Bitly, a global software-as-a-service company, has unveiled its automated application programming interface (API) solution for 2D barcodes, revolutionising how companies manage product data and consumer engagement. 

2D barcodes, a type of QR code, are set to replace traditional barcodes for consumer packaged goods (CPG) and retail product labels and packaging, offering enhanced data capture and deeper consumer-brand connections.  

These codes contain a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), which allows for products to be scanned at the checkout and link to URLs for consumer information. 

The new public API solution from Bitly enables businesses to assign GTINs to entire product lines, facilitating the generation of numerous customised 2D barcodes.  

This scalable solution allows for the creation of thousands of codes, ensuring efficient integration across company operations.  

Bitly CPO Kelsey Stevenson said: “With the shift to 2D barcodes gaining momentum, as well as rising consumer expectations around sustainability, accessibility, and the desire for more engaging brand experiences, more CPG companies and retailers are having to modernise their connected packaging strategy.  

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“By leveraging Bitly’s new public API, we’re making it easy for companies to scale their 2D barcode creation to improve product tracking and supply chain efficiency.” 

The introduction comes as GS1 US, which is part of the global standards organisation GS1, notes that the CPG and retail sectors are transitioning to 2D barcodes for packaging, with widespread adoption anticipated by 2027. 

Bitly’s Connections Platform allows users to manage and monitor their 2D barcodes and short links, providing detailed insights into consumer interactions, including location, referral sources, and timing.  

The API for 2D barcodes, which enhances product tracking and supply chain efficiency, has been available to Bitly’s paid users since 30 January 2024.