General Merchandise Resources

Data quality and data sharing are keys to product safety compliance—and more efficient supply chain management. Companies today are facing stringent expectations around product safety. They are expected to satisfy increasing industry requirements and consumer demand for more—and better—product information in today’s omni-channel, connected retail world. At the same time, businesses that can get their product on shelf faster, reduce logistics costs and build better trading partner and customer relationships, have a competitive advantage in today’s marketplace.

GS1 US is actively working with the general merchandise industry to address supply chain challenges and utilize standards-based solutions to combat counterfeits, remove unsafe products from shelves, empower consumers to know more about the products they buy, and protect brand integrity. We provide guidance on how standards can play a role in harmonizing local regulatory requirements in various parts of the world.

At the heart of this issue is the ability to accurately identify, capture, and share information about products people buy—by all stakeholders across all points of the supply chain. To be useful, data must be recorded in a common language, using the GS1 System of Standards and synchronized to allow trading partners to efficiently share product information and automate business processes. To help streamline item setup and maintenance, lower supply chain costs, reduce human error and improve data accuracy, industry trading partners have embraced the GS1 Global Data Synchronization Network™ (GDSN®).

Pilots Show Significant Returns for Implementing Business-to-Business E-Commerce Standards at International Borders

GS1 US has worked side-by-side with members of the US International Trade Data System (ITDS) Product Information Committee (PIC) to explore how the use of global e-commerce standards – as part of a rigorous IT strategy – can improve product visibility across borders, improve consumer security, and deliver significant cost savings to industry, government, national regulators, and customers alike.

The pilot case studies below summarize the results found by the U.S. International Trade Data System’s Product Information Committee when using a GS1 Global Trade Item Number® (GTIN®) and a Global Product Classification (GPC) code. The findings showed the e-commerce information can be used improve product visibility across borders, improve consumer security, and deliver significant cost savings to industry, government, national regulators, and customers alike. The GS1 System of Standards helped improve information visibility, which will help the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reduce consumers’ exposure to health and safety hazards in products. (For more information:

Get Started with GS1 System of Standards

You have your product, your business plan, and maybe even some prospective buyers. Now it’s time to take the next step—selling your product. These GS1 US resources were developed to help companies automate supply chain processes, reduce costs, optimize business processes efficiencies and improve data accuracy:

  • You could be looking for a barcode, a GS1 Company Prefix, a Global Trade Item Number® (GTIN®), Universal Product Code (U.P.C.) barcode, or a GTIN-14. Get started, license a GS1 Company Prefix
  • Attend the next GS1 Connect Conference
  • Using a GS1 GDSN-certified Data Pool connects suppliers and retailers, operators, providers, distributors, and other recipients to the GS1 Global Registry
  • Case Study: Take a Closer Look: Getting Bottom-line Results with Quality Data
  • Case Study: The Blessing Basket Project® (Blessing Basket) - The Blessing Basket partners with 3,000 artisans in some of the world’s most geographically dispersed countries. With a supply chain so widespread and artisan suppliers difficult to reach managing inventory, quality control, on-time delivery and cash payments were onerous for this non-profit organization. To uniquely identify each woven basket, Blessing Basket assigns a GS1 GTIN, which is encoded in a U.P.C. barcode that is printed on the label applied to the basket.

Education, Training and Customized Services

  • GS1 US University - On-demand educational videos, training modules, webinars and classroom learning, certificate courses and implementation workshops 
  • GS1 US Advisory Services - Customized support with a combination of technical and business expertise to address specific challenges you may face in integrating GS1 Standards into your operations
  • Barcode Verification Services - Verify your product barcodes (to ensure that they scan the first time) with GS1 US. Our tests determine if your barcodes comply with GS1 Standards, and check each barcode symbol on a variety of point-of-sale scanners
  • Product Measurement Services - These services are designed to support your data accuracy program. Accurate data is an essential component of a visible, secure, and sustainable value chain; GS1 US offers products and services to help you ensure that your GDSN dimensional data is precise and GS1 Standards-compliant 
  • Data Governance Assessment, Guidance and Training via the GS1 US National Data Quality Program

Help Shape the Future of the Retail Industry and Its Supply Chain

The best way to continue your education and community engagement is by staying involved. GS1 US welcomes any organization that wants to be involved in the GS1 US Apparel and General Merchandise Initiative. Our members include more than 120 industry-leading retailers, suppliers, manufacturers, brand owners, and solution providers as well as industry associations and academia. Together they work to provide industry leadership by defining recommended solutions for critical business needs and business process improvements. Learn more.