Barcodes cannot encode product information like price or size. Rather the unique number is simply used to quickly retrieve information about a product from a retailer’s database. Similarly barcodes do not rely on a global database in order to work. The barcode is a very simple means of product identification.
The vertical lines of a barcode only encode the unique number that appears below the bars. When a barcode is scanned at Point of Sale (P.O.S.) the retailer’s software will recall the unique number and any associated information in the store’s database such as price, size, flavour etc. Product details other than the number will only appear on the system if the POS system already has an entry for that specific number.
In order for your barcode to work correctly you will need to first assign the number to your product and include the barcode image on your product’s artwork. Registration of product information such as size, flavour, colour etc is handled at the retailer’s end when you submit your products to them or the distributor. Once your brcode is included on your product’s packaging or labels the barcode represents the associated product. It is very important to keep an internal record of your barcode assignments at your company to avoid any duplicate assignments.
There is no centralised global database that records all barcode data that would make your product information available to every retailer. Even GS1’s GEPIR does not record individual barcode data and only shows the original prefix holder’s company info. Each new retailer you distribute your product to will need to input your product information along with the barcode into their system. Not all systems are the same but some common attributes are:
- Barcode (GTIN)
- Brand name
- Product description
- Product image
- Product category
- Net content / unit of measure
- Target market (Country of sale)
Using the supplied codes list included with every order we suggest submitting a spreadsheet that demonstrates your barcode assignments and relevant product information. Some retailers will have thier own onboaring systems or online portals where you can enter your barcode and product information. Either method will work however some retailers will have preferences on how they want your product information submitted to them.
E-commerce platforms such as Amazon.co.uk, eBay, Shofity, Geegle Merchant etc will require you to enter your product information with the barcode number when you create a product listing. Since these major platforms are often indexed by Google your listings will become part of Google’s index and will eventually return results of your listings when users search using your barcode number.
Smartphone scanning applictions
To make your product information return on barcode scanning applications you must first register your product info and barcode number with the database used by application developers. Listing your product with online databases such as https://gtinlookup.org, https://gtinsearch.org raises the online brand visibility of your products and helps to deter unauthorised use of your barcode numbers.