GS1 Digital Link

GS1 Digital Link - GTINs With Digital Consumer Engagement

The first UPC that was scanned at a grocery store will be 50 years old on June 26th, 2024. Since then, UPC identification and barcodes have revolutionized supply chain and retail efficiencies in a variety of industries. Although the UPC presently acts as a metaphorical license plate for a certain product, it is unable to satisfy the demands that consumers have today. To meet the needs of both present and future customers, the international standards group has introduced the GS1 Digital Link as a substitute for the UPC barcode and set a Sunrise Date for 2027.

Today's connected customer demands quick access to trustworthy information. In addition, a lot of companies have made product lifecycle traceability a top priority in order to address environmental concerns and cut down on fake goods.

A GTIN (Global Trade Identification Number) embedded in a UPC barcode cannot be used to enable access to brand-controlled content or granular traceability data. With the aid of the dependable GS1 Digital Link, a single barcode symbol may be scanned by point-of-sale scanners, providing clients with the information they require. Due to its widespread adoption and ease of scanning, the GS1 Digital Link is composed of a specifically created QR code that can be used as the only on-pack barcode symbol.

It is critical to understand that the UPC barcode will not be phased out anytime soon. Retailers throughout the world will need to dramatically upgrade their scanning environments in order to achieve universal single-barcode adoption. The established 2027 Sunrise Date provides firms with ample time to begin implementation discussions. However, many businesses are already including transitory GS1 Digital Link QR codes into their products in order to reap the benefits and fulfill the demands of today's shoppers. Companies of ALL sizes may and should start planning how to utilize this new barcode.

Intelligent (Smart) Packaging

Many of the world's largest consumer goods companies rely on "smart" packaging to engage connected consumers, and smaller businesses should follow suit. Consumers now have a barcode scanner (mobile phone) with them whenever they visit a store and are becoming more adept at scanning QR codes on items. The benefit of early implementation is that organizations may immediately begin developing direct relationships with their end customers.

Packaging is considered "smart" or "intelligent" if it can connect to a smartphone and provides each barcoded item with its own unique digital product identity. Smart packaging has several applications, and the following are just a few examples:

  • Expanded Information (i.e. Nutrition, Certifications, Warranty)
  • Tutorials and Instructions
  • Brand Storytelling
  • Loyalty Programs & Email Signup
  • Product Registrations
  • Product Traceability (Origin, Expiration, Lot, etc.)

Digital Link Connecting GTINs to Intelligent (Smart) Packaging

In essence, the GS1 Digital Link is a cutting-edge schema that makes it possible for encoded data in a barcode, such a QR code, to contain both web addresses and perhaps serialized GTINs. Although the underlying algorithms may be extremely complicated, consumers and even businesses employing single digital link QR codes on their shipments have no trouble using them.

To make this new effort a reality, Bar Code Graphics and technology experts from all around the world contributed to the worldwide documentation. To help firms learn more about this fascinating new endeavor, we have developed an instructional website, Status UPC barcodes are being replaced with QR codes that support Digital Link already. To prepare for the 2027 Sunrise Date, retailers in both Europe and the US are starting to modify their POS (point-of-sale) terminals.

How® Automatically Provides GS1 Digital Links

Subscribers to® (global repository and GTIN administration portal) will be able to develop Digital Link 2D barcode symbols as high-resolution .eps files as early as 2023. Users will have the option of specifying destination web addresses as part of the GTIN (UPC) setup procedure and the portal will automatically generate the digital link plus a digital barcode file. This improved feature not only secures customers' barcodes for the future but also allows them to engage directly with today's consumers.

Companies requiring additional information can call us at 888-540-6885 or email