GTINs: How harnessing the power of trusted data could transform your business
Posted: Fri 20th Jan 2023
Today’s shoppers expect more. They want detailed and accurate information on the products and services they’re consuming – whether its provenance, environmental impact, nutritional value or allergens.
To keep pace with these changing demands, businesses need a single, trusted source of accurate product data that they can share easily.
The importance of trusted data spans all industries and sectors. As consumer demand for trust and transparency increases, so too have the legislative demands placed on UK businesses; demands that cannot be met without the capture and sharing of standardised data.
Getting product data right from the start is a key element of building a successful business. Not only will this allow you to meet the business and consumer needs of today, it could also prove essential when facing the challenges of tomorrow.
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The power of GTINs
No matter the size of your business, one of the first steps to trading, both online and in-store, is to assign unique identification numbers to your products in the form of a Global Trade Item Number (or GTIN for short).
GTINs, the number you see under a barcode – also known as an EAN or UPC - allow businesses, their trading partners and consumers to capture, share and access important information about a product.
They are therefore essential for successfully listing, selling, barcoding, managing stock, building supply chains, ensuring visibility on search engines and much more.
In short, this small but incredibly powerful number is the key to guaranteeing seamless sales and efficient processes for your business.
GS1 UK is the only authorised provider of unique GTINs. This is why GS1 UK GTINs and barcodes are used and accepted by retailers and marketplaces all over the world, making it easy to sell your products anywhere, anytime and to anyone.
Delivering trust and transparency
A GS1 UK GTIN provides a common language for your business entities and trading partners to identify your item and share its data easily. By linking your product directly to your business, they ensure that no one else can stock or sell it, and so it's also easily traceable back to you.
By becoming a member of GS1 UK, you’ll be assigned unique codes that are specifically for you. No other business can end up with the same codes, so there can be zero confusion.
GS1 UK GTINs are now mandated by many major retailers and online marketplaces around the globe in order to ensure efficient supply chain processing and to act as the key to trusted product data.
All GS1 UK members are issued an official GS1 UK Certificate when they license a Company Prefix or individual GTINs. The likes of Amazon and eBay now require all sellers to use GTINs licensed to their brand and rely on GS1 UK certification and Company Prefix validation to ensure the accuracy, authenticity and uniqueness of the GTINs entered into their systems.
This is ultimately about trust, making sure any product is relevant to the user's shopping journey, ensuring it is what a seller says it is, and that consumers are provided with complete and correct information about any product they wish to purchase.
Ensuring products have unique identifiers also means that search engines, shopping platforms and marketplaces can be certain of what the product is.
GTINs enable these platforms to recognise existing products, distinguish new ones and ensure they get visibility in search results as products with GTINs often can receive 40% more impressions than those without.
Why GS1 UK?
Not all product identifiers are created equal. If you buy numbers from a non-GS1 UK organisation, you might find that the number is already being used by another organisation.
It may not even be a genuine GTIN. This can lead to big problems and in some extreme cases, your product can be delisted by marketplaces or rejected by a retailer.
You can avoid this headache by getting GTINs from an official GS1 UK organisation. As the only authorised source of GTINs, you can be sure that the GS1 UK numbers you assign to your products are completely unique to your brand.
Joining GS1 UK’s community of more than 58,000 members is a proven way to lay solid foundations for your business, and the benefits extend far beyond barcodes!
GS1 UK can help you get set up for success, from supporting you on your exporting journey, building safe, sustainable and efficient supply chains and harnessing the power of trusted data, to helping with funding, networking, future-proofing and more.
GS1 UK membership is based on annual turnover, which means it's easier for small businesses to enter the market and start selling.
If you are not sure about your barcode numbers and want to check if they are licensed to you, then you can use GS1 UK’s online tool to find out. And, if you don't like what you see, get in touch and GS1 UK’s team of experts can guide you through the next steps.
Need a barcode for your products?
As a member, you can create all the GTINs you need to sell your products online and in stores, anywhere.