Items handled in the store’s checkout points are called consumer packages and are marked with a barcode so that the item number can be read quickly and easily. With the item number prices and functional names are retrieved from the store’s item directory to create a cash receipt. The item number is also a prerequisite for obtaining accurate sales statistics for, for example, purchasing decisions, monitoring profitability and shelf coverage.
The process of marking the consumer packaging takes place in two steps: First, you create the item number and number the consumer package and then you mark it with the barcode.
1. Create item numbers and number the consumer package
Before you mark your consumer package with a barcode, the package must be numbered with a GS1 item number – a GTIN (Global Trade Item Number). There are three types of item numbers that you can use: GTIN-13, GTIN-8, or a variable weight number.
GTIN-13 and EAN-13
Consumer packages is usually numbered with the item number GTIN-13, which gives them a unique identity. If you choose to use GTIN-13, you mark the package with the barcode EAN-13. EAN-13 transmits the item number to a barcode that can be printed on the packaging and is readable by a scanner at a checkout point.
GTIN-8 and EAN-8
GTIN-8 is used to number small consumer packages that have limited space for a barcode. You should use EAN-8 to transfer GTIN-8 to a barcode. To create GTIN-8, you need a special GS1-8 prefix.
Variable Weight number (varying weight)
Consumer items with varying weights, for example meat, fish and cheese, are numbered with a national variable weight number and marked with the barcode EAN-13. For items of varying weight, you need to order both a GS1 Company prefix and a GS1 Variable Weight Prefix.
2. Mark the consumer packages with the barcode
Finally, after you have created an item number and numbered your consumer packages, you mark them with a barcode. Keep in mind that GTIN-13 is only compatible with EAN-13, GTIN-8 with EAN-8, and Variable weight number with EAN-13.