-Label Barcodes by The Resistance Marketing allows you to print Shopify barcode labels for your items with almost all Inkjet or Laser printers. Multi-Lebel Barcodes gives you the tools to customize your:

  • Logo
  • Fonts
  • QR code on a product page
  • Most product and variant fields on Shopify

You can also use the app to show discounts, manage your brand, and automate workflows simultaneously.

4. Barcode Generator

Another tool developed by Shopify, Barcode Generator, allows you to create and print your custom barcode Shopify labels easily. Unlike the other apps in this list, there’s no need to download any software or tools onto your desktop or smart device. Enter your email address, the information you want to appear on the barcode, and select Submit to generate barcodes.

5. Wholesale/Retail Catalog Maker

Wholesale/Retail Catalog Maker by Now In Store Inc. allows you to create catalogs for your Shopify store and create and print barcode Shopify labels for your business management.
Not only does this support Shopify users, but it can also integrate with other e-commerce platforms.

6. SKU Print

SKU Print by Pikes Peak Digital Marketing lets you control how you set up and use your custom Shopify barcode inventory.

Create custom layouts and include whatever product information you need, including:

  • Title
  • Vendor
  • Variants
  • Price
  • SKU
  • Barcodes
  • Image or logo

7. GroovePacker Lite App

GroovePacker Lite by Groove Industries helps you easily and accurately handle your shipments, keeping you on top of your inventory movements, scaling your business, and reducing your waste.
GroovePacker Lite was built to cater to small and medium-sized businesses looking for software to help them manage their order processing. It provides users a quick setup for users who need Shopify barcode inventory as soon as possible.

8. Power Tools

Power Tools by TT-MOKIT supports Shopify merchants during their day-to-day inventory tasks. Power Tools allows you and your employees to easily monitor Shopify barcode inventory changes, all from an Android or IOS phone.

9. SKU Labs

SKU Labs by SKU Labs allows you to control your multichannel inventory management and shipping by giving you the tools to implement barcode Shopify management.

SKU Labs helps users achieve this by improving:

  • Inventory management
  • Barcode scanning and picking
  • Real-time shipping labels
Worker boxing inventory with shelves full of raw material in the background.

Get total visibility over your Shopify inventory with Katana

The tools listed above perform different functions when it comes to getting you set up with Shopify barcode scanning. These include a Shopify barcode generator, stocktaking and tracking functionalities, and many more features. But it’s important as a manufacturer to find a tool that can help you not only introduce Shopify barcode scanning to your workflow but also give you the tools to:

  • Automatically track finished goods and raw material availability
  • Add bill of materials including product variants
  • Plan and automatically schedule production
  • Handle multichannel sales
  • Improve manufacturing floor-level control
  • Automatically track manufacturing cost calculations

Ready to upgrade your Shopify inventory management? Get Shopify barcode scanning and more features to optimize your workflows and sign up for a free 14-day Katana trial.

author bio test

James Humphreys

Senior Content Manager

James Humphreys has a background in creative writing and has been writing about the manufacturing industry for 3+ years.

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