GTIN & UPC/EAN Barcodes For Google Shopping

By Erik Quisling

Among all the product identifiers used in Google Shopping, GTIN is arguably the most important. GTIN is one of the most commonly talked about identifiers around the world and is necessary for online retailers to learn if they want to see results from their shopping ads. 


GTIN is short for Global Trade Identification Number, and each unique GTIN is used to identify trade items, products, or services. As of now, five types of ID numbers fall under GTIN. These include:


  1. UPC (Universal Product Code)
  2. EAN (European Article Number)
  3. JAN (Japanese Article Number)
  4. ISBN (International Standard Book Number)
  5. ITF-14 (Interleaved Two of Five)


As of 2016, Google now requires every product listed on the Google Shopping Network to have a GTIN. When you submit a GTIN to Google, the GTIN must follow the guidelines defined in the official GS1 validation guide. If a product comes in multiple variations, such as size and color, they should each have a unique GTIN value assigned to them. For example, if you are selling a sweater that comes in purple and red, both sweaters should have their own individual GTIN values. 


There is a reason why GTINs are one of the most popular identifiers-- they actually help improve your ads and benefit your brand as a whole. When a UPC/EAN number is provided on your product listing, it helps Google recognize the product and allows Google to provide an optimal user experience for shoppers of the product. The more relevant the information is in your product listing, the more likely you are to appear in searches with relevant keywords. When you add a UPC/EAN number to your product, it helps Google categorize the product into its catalog and connects it to the right shoppers. This will also allow for more potential conversions. 

– Erik Quisling

Erik Quisling is the Founder and CEO of Started in 1999, has been featured in both The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post and has helped more than 100,000 businesses bring their products to market with barcodes.
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