Today most of the products you see in the market have barcodes. To define barcode numbers in simple terms, they are the numeric codes associated with the machine-readable symbols that give unique identification numbers to the products. These barcode numbers, often called Global Trade Identification Numbers (GTINs) or UPC, are coded in various barcode forms such as liner (1-Dimensional) barcode, QR barcode (2-Dimensional), Datamatrix, etc. 1-D barcodes are used mostly in retail, logistics, healthcare, and packaging, where they are used to link product information like manufacturing and expiry date, manufacturing locations, product attributes, and ingredients, etc. as they get scanned in the journey of a product from brand owners to the final customer. 2-D barcodes are majorly used in applications related to entertainment, retail, advertisement, and transactions.  

GS1, a global council for barcode administration, introduced the first Universal Product Code (UPC) barcode for commercial purposes. From the invention of barcodes to the implementation of GS1 global standards, Retail, healthcare, FMCG, transport and logistics, and other industries in India have seen a significant transformation in product data management, visibility, traceability, and supply chain efficiency, all through the application of barcode numbers.

Out of 4 types of barcode numbers based on the number of digits (GTIN-8, GTIN-12, GTIN-13, GTIN-14), GTIN-13 (also known as European Article Number EAN-13) is commonly used in India. For India, all barcodes issued by GS1 India starts with the number 890. 890 is the country prefix which represents the barcode numbers are purchased from India.

By providing unique identification to the trade items, GTINs help avoid duplicity of the barcode, enabling product authorization. This prevents duplicate products from illegitimate manufacturers from entering the market. GTINs facilitates sales growth by enabling targeted online search. Search engine Google has revealed a 40% improvement in search results using GTIN, resulting in higher brand visibility. GTINs also help comply with various regulatory norms set by FSSAI, FDA, AGMARK, etc., that govern the flow, quality, and product data requirements of the trade items in the market. GS1 India is the only authorized body where you can avail authenticate barcode numbers at different prices depending upon the number of barcodes required and the years of subscription associated with the barcode numbers.

In the last 24-year, GS1 India has improved customer experience through the use of barcodes and related services like Traceability, Master Data Management (MDM), etc. With over 2 million companies using GS1 barcodes, it has become a de facto standard for the retail industry worldwide. Certified as an ISO 27001 company, GS1 India is the only authorized organization in India for issuing barcode numbers. It was set under the Ministry of trade and commerce, the government of India, as a non-profit organization. GS1 barcodes are globally accepted by all major retailers and etailers. Registering with GS1 India and generating barcode numbers is also very easy. All you need to do is follow the predefined steps, and GS1 India will help you design and create barcodes that suit your business needs. To know more, visit GS1 India.  

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