The GS1 US Simple Product Listing Standard

Online shopping is no longer just about clicking the “buy-it-now” button, it’s about search, discovery, and the whole digital path to purchase. Streamlining that path and delivering a smooth experience is no longer optional. Today’s tech-savvy consumer doesn’t distinguish online shopping from brick-and-mortar shopping, to her, It’s Just Commerce®. To satisfy consumers’ needs, a product needs to be represented accurately and consistently, in potentially thousands of different places online. In the modern, global, digitally-connected world, retailers and brand owners need to simplify the setup, sharing, and usability of trusted product information across digital and physical commerce channels.

Streamlined data sharing for industry, and improved search for consumers

  • Creates a common approach for listing products across all sales platforms
  • Enhances speed-to-market
  • Reduces item setup time, complexity, and cost through simplified data handling
  • Complements, rather than replaces, existing internal product hierarchies
  • Expedites and automates product classification for both new and existing products


At GS1 US®, we know that trusted product content is critical in driving customer experience and buying decisions. We also know that inefficiencies are created when many different retailers require their suppliers to use proprietary methods to list products for sale. So that products are discoverable and accurately represented across all channels, we are working with industry partners to establish a shared standard for communicating trusted, fundamental product attributes between brand owners, trading partners, and retailers in order to ensure products are discoverable and accurately represented across all channels.

A common language

Simple Product Listing - A common language image

The GS1 US Simple Product Listing™ (SPL) Standard is a common, search-friendly language that web and mobile applications can easily understand. Trading partners can use this language to gain efficiencies without losing the ability to create unique consumer experiences with their existing internal systems. It enables trading partners to use a single standardized set of consumer-friendly terms to link to their existing internal product hierarchies, speed up item setup, and accelerate time-to-market availability.

Collaborating with industry

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At GS1 US, we offer a neutral forum for members to address and develop industry requirements to help drive commerce—no matter where the final transaction occurs. The SPL Workgroup brings subject matter experts, from thought-leading organizations, together to collaboratively define and build a comprehensive set of product types and attributes. The group is working together to create and deliver a flexible solution that provides a common, search-friendly language that web and mobile applications can easily understand. If you’re interested in joining, please contact us at SPLfeedback@gs1us.org.

What are these?

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Athletic shoes, running shoes, tennis shoes, or sneakers? The answer could be YES to all, depending on where the product is promoted. As a result, listing this product across multiple platforms can be costly, difficult, time-intensive, and could potentially cause data quality inaccuracies.

Where is it?

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In a physical store, a product exists in just one place, but in an online store, there are many possible paths to purchase and a multitude of options. For example, online, a t-shirt may be presented to potential buyers using a variety of factors such as promotions, demographics, and lifestyle; in addition to more traditional factors such as size, style, color, and/or packaging.

Today’s shoppers want a simple, more intuitive search experience to help them more easily find the item(s) they are looking for. Trading partners can take advantage of SPL’s inclusionary and/or exclusionary search terms to deliver a consistent user search experience, yielding more targeted, user-friendly results that:

  1. Are understood by both search engines and consumers alike
  2. Better showcase their full line of applicable products
  3. Make specific products easier to find
  4. Help reduce the chance of a missed sales opportunity

How to get started?

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The GS1 US SPL Standard helps get products onto virtual shelves faster. It allows developers to build algorithmic searches, with common consumer-used selection criteria, but does not require the replacement of existing internal taxonomies. Its flexible structure supports both online search and discovery as well as the physical store experience.

  1. Download the GS1 US SPL Standard documentation (form completion required), map it to your internal classification system, and discover, first-hand, how it can help your company:
    1. Develop and share high-quality data
    2. Increase consumer search relevancy
    3. Improve search engine optimization
  2. Download the GS1 US SPL Quick Start Guide PDF (733 KB).
  3. Have a question? View our FAQs.
  4. Want to share your feedback? Use the SPL Standard and let us know what you think. Send your feedback to SPLfeedback@gs1us.org. We look forward to working with you to optimize the SPL Standard.
    1. Tell us what you like and what could be better
    2. Provide your suggestions on data content, the standard delivery mechanism, and its utility for your business

Learn more. Download our GS1 US Simple Product Listing Overview PDF (324 KB)