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What is a Barcode or GTIN?
A barcode or GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) is a symbol that can be easily read by a barcode scanner or smartphone app. It brings up a globally unique number. Retailers use this unique number to enter product information into their database. The barcode itself doesn’t contain information apart from the number it represents. Barcodes are most commonly used at checkouts in retail stores to quickly retrieve product price and name. They can also track products as they move through the supply chain. Once scanned, store owners can be alerted to low stock levels of a particular item, prompting them to reorder in good time. Every variation of a product (e.g. each size and colour) requires its own barcode.
Do I Need a Barcode?
If you have a product you wish to be stocked at a retail store, you will almost certainly need barcodes. Different retailers and regions have varying standards, and it is important to pick the right barcode type to avoid unnecessary hassle and confusion when your goods make it to a store.
How many Barcodes do I Need?
Each product and variation will require its own unique barcode, for example if you have shorts in 2 different colours and 3 sizes you will need 2 x 3 = 6 barcodes. This is so the stores can identify and price each product variation.
More Barcode Advice
Download our Free Guide to Retail Barcodes.