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How our standards improve the shopper experience

Date: September 14, 2018

Category: Opinion piece

Author: Gary Lynch

Gary Lynch, CEO at GS1 UK discusses how GS1 standards provide a seamless experience for today’s connected consumers

Gary Lynch speaks to Alastair Greener at the Business Reporter about the Future of Retail


Retail habits are changing. The rapid growth of e-commerce and mobile technology means that today’s consumers have increasingly high expectations of product information, product availability and buying experience. They are now more connected than ever and expect to shop however, wherever and whenever suits them.

But there is a great disconnect between what consumers expect and what retailers can provide. This is evidenced by the difficulty the industry has in dealing with returns. In the past, returns were a simple thing to do – consumers would usually return their items to the shop they bought them from. But this recent growth in omnichannel retailing means that consumers can now make use of multiple fulfilment options to suit their needs – in store, click and collect, delivery to home, delivery to a collection point and more.

This variety of solutions and processes mean the returns process is equally complicated. Getting returns right is an imperative and critical for customer loyalty – 78% of customers cite it as a reason for shopping with a particular retailer.

Using GS1 standards helps retailers serve today’s consumers more efficiently. As they now expect a seamless experience, we’re working with multiple retailers and leading industry players to make this happen.

We’re collaborating to create industry-wide solutions to help streamline the returns process, provide quality product data to consumers – be it in-store or online – and enable retailers to become truly omnichannel.

We created the GS1 barcodes some 40 years ago, and they still facilitate a better way of working in today’s retail world – by driving trust and confidence in the supply chain process and helping retailers put the customers at heart.

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