Incorporating multiple Articles and Product numbers, GTINs are now the main form of product identification required for Google, Amazon and eBay promotion. Failure to add them to products will lead to the disapproval of products on platforms such as Merchant Center.
What is a GTIN?
A Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) is the numerical representation of a products bar code. Assigned by the brand’s owner, they are used to identify a trade item’s path through the global supply chain. GTINs are now recognised internationally with the central concept aligning several previous systems, so they all now follow the same structure.
Why are GTINs important?
Companies such as Google Shopping and Amazon now require GTINs to be assigned to products to be active at a promotional level. Shopping channels use GTINs for:
– More relevant products to be shown from a user’s search
– Aiding search engines and shopping channels to be able to compare products
– Improving shopping experiences as a GTIN will allow product data to be implemented in ad visuals.
So if your banker acquisition channels go down because of a supped-up barcode not being present, imagine the havoc, time and panic that will cause within your marketing team!
GTINs also have benefits for consumers with their experience of searching for products:
– Better comparisons as a GTIN will help to show the differences between products, sellers, and price
– More relevant results when browsing
The introduction of GTINs also has positives for sellers:
– Products will be available to be advertised on a higher number of platforms
– The number of conversions can increase with products appearing in more relevant searches and ads.
– Products can compete effectively
Structures of GTINs
GTINs are 8,12,13, or 14 digits long, depending on the product. These structures are known as GTIN-8, GTIN-12, GTIN-13, and GTIN-14. A GTIN is structured using:
An indicator digit – Only found in GTIN-14s, a number between 1-9 that identifies the packaging hierarchy of a product. The digit nine is used for variables.
– GS1/U.P.C Company Prefix – A unique number licensed to a company by GS1. For GTIN-12, a U.P.C. Company Prefix is used instead.
– Item Reference – A number assigned to a product to identify it. The length of the reference varies depending on the company prefix number
– Check digit – This last digit reviews the data to ensure that it has been composed correctly.
- Only used in EAN-8 barcodes
- Only used in UPC-A barcodes
- Only used in EAN-13 barcodes
- Cannot be used in EAN/UPC barcodes
So now you know what a GTIN is, has it got you thinking about whether they are being reviewed in your business. Act now to avoid downtime due to disapprovals.
If you’ve still got no idea where to start, and would like us to advise to next steps – get in touch today!