GTIN: How to Boost Consumer Trust and Engagement Through Authentication & Transparency

How to Boost Consumer Trust and Engagement Through Authentication & Transparency

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The growth of e-commerce has expanded our global economy and created nearly infinite shopping options. But with this convenience has come new pressures on brands to show consumers that their products are authentic.

One way to do that is, of course, getting a legal certificate like Amazon brand registry, another way is getting the GTIN.

Retail companies large and small need to be ready to build supply chains that are designed to be more transparent in order to secure the loyalty of today’s consumers. It all starts with getting a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) from GS1 US.

As discussed in a previous blog, GTINs are unique identification numbers assigned to each product variant such as size or color. When acquired from a GS1 member organization, the GTIN will be globally accepted and recognized in multiple retail system across the supply chain. In many ways, this number is the DNA of the supply chain. By properly identifying products, business owners can be sure their supply chains have the right foundation to grow.

Let’s learn more about the GTIN’s application to the authentication of products, supply chain transparency, and consumer engagement.

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Ensuring Product Authenticity: The Role of Valid GTINs

Today’s consumers have expectations for extensive product selection and fast delivery. Therefore, it’s more important than ever for brands to protect product authenticity by implementing proactive anti-counterfeit strategies.

Valid GTINs from a GS1 organization are a key part of confirming a product’s authenticity. Marketplaces verify the owner of a GTIN through the GS1 Global Registry and if the company and product don’t seem to match, it can lead to listing suppressions and delays in selling product.

Also, many brands are investing in Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology as a critical enabler of inventory visibility. GS1 US has worked with major retailers on their RFID implementations, and they all agree—if you can’t see it, you can’t sell it.  In combination with the GTIN standard for product identification, brands also assign a unique serial number to each item, which is then stored in a database. Serialization helps a retailer spot out-of-sequence numbers, which can signal counterfeit products. Plus, this technology helps speed up internal inventory cycle counts and save companies significant amounts of money in operational costs. Learn more from the GS1 US case study, Southern Fried Cotton.

How GS1 Standards Drive Supply Chain Transparency & Consumer Trust

Consumers value transparency more than ever today. Brands need to take significant steps to show they are not hiding anything that would contradict the consumer’s ideals to stay relevant and secure brand loyalty.

With heightened concern for transparency, the product data exchanged between trading partners needs to be more detailed and extend beyond just the GTIN. GS1 maintains an entire system of standards which serve as a uniform way to share extended product details so that data transmission is streamlined and recognized by all trading partner systems.

All GS1 US members have access to GS1 US Data Hub, a tool that not only helps users assign GTINs and create barcodes. It’s a way to securely store product data to be shared with trading partners. This forms an important foundation for brands to create product traceability programs, which help to showcase product origins and support recall readiness, especially in industries like food and healthcare which are subject to certain regulatory requirements.

Boosting Consumer Engagement with 2D Barcodes and GS1 Digital Link Standards

The retail industry is on the verge of a major change in packaging to respond to the consumer’s increased demand for more information. Brands and retailers are beginning to transition UPC barcodes to more data-rich, robust two-dimensional barcodes (i.e. a QR code).  

Many consumers are already accustomed to seeing QR codes on packages. GS1 is advocating for the uniform use of one specialized code that would both “go beep” at checkout and provide access to the product information that consumers want. The GS1 Digital Link standard is what helps barcodes and other data carriers become web links—connecting a product’s unique identity to online sources of real-time information that brands control. 

By shifting to 2D barcodes, brands can unlock the possibility of more meaningful digital experiences originating from the product package, including how-to videos, stories about the product’s founder, coupons, detailed information about product origins and ingredients, and more. Learn more about how PepsiCo is planning to leverage this new technology.   

Ultimately, technology is making more direct and meaningful engagement opportunities possible. Brands need the framework and support that GS1 Standards provide to enable consistent and trustworthy information for today’s consumers. 

The article was written for our blog by Shane Morris, Business Development Director at GS1 US.