The fundamental aim of GS1 Digital Link in the retail space is to enable anyone to digitally to access information about the product in front of them.
This is a significant departure from the traditional practice of relying on a product's packaging to communicate important information to consumers.
The change has been driven by demand. We live in the information age and there's a growing expectation that all facts should be immediately knowable, especially now that almost 96 per cent of UK internet users own a smartphone, allowing them to access the internet anywhere, anytime.
'GS1 Digital Link also allows apps and scanners to connect to specific user experiences by using additional data in a barcode to access specific information.
To achieve this, Digital Link uses a 'resolver'. Designed as ‘path finders’ rather than sources of information, resolvers redirect a request from one server to another. To put it simply, they can ‘resolve’ GS1 identifiers to one or more sources of information about an identified item.
For example, a resolver could link the GTIN stored within a URI to show traceability, nutritional or sustainability information about a food or drink product. For hardware, it could link to things like instruction manuals or how-to videos. At the same time, the resolver can link an identified item to information for business partners such as recall status APIs, master data, hazardous handling instructions and more.
Links to those information sources can be updated at any time, perhaps pointing to limited-time promotions or important updates. This means your barcode can work harder, acting as a gateway to unlimited resources to support your B2B and B2C goals.
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Implementation guides and resources
Here are our guides on how to connect your products to the digital world.
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