Mobile App for Immediate Labels Modification

About the Client

Our client is a sporting goods retailer with a wide store network and is an official Nike distributor in four countries.

Company’s Request

The client needed a practical solution for on-the-spot modifications to product stickers, such as price updates or description changes, without involving additional company departments. The main requirement is to make any product information remain current and accurate, directly influencing sales efficiency.

Technology Set

Android & Zebra QLn
We selected Android phones and Zebra QLn mobile printers for their performance in demanding retail environments. Android devices are preferred for their extensive market availability and strong support for advanced application functionalities. Zebra printers are chosen for their durability, reliability, and the ability to quickly produce high-quality labels.
Used to connect the mobile devices with the printers. We chose Bluetooth because it provides a stable and fast connection with minimal delay from the moment label changes are made on the mobile app to when they are printed.
Kotlin & Java
The mobile app is developed using Kotlin and Java, which are widely supported on the Android platform. Kotlin and Java offer robust development frameworks that enhance app stability and security, key attributes for an application handling sensitive pricing and product information. Additionally, these languages allow for scalable and maintainable code, making future updates and enhancements easier.
The Zebra Programming Language (ZPL) defines the printing commands for Zebra printers and allows precise control over label formatting and printing.
printing. SSL/TLS
We implemented SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocols for data encryption.
OAuth 2.0
To control access to the mobile app, we used OAuth 2.0, an industry-standard authorization protocol. Only authenticated users can make changes to product labels, maintaining strict compliance with retail standards and safeguarding the system against unauthorized access.

Our team developed a comprehensive electronic solution that combines a mobile application with a mobile printer. This system was specifically designed to quickly and easily update product labels in retail environments. It was crafted to meet the client’s need for a flexible and speedy solution to modify labels right on the store floor.

The main solution is a custom mobile app paired with a Zebra QLn series printer. Employees use the app installed on widely available Android phones, which are ideal for running robust mobile applications. Using the phone’s camera, an employee scans the barcode on an existing product label. The app then shows fields that can be edited, such as the price or barcode, allowing the employee to input the new information immediately.

Once the updates are made in the app, the information is sent wirelessly via Bluetooth to the mobile printer. This printer is chosen for its fast, quality printing and its ability to withstand the demands of a busy retail setting. It prints out the new label instantly, which employees can then apply directly to the product. This process eliminates the need for manual data entry and reduces the steps typically involved in updating labels, thereby speeding up the workflow significantly.

To ensure that it’s worked with the client’s operations, it was integrated with their existing IT infrastructure. This integration allows the updated data from the app to synchronize with the store’s central management system, keeping inventory and pricing information accurate across all platforms.

Integrating the new mobile app with the client’s existing warehouse and inventory management systems posed a challenge, primarily due to differing data formats and older technology in the legacy systems. To overcome this, we developed custom middleware that acts as a bridge between the mobile app and the existing systems. This middleware translates data into the appropriate formats for accurate data flow and synchronization across all platforms.

Another technical challenge was making sure the system could handle high data throughput during peak retail hours without lag or system crashes. To address this, we optimized the mobile app’s data-handling algorithms and increased the efficiency of the Bluetooth communication protocol between the app and the printer. We implemented advanced data queuing and caching strategies that allow the system to process large volumes of updates quickly and reliably.

To help employees get up to speed with the new system, Our company provided detailed training sessions. These sessions included practical demonstrations on how to use the app and printer, ensuring that staff could handle the equipment confidently and effectively. The team also set up ongoing support to address any technical issues, minimizing any potential disruptions to store operations.

Additionally, security features were integrated into the app to protect sensitive pricing and product information. These features include user authentication to guarantee that only authorized staff can make changes and encryption of data sent to the printer to prevent security breaches.

The system’s design also considered future needs. As the client’s business grows or as technology evolves, the system can be easily updated or scaled up. 

Value Delivered

Instant Updates
The system enables employees to update labels on the shop floor immediately, eliminating delays typically associated with manual update processes.
Efficiency and Time-Saving
The system streamlines the label modification process, reducing the effort and time spent on changes, and allowing staff to focus on customer service and other key tasks.
Accuracy in Product Information
The solution's swift ability to adjust product details ensures that the information on labels is always accurate, enhancing customer trust and compliance with pricing regulations.