What is an EAN barcode ?

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The EAN number barcodes are the longest-established and most widely-used of all GS1 barcodes. They are very important as they have changed the retail industry.

Instantly recognizable EAN numbers are printed on almost every consumer product in the world and are visually represented by a combination of different numbers and dashes.

What does EAN mean ?

EAN is the abbreviation of European Article Numbering, so is the European product coding system used in barcodes. As its abbreviation explains it was originally only used in Europe but now all around the world, except for the USA and Canada where the 12-digit UPC is used.

What are EAN codes needed for?

The EAN number is then a special and unique way to identify products in stock using a series of 13 numbers but in some cases you can find 8 digits if the product is small and the code occupies 25% or more  of the product size

The use of the EAN number to identify a product has many advantages such as:

  • Increasing the reliability of e-commerce.
  • Optimize your inventory management and improve your competitiveness easily and quickly.
  • It also helps sellers and consumers to easily search and find the product worldwide without overlapping. 
  • Automation also minimizes human errors in product processing such as typos etc. 
  • When selling, you just need to scan the item and the products can be clearly identified in seconds. In other words, there is no need to attach a price tag.

Structure of the EAN code:

The code is currently divided into four different numbered blocks, each of which has a specific role in identifying the item. We have the manufacturer code of the company that sells the product and it consists of 4 or 5 digits assigned, and then the Country code of the supplier’s country of origin which has 2 or 3 digits. 

Specific product code. This includes information about the item’s characteristics like the model for example.

And the last digit is the Check digit which is a confirmation number to confirm that the product is correct.

How is it possible to get an EAN code ?

You can find  many providers online, so there are many options, but there is one condition to keep in mind and it’s that the provider meets the GS1 standard, which is an internationally applied regulation.  And once the request is processed, you will receive your barcodes and insert it in your packages.

If you are the manufacturer of the product it is very important to have a barcode to identify each of your items especially if you use a marketplace like Amazon for exemple.

As a whole we can now understand the importance of an EAN number in the business world and e-commerces since it makes everything easier and more efficient, especially the process of taking actions by automatically monitoring your productos and the products of your competitors.

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