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Google uses GS1 numbers to understand exactly what you are selling through its platform, Google Shopping

When you list your products on Google Shopping, you’ll need to include a GS1 GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) if your products are:

  • Sold in the UK, Australia, Brazil, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, or the US
  • In a ‘New’ condition
  • Brand-named products (not a generic non-branded product)
  • Assigned a GTIN by the manufacturer or brand owner
  • Sold by more than one merchant

For products sold in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, India, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden and Turkey, unique product identifier attributes are recommended but not mandatory currently.

Early experiments indicate that offers matched to the catalogue receive up to 40% more user clicks than those that do not.”

Google Commerce Blog

If your products meet these criteria, adding GTINs to your Google Shopping listings can boost your ad's performance by:

  • Adding valuable details about your product
  • Serving your ad in a more relevant way to users
  • Placing your ad in more places across Google, YouTube and partner websites

Early adopters who have added GTINs to their product data have seen conversion rates increase up to 20%.”

Google Commerce Blog

Do you sell your own brand products?

If your products don’t already have GTINs Google doesn’t require you to assign them. However, if you’d like to start selling your products on other marketplaces, such as eBay and Amazon, or in stores then these channels will require you to give a valid GTIN to list your products.

Making sure you – as the brand owner – assign your product’s unique identifier is best practice for product data management. This ensures you are in control of the accuracy and legitimacy of your product’s data, maintaining your brand integrity.

What you need to do

GTINs are the numbers you see beneath all of the barcodes that are sold in-store throughout the world.

To start assigning barcode numbers to your products, you’ll need a GS1 Company Prefix.

Follow the three easy steps to get started

  • Join GS1 UK online
  • Receive your own unique GS1 Company Prefix
  • Start assigning GS1 numbers and barcodes to your products

Join now to start assigning your GS1 numbers and barcodes

Once you’ve got your GS1 Company Prefix, you’ll be able to login to our member portal, which has tools and services to help you to manage all your GS1 barcode numbers and grow your business.

  • My Numberbank – helping you to store and manage all the GS1 numbers you assign to your products - these are called Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs)
  • Barcode image generator – create barcode images quickly and easily – and we’ll give you three free credits to get you started
  • Support and guidance – we’re here to help you so if you need any help with implementing our standards, or how they can help your business grow – get in touch

Why get your numbers and barcodes from GS1 UK?

Here's just some of the benefits of getting your barcode numbers from us.

  • Authentic source You’ll receive an official GS1 certificate, giving you the peace of mind that your numbers are uniquely yours
  • Get up and running in minutes Sign up online and you’ll be able to start assigning your GTINs in minutes
  • Training and education Get access to our Academy - webinars, online training resources and classroom sessions to suit your needs
  • Over 40 years’ experience We’ve been helping companies identify their products since the very first barcode was used back in 1973
  • Use them on Amazon, eBay, Google and other marketplaces Your GS1 barcode numbers (GTINs) will be valid for all the major marketplaces
  • Free support by phone or online Our support team is here to help you on your journey as your business grows
  • Manage your numbers online Use My Numberbank to help you create, store and manage all of your GS1 numbers (GTINs) – for all of your products
  • Allow you to trade globally We’re part of the global GS1 organisation that ensure our barcodes work everywhere, in every supply chain in every country
  • Working for your benefit As a not-for-profit organisation, we work with our members to continually develop our standards – so they keep pace with the changing business landscape

How much does it cost?

Membership fees
Turnover  Annual licence fee  Allocation
up to £0.50m £119 Up to 1,000 numbers
£0.5m to £1m £131 Up to 1,000 numbers
£1m to £10m £203 Up to 1,000 numbers
£10m to £50m £318 Up to 10,000 numbers
£50m to £100m £1,333 Up to 10,000 numbers
£100m to £250m £1,743 Up to 10,000 numbers
£250m to £500m £2,400 Up to 100,000 numbers
£500m to £1bn £2,900 Up to 100,000 numbers
Over £1bn £3,450 Up to 100,000 numbers

All prices exclude VAT

Join now to start assigning your GS1 numbers and barcodes

Frequently asked questions

What’s the difference between a barcode from GS1 and others I see online?

If you’ve researched barcode numbers online you may have come across websites offering you barcodes at a cheap one-off rate. These operators are not part of the GS1 network and are not authorised to sell GS1 numbers. Their uniqueness cannot be guaranteed.

What is a GTIN?

A Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) is a number that uniquely identifies a product. You see them beneath the barcodes on almost every product in the world. Which is why they’re often called ‘barcode numbers’. In the UK and Europe they’re usually 13 digits long, in the US 12. You might see shorter 8 digit numbers, used on smaller products. There are even 14 digit versions, to identify cases of products. The same numbers are used to identify products sold online too. The important thing to know is that they are all licensed from GS1 organisations around the world – to guarantee their uniqueness. When you join GS1 UK you can create all the GTINs you need.

What is an EAN?

A European Article Number (EAN) is the name given to the standard barcode image you see on most products sold around the world. It represents the number – or GTIN – you see beneath it. Retailers and marketplaces often ask for ‘EANs’ when you list your products with them. What they are really asking for is the GTIN, or barcode number, which you can create when you join GS1 UK.

What is a UPC?

A Universal Product Code (UPC) is the name given to the standard barcode used on products sold in North America. It represents the number – or GTIN – you see beneath the barcode. These days it’s completely compatible with the EAN barcodes used everywhere else in the world. So if you get asked for a UPC by a retailer or marketplace, they’re really asking for the GTIN, or barcode number, for your product, which you can create when you join GS1 UK.

More FAQs