Now more than ever, consumers are looking for product transparency. Next generation barcodes that can contain much more information than just a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) are the way forward.
Today many businesses use multiple barcodes on their packaging – an EAN or UPC to store the GTIN that identifies the product, and a QR code to provide more product information to consumers or trading partners.
2D barcodes are able serve both purposes, allowing you to free up packaging space, drive revenue, transform digital strategy and power sustainability agendas while still harnessing the benefits of increased product data.
Key benefits include
Links to additional details online
With 2D barcodes, consumers can view additional information online.
Empower consumers to interact with your brand long after their purchase.
Unlocking analytics and insights
Consumer interaction and feedback that generates valuable insights and new possibilities.
QR and GS1 DataMatrix codes
There are a number of different 2D barcodes that are currently in use across a wide range of industries. The two most widely recognised are QR and GS1 DataMatrix codes which can both be used to store all manner of information ranging from expiry dates and serial numbers to batch and lot numbers. They can also contain URLs to extend a product’s packaging, acting as a gateway to consumer information such as allergens and nutrition, suitability information, recipes or usage instructions.
A QR or ‘Quick Response Code' encodes data in contrasting dark and light cells arranged in a grid and currently the most widely used type of 2D barcode. Easily readable by mobile devices without the need for a specialist app, they are better suited for consumer-facing applications than GS1 DataMatrix codes. Particularly beneficial for retail purposes, they can instantly connect consumers to product information at the scan of a smartphone.
QR codes using data in the GS1 Digital Link URI format are especially powerful. These 2D barcodes are multifunctional as they can contain valuable information that simultaneously powers the Point Of Sale (POS) and many other business processes, while also connecting consumers to the brand’s website of choice.
Prepare for the future
While the 1D barcode is not going away, industry still needs take steps to welcome a defined set of different barcodes through their point of sale. This will future-proof your existing systems, allowing your operations to grow, scale and unlock the enhanced capabilities of 2D.
Get started connecting your products
GS1 Digital Link
The GS1 Digital Link standard enables GS1 identifiers to be used as a gateway to online information.
Implementation guides and resources
See our guides on how to connect your products to the digital world.
GS1 Digital Link training
Our Digital Link course will help you understand how you can improve your business operations and connect with consumers like never before.
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