GS1 DataBar

Created to support the identification of small and hard-to-mark items like fruit, jewelery and cosmetics, GS1 DataBar barcodes became a global standard in 2014. A growing number of retailers are now able to scan and process them – please check that your trading partners are ready to use GS1 DataBar before choosing this barcode. 

There are seven barcodes in the GS1 DataBar family. GS1 DataBar barcodes can carry the GTIN, like the EAN/UPC; with some in the family able to encode more information, such as serial numbers, weight, batch numbers and more.

Are you prepared for GS1 DataBar?

GS1 DataBar became an open, global barcode standard in 2014, and is being progressively rolled out around the world. All players in the supply chain – from manufacturers through to retailers – should now be ready to scan and process, at a minimum, the GTIN from GS1 DataBar barcodes.

Some manufacturers are choosing to include additional data in their GS1 DataBar barcodes. It’s up to individual trading partners and retailers whether they use this information – much of which will deliver business benefits, for example, automating the capture of variable weight at Point-of-Sale, or managing the cycle of discounting items coming close to their shelf life.

GS1 DataBar can be used by manufacturers to:

  • Capture more data within the barcode: additional data can be encoded, beyond basic product information (the GTIN)
  • Free up packaging space: in some cases, it frees up valuable space on product packaging for branding and other messaging; in others, it’s a viable alternative to the GTIN-8
  • Apply barcodes to more products: GS1 DataBar barcodes can be used on small or hard-to-mark consumer products

GS1 DataBar can be used by retailers to: 

  • Improve shrinkage control for example, differentiating conventional vs organic produce via the GTIN on a smaller barcode
  • More accurate product identification for loose produce by scanning versus manual key entering
  • Improved scan rates compared to those of incorrectly-sized EAN-13 and EAN-8 Barcodes
  • Visibility of batch and serial numbers for traceability and recall of products at Point-Of-Sale
  • Product weight management
  • Ability to capture markdown pricing
  • Improved coupon and voucher control

And end consumers benefit from GS1 DataBar, too. Here’s how:

  • Better category management and stock control: this improves product availability for customers
  • Better product information: with best-before and expiry data information available upon scanning, customer and product safety is improved
  • Faster at the checkout: more products can be scanned at self-scanning checkouts, and there is less queuing overall

 

Types of GS1 DataBar barcodes

The following four GS1 DataBar barcodes can be used at Point-of-Sale.

GS1 DataBar Omnidirectional

This only encodes a GTIN, and is ideal for small products that cannot fit an EAN-13 barcode.

Examples of use: any product whose packaging struggles to fit a standard-sized EAN-13.


GS1 DataBar Stacked Omnidirectional

This only encodes a GTIN, but it is split and stacked to suit products of a particular shape and size. It can be scanned in any direction. 

Examples of use: loose fruits, cosmetics


GS1 DataBar Expanded

This encodes a GTIN plus additional data like price, weight and expiry date, by using GS1 Application Identifiers.

Examples of use: to contain additional information like expiration date on fresh foods


GS1 DataBar Expanded Stacked

This encodes a GTIN plus additional data like price, weight and expiry date, by using GS1 Application Identifiers. The barcode is stacked, making it easier to fit on oddly-shaped items. 

Examples of use: to contain additional information like expiration date on fresh foods

 


The remaining three GS1 DataBar barcodes are used for specific, non-retail applications.

GS1 DataBar Truncated

This form allows truncation (shortening) of the barcode, and is typically used on small items that don’t get scanned at Point-of-Sale. It is best scanned with a hand-held scanner such as a wand, hand-held laser or CCD scanner. 


GS1 DataBar Stacked

This form allows the truncated form to be printed in two rows, and is used when a narrower symbol is needed. The separator pattern between the rows helps to eliminate cross-row scanning errors.


GS1 DataBar Limited

This form encodes the same data as above, yet uses a different encoding process. It can be printed very small, and is generally not intended for omnidirectional scanning. It is typically used on small items that don’t get scanned at Point-of-Sale.


Learn more about GS1 DataBar