As a small business owner, you likely have many questions about how to succeed in retail today. You recognize that challenging aspects of running your business, such as selling online and managing inventory, are also critical to achieving your sales goals. GS1 US® can help you on your growth journey and support your success.
Simply put, a UPC barcode from GS1 US represents your gateway to bigger sales. Whether you sell your product in store or online, through a retailer, or direct to the consumer, barcodes from GS1 US are an important part of a small business’s long-term strategy. Here are three ways that working with GS1 US can help you create a reliable foundation for your products, no matter where the consumer discovers them.
Incredible advances in e-commerce and technology make way for new business opportunities every day. Not only are there more entrepreneurs today than in previous decades, but companies are up and running faster than ever before, there are more platforms to assist with selling products. As proof of this fast-paced retail ramp-up, digital commerce is now a $1 trillion market.
With so many options and opportunities to reach customers globally, how do you know who to trust? And which organizations can truly help you build business integrity?
To help you gain a head start in today’s competitive retail environment, you need barcodes that are going to connect you as a brand owner to your product. Most retailers and marketplaces require GS1® barcodes so that your products will be acceptable in their databases and to help them separate authentic businesses from counterfeiters.
This seems like a small detail, but it matters where you get your barcodes—and not all barcodes are created equal. When you work directly with GS1 US, you are choosing to work with a not-for-profit organization that has been responsible for maintaining a whole system of product identification for more than 50 years. The identification numbers contained within barcodes from GS1 US are created according to globally agreed-upon standards. Small business owners often consider their GS1 US certificate as a proof point that they are a reputable brand.
- Angelle Albright, founder of the head-cover business Chemo Beanies and a GS1 US small business member
What is inventory management, and why should it be an important part of your growth strategy? On a basic level, inventory management means organizing your products so that the right item is in the right place at the right time for the customer. It is a critical piece of managing supply and demand. You need to be able to accurately forecast sales and anticipate what you can deliver to each retail partner.
Managing inventory using GS1 barcodes adds a layer of automation and accuracy to help keep your business organized. As opposed to using your own internal numbering system, the numbers encoded into GS1 barcodes are unique, like a fingerprint—no one else in the world should have the same one. No matter how many retailers or platforms you work with, you will be able to track your sales across all of them and ensure your products are properly recognized in their systems.
When we think of a UPC barcode, we usually think of the lines and spaces that makes the item we want to buy go “beep” at checkout. It is scanned by a barcode reader and quickly records in the retailer's system that a particular item has been purchased.
Did you know the barcode has similar capabilities when you are selling online and can even help you increase online sales? As e-commerce grows, thousands of businesses trust GS1 US for unique barcodes that can help their products get discovered in online searches. Online marketplaces such as Amazon and Google Shopping often require authentic UPCs to set up a product listing, as this helps them validate that the product comes from a trustworthy source. Plus, adding this number is a key piece of information not just for search algorithms, but to ensure that the right product is delivered to your customer’s doorstep.
- Patrick Carroll, co-founder of the DIY art brand Paintable Pictures
Ready to take the next step and become a GS1 US member?