GS1 Digital Link Guide 

Welcome to SmartLinks guide to the GS1 Digital Link standard.

Discover how this new standard revolutionises product interaction, supply chain management, and consumer engagement.

As a GS1 UK approved partner SmartLinks also helps companies make the switch to the new GS1 Digital Link standard with our powerful and comprehensive content management system.

What is the GS1 Digital Link?

The GS1 Digital Link transforms traditional barcodes into dynamic web addresses 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.

The GS1 Digital Link transforms traditional barcodes into dynamic web addresses. This integration brings product information into the digital realm, enhancing accessibility for consumers, retailers, and supply chain partners.

Developed by GS1, this new global standard outlines the specifications for encoding product identifiers and additional attributes into a web link. It ensures seamless integration and interoperability across industries.

How does a Digital Link Work?

By scanning a 2D barcode, such as a QR code, users are redirected to a wealth of online content related to the product.

The GS1 Digital Link uses a structured web link called URI (Uniform Resource Identifier), to connect products to online resources.

The URI, embedded in a 2D barcode, is processed by a tool called a Resolver, directing users to the appropriate content based on their device and context.

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 Digital Watermarking and RFID.

Digital Link for Any Barcode

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.

    What’s a Resolver?

    To ensure that the information accessed is relevant to the user, GS1 Digital Link utilises 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.

    Who Uses a GS1 Digital link?

    SmartLinks uses the GS1 Digital Link standard to revolutionise product information and management creating benefits throughout the supply chain.

    Signposting consumers to relevant product information, offers and customer service with benefits for all stakeholders:

     

    • 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

    Connect Today

    We are the first extensible app platform for digitals twins and in the consumer goods market. To find out more about how Smartlinks platform can help build loyalty and increase engagement with your products, while protecting your brand and enabling new channels for commerce and communication, contact us today!