A business card for products

The EAN code as a sign for your article


At German supermarkets you wait only 6.9 minutes on average. This is the result of a study conducted with 2500 participants (source: statista.com). It takes so long until goods are pulled from the tape to the scanner. 6.9 minutes until the customer has pulled all his goods across the band. The time span varies naturally and depends on how much a customer buys. On some days, of course, there are more products than on other days. The technology is certainly functional during a purchase and saves time. A monotonous piep completes the shopping experience. Previously, however, purchases were still quite different than there were no EAN codes and scanners.


Meaning of an EAN number and history


The cash before the introduction of cash registers with scanners lasted far earlier than today. Products were manually typed. Typo errors included. An introduction of the EAN code suggested a new beginning. In 1974, this use began and led to today's scanner systems. The article number or European Article Number is EAN. The designation was replaced by a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) years ago. Today, it is still called a 13-digit EAN and refers to commercial products.


The advantages were rapid collection and the avoidance of errors. An EAN / GTIN identifies an article globally and transparently. This is an advantage for the customer. At any time, they can check whether a product belongs to a manufacturer. Finally, labeling of the goods is no longer necessary. Such a standardization, in turn, leads to an efficient design of a warehousing and warehouse distribution.


A deeper understanding of the meaning of the 13 numbers


 There is a formula for this. The item number + the check digit + base number = EAN-13 / GTIN. To do this, the base number with its seven to nine jobs is hired at the front. It consists of a country prefix and the number of the entrepreneur. This is followed by the item number from the manufacturer, which varies in length. A total length is always 13 characters.


The last digit of the GTIN is in each case a check digit. There is also a GTIN short code. This has 8 digits and was the earlier EAN-8. This applied to small products. It is composed according to the following scheme: the country prefix with 2-3 digits, an article number with 4-5 digits, the check digit with a digit. Magazines and newspapers are an exception. These have their own formula: country code + title number + price in cent + check digit = GTIN-13. For scanners, this number can be implemented and can be coded graphically. We know the code as bar code.


By the way: There are even more product labels than just EAN or GTIN. We also know ISBN or ISSN for magazines, maps and books. In music, an ISMN and an ISRC are considered as marking. Other automotive labels are MIC, WMI, VIN or WPMI. The PZN is a number from the pharmacy. And even in banking or the smartphone, we find numbers, such as the IMEI and the ISIN.


A clever marketing or a necessary evil?


90% of the goods have an EAN number. These articles are not only about a ladder table, but are also traded on the Internet. On online platforms, like Amazon or ebay, there is no more cash. Not bad, because the EAN number covers this, also outside the food trade. The unambiguous assignment of an article is not only necessary for orders on the Internet, but also supports sales negotiations.


Resellers or start-ups live from the resale of products without a brand. For the marketing is interesting the effect of the EAN number. Valuable products are popular. Positive reviews, an award or brand name value. An EAN code shows transparency and seriousness. It acts like a brand name. Even cheap articles are still valuable using an EAN. They come from abroad, but they only need a nice product name. A product is still rated positively because it carries an EAN code. A brand could thus rise to the sales defiance.


However, an EAN number is not just a topic when it comes to resellers. In the long term it is useful as a praxistip, an entry into important product registers. The product is thus made more accessible by means of EAN code for potential customers. The EAN code is compulsory for various online platforms. This applies to Amazon, ebay and Google. Goods are distributed there only with number. The advantages of EAN codes are especially visible to merchants who have been working with EAN codes for some time. They are also a must for controlling. Heights are more easily evaluated using the codes. A link to the merchandise management system is therefore indispensable. A manual search in a warehouse is spared in today's time.


A successful number


Where do traders receive such a number for their success? The Global Standards One (GS1) was once the only place to go. These times are now also over. There is still this global organization still, but other places for granting GTIN numbers or EAN numbers are allowed. For example, the company United deals Ltd. has established itself. Germany. The company is based in Schwetzingen and is known as a leading supplier. The company deals with EAN codes, which are valid indefinitely. The transparent cost structure includes only one-off acquisition costs without membership fees or license fees.


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