ChannelEngine: how can I acquire a GTIN, EAN, UPC, or GLN?
About this article
When listing your products on different online marketplaces, you may encounter platforms asking for GTINs, EANs, UPCs, GLNs, or barcode numbers. This article describes what these terms mean, what the differences are, and why and how to acquire such a product number.
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). The following table describes the GTIN-related terms and their meaning:
|GTIN||Global trade item number||A number that uniquely identifies a product placed underneath the black and white lines of a barcode.
GTINs are used as the global standard to identify products and all of their unique variations, such as size and color. The number contains 12 digits in North America, but it’s usually 13 digits long in the rest of the world. GS1 standard.
|EAN||European article number||The standard barcode image that represents the 13-digit GTIN on most products purchased in shops globally, except for North America. GS1 standard.|
|UPC||Universal product code||The standard barcode image of a 12-digit GTIN, which is commonly used in North America. GS1 standard.|
Global location number
|A globally unique number used to identify a company's location. The GLN is primarily used in electronic messages to identify legal and physical locations. E.g.: you may need a GLN to identify the warehouse or even the specific shelf where the products are stored. GS1 standard.|
|ISBN||International standard book number||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.|
In short, GTINs help identify a company's unique product – while UPC, EAN, and GLN are different types of GTIN. Although each serves different purposes, the UPC, EAN, and GLN GTIN types are all part of the GS1 (Global Standards 1) system of international standards.
Acquire 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 to https://www.gs1.org/standards/get-barcodes.
- Select your location and click Get a barcode/GTIN.