When you try to list products in different marketplaces, the relevant platforms may ask you for GTINs, EANs, UPCs, GLNs, or barcode numbers. This article describes what these terms mean, what the differences are and how to acquire them.
Online sellers must include a product identifier on their listings to trade on online marketplaces. Most marketplaces demand a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) number in the form of an European Article Number (EAN) or Universal Product Code (UPC). Some companies also require you to add a Global Location Number (GLN).
What is a GTIN?
Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) – The name given to the number that uniquely identifies a product and is mostly commonly seen sitting underneath the black and white lines of a barcode. Is 12 digits long in North America, but it’s usually 13 digits long in the rest of the world, or occasionally 8 digits (for very small products). GS1 Standard
What is an EAN?
European Article Number (EAN) – The name given to the standard barcode image that represents the 13 digit GTIN on most products you buy in shops in the UK and globally, except for North America. GS1 Standard
What is a UPC?
Universal Product Code (UPC) - The name given to the standard barcode image of a 12 digit GTIN that is commonly used in North America.
What is a GLN?
Global Location Numbers (GLNs) - The name given to a unique set of numbers that are used to recognise, and distinguish between, whole organizations or sub-locations within an organization.
They can be used to identify a particular supplier, manufacturer, or hospital and their respective departments or wards, or even a specific shelf or a patient bay. (E.g.: you may need a GLN to identify the warehouse or even the specific shelf where the products are stored.) GS1 Standard
What is an ISBN?
International Standard Book Number (ISBN) - A number that uniquely identifies a book. International ISBN Agency standard. ISBNs can be transformed into a GTIN-13 compatible structure represented in an EAN-13 barcode, based on a formal agreement between the GS1 and ISBN organizations.
Get a product number
GS1 is a neutral, not-for-profit, international organization that develops and maintains standards to improve the efficiency, safety, and visibility of supply chains. GS1 developed the EAN, UPC, and GLN codes to help companies uniquely identify their products and share information about their products with partners and consumers consistently. GTIN codes help global recognition for your brand, improve search engine optimization, and makes interoperability and communication with logistics partners and retailers easier.
To request a barcode or GTIN number:
- Go tohttps://www.gs1.org/standards/get-barcodes.
- Select your location and click Get a barcode/GTIN.