Link management platform Bitly has announced its increased investment in implementing GS1 Standards into its products to promote the use of QR Codes in retail packaging.

GS1 Standards are used by businesses to identify, capture and share information about products, locations and assets.

According to GS1 US, a member of the GS1 Global not-for-profit organisation that develops and maintains global barcode standards, the retail industry is shifting from traditional barcodes to 2D barcodes on product packaging. This is expected to become the de facto solution for retailers around the world by 2027.

Bitly aims to empower retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies to elevate product experiences and grow consumer engagement through two-dimensional (2D) barcodes, such as QR codes, that can embed the GS1 Digital Link standard to Web-enabled barcodes and provide a link to brand-authorised content.

Companies are leveraging 2D barcodes to share sourcing information about products, offer loyalty points, coupons and special offers, as well as promote engaging digital content experiences thanks to their ability to carry more information than traditional barcodes.

GlobalData analysis finds that smart packaging, such as QR codes, disrupts traditional packaging by fetching real-time information and establishing communication about products that can enhance customer experience and engagement.

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A recent example of the implementation of this technology is India-based egg producer Ovo Farm, which introduced blockchain technology to boost the traceability of QR-coded eggs at every stage of its supply chain.

In the first half of 2023, Bitly’s Connections Platform reportedly saw an 88% growth in QR Code creations within the CPG industry compared to the same period last year. This suggests that QR Codes are already an integral part of how retailers make the most of their packaging to do business.

With more than two million manufacturers using barcodes on more than four trillion product items per year, retailers have an opportunity to create deeper connections with customers through 2D barcode scans that lead to robust digital experiences.

Bitly CEO Tony Gabriner commented: “Increasing our support of GS1 Standards is key for us to unlock opportunities for brands, retailers and CPG.”