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Everything You Need To Know About The GS1 Digital Link

In an increasingly digital world, the GS1 Digital Link is a transformative development in product identification and information sharing. This innovative technology is set to revolutionise the way products are labelled, tracked, and accessed by both businesses and consumers. In this article, our labelling machine experts delve into the GS1 Digital Link, its purpose, impact on manufacturers, and the crucial deadline for its implementation.

What Is The GS1 Digital Link?

The GS1 Digital Link is a standardised system for product identification that harnesses the power of web links within QR codes. Developed by GS1, a global organisation dedicated to developing and maintaining supply chain standards, this technology enables the incorporation of web links and traditional barcodes into QR codes. These links act as gateways to information related to the product, which can include details like product origin, ingredients, allergens, usage instructions, and much more. Global Trade Item Numbers, of GTINs, and other identifiers can be included within Digital Link QR Codes, making them usable by manufacturers, retailers, and consumers.

This innovation is a game-changer because it allows manufacturers to provide an extensive amount of information about their products in a compact, machine-readable format. It bridges the gap between the physical and digital worlds, offering consumers instant access to valuable product data using smartphones or other connected devices.

Why Is The GS1 Digital Link Happening?

The GS1 Digital Link is happening to address the growing need for comprehensive and easily accessible product information. In today’s consumer-centric world, people want to make informed choices about the products they purchase. They want to know not only what’s inside the package but also where it comes from, how it was made, and whether it aligns with their values and preferences.

Traditional barcodes and QR codes, while valuable for basic identification, have limitations when it comes to providing detailed information. Many products end up with multiple scannable codes for different uses, causing confusion. The GS1 Digital Link overcomes these limitations by allowing manufacturers to embed a single code into their product labels. This ensures that consumers can access a wealth of data by simply scanning the code with their smartphones, while also having practical uses for retailers.

The GS1 Digital Link contributes to greater supply chain efficiency. It simplifies the tracking of products from production facilities to retail shelves, helping manufacturers and retailers manage inventory and reduce waste more effectively.

What Impact Will The Introduction Of The GS1 Digital Link Have On Manufacturers?

The introduction of the GS1 Digital Link is poised to have a significant impact on manufacturers. Here are some of the key benefits of introducing GS1 Digital Link:

  • Enhanced Product Transparency: Manufacturers can use the GS1 Digital Link to provide consumers with detailed information about their products. This transparency builds trust and helps manufacturers differentiate their products in a crowded marketplace.
  • Improved Supply Chain Management: With the ability to track products through the supply chain more accurately, manufacturers can optimise inventory management, reduce losses due to expired products, and ensure that products reach consumers in the best possible condition.
  • Efficient Recall Management: In the event of a product recall, the GS1 Digital Link allows manufacturers to quickly and precisely identify affected products, minimising the impact on consumers and reducing the financial burden of recalls.
  • Consumer Engagement: The GS1 Digital Link provides a direct channel for manufacturers to engage with consumers. This can be leveraged for marketing, loyalty programs, and gathering valuable feedback.

When Is The deadline For GS1 Digital Link Implementation?

It is currently set that 2027 is the year in which the GS1 Digital Link will sunrise and linear barcodes can be removed from product labels. There will be a transition period to help manufacturers prepare for the switch, and some brands are already making plans for GS1 Digital Link. It is expected that this technology will expand quickly as more and more businesses begin to realise the benefits of the GS1 Digital Link.

To discuss your labelling requirements and to find out if your labelling machinery is prepared for GS1 Digital Link sunrise, speak with our specialist team.