In today’s fast-paced digital world, the demand for instant access to product information is reaching new heights. The GS1 Digital Link is transforming how consumers interact with products in the retail environment, offering a groundbreaking way to access detailed product data with just a smartphone.

Traditionally, product packaging has been the primary source of information for consumers. However, as we step deeper into the information age, there’s an increasing expectation for immediate access to all possible details about products. This shift is largely fueled by the widespread adoption of smartphones—nearly 96% of UK internet users have one—enabling them to access the internet anytime, anywhere.


Unlocking New Dimensions with GS1 Digital Link

The GS1 Digital Link standard extends the capabilities of GS1 identifiers like the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) by integrating them into the web. This integration not only meets the growing consumer demand but also acts as a gateway to a wealth of online content that can boost brand loyalty, enhance supply chain traceability, and offer access to a variety of other critical data.

The true beauty of the GS1 Digital Link lies in its versatility. By incorporating a QR code that encodes GS1 identifiers, brands are not just giving consumers a simple URL to scan. They are connecting them to a plethora of information sources, all accessible through a single symbol. This not only saves packaging space but also improves efficiency by allowing brand owners to maintain full control over the information shared.

The GS1 Digital Link standard works with all kinds of machine-readable technologies including:

  • 2D Barcodes (QR Codes) 
  • Near-field communication (NFC)
  • Other technologies, such as RFID and digital watermarking. 

Our platform uses GS1 Digital Link to revolutionise product information and management throughout the supply chain, while signposting consumers to relevant product information:   

  • Manufacturers: Recording materials and ingredients, managing product data and inventory.
  • Distributors: Locational insights, inventory management and streamlined recalls.
  • Retailers: Managing pricing, registering sales and adding consumer offers. 
  • Consumers:  Checking ingredients, allergens and provenance. Accessing offers, loyalty and engagement tools.

How It Works

The GS1 Digital Link can be applied to any 2D barcode, typically a data matrix or QR code. This barcode contains a unique sequence that functions as a web URL, incorporating the product’s GTIN. Brands can enhance the granularity of the information by including additional identifiers within the URL, such as batch numbers or individual item codes.

Beyond Simple Linking: The Role of Resolvers

To ensure that the information accessed is relevant to the user, GS1 Digital Link utilizes a ‘resolver’. This tool acts more like a pathfinder than a direct source of information, redirecting requests from one server to another. It’s designed to link the GTIN within a URL to various types of information—whether it’s traceability details, nutritional facts, or sustainability data.

Resolvers are dynamic, allowing links to be updated with new information such as time-sensitive promotions or important product updates. This dynamic capability means that a single barcode can offer endless resources to support both B2B and B2C engagements.

Find Out More

Connect today to find out how we can help you transform your product management, customer service and consumer engagement with GS1 Digital Link and our SmartLinks platform.