GTIN Benefits

GTIN Adoption and Benefits: Apparel and General Merchandise

GTIN is the globally unique GS1 Identification Number used to identify “trade items” (i.e., products and services that may be sold, delivered or invoiced at any point in the supply chain). GTINs are used to identify individual trade item units (like a 60-watt lightbulb), as well as all of their different packaging configurations (like a case of eighteen 60-watt lightbulbs). GTINs are assigned by the brand owner or manufacturer, and are encoded into data carriers (e.g., barcodes) and affixed to products, as well as used in business transactions (e.g., purchase order; invoice; etc.) to identify products. GTIN is a global standard utilized in more than 25 industry sectors to identify, capture and share precise product information.

Optimizing Your GTIN Implementation

GTINs offer a standardized approach to identifying, capturing and sharing precise product information across the U.S. apparel and general merchandise industries. An optimized GTIN implementation leverages the GTIN across systems and business processes. For example:

  1. GTINs are assigned to apparel and general merchandise products.
  2. GTINs are marked on appropriate packaging levels.
  3. GTINs are used in business transactions.
  4. GTINs are scanned at points-of-delivery to enhance the supply chain process.
  5. GTINs are used in product returns and recalls.
  6. GTINs are registered in a GDSN-certified Data Pool or made available via product catalogue services.

Benefits of Using GTINs

Brand Owners:

  • Simplifies product identification with a single identifier used across all supply chain partners
  • Enables retailers to access and utilize manufacturer-defined product information to promote accuracy
  • Provides an accurate view of the products to support correct representation on websites
  • Reduces mis-shipments and time spent resolving order and invoice errors
  • Provides the foundation for traceability to improve product recall processes.


  • Improves product management processes
  • Streamlines sales, ordering, invoicing, receiving, and expense offset processes
  • Reduces time spent resolving order, pricing and invoice errors
  • Improves customer satisfaction by enabling a smooth purchasing experience with complete product data available
  • Provides a competitive advantage in meeting customer contract requirements
  • Provides the foundation for traceability to improve product recall processes.

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