Scanning barcodes is a lot faster than typing numbers. With this free tool, you can generate barcodes ready-to-print from any UPC.
Small business owners need to streamline their work as much as possible, and barcodes are a great help. When you label your products with barcodes, you can just scan them instead of typing in product codes. This is a huge time-saver in multiple situations, such as price lookups, face-to-face POS sales, inventory control, and more. Shift4Shop's free barcode generator makes it simple to get your own barcodes for use in your business. By entering the 12-digit UPC of your product and clicking Generate Barcode, you'll create an accurate barcode for your intended product. Make sure you click Save as SVG to save your barcode in scalable vector graphics format which will resize properly as needed.
Enter the full UPC (the 12 digit number under the barcode) of your product and press Generate Barcode button.
The type of barcode created by our generator is a UPC-A barcode. This is a 1-dimensional barcode commonly used around the world, especially in the United States. Consumer goods in Europe frequently use the EAN barcode, which encodes data in a slightly different format, but UPC-A barcodes are acceptable in most countries.
Many other types of barcodes are specific to certain industries, each of which needs to encode different types of data relating to its purposes. For example, Code 3 of 9 (shortened as Code39) barcodes are used by the automotive industry as well as the US Department of Defense. Supply chain industries use Code 128 barcodes which aren't intended for scanning at a POS, but rather for shipping and ordering within the logistics process. Manufacturing, healthcare, and other industries also have specific barcode types.
1-dimensional barcodes are called such because they consist of a series of vertical stripes. There are also 2-dimensional barcodes which appear as a series of blocks, and serve different data encoding purposes than 1-dimensional barcodes. The most commonly known 2-dimensional barcode is the QR code, which users scan with their mobile device to be brought instantly to a specific website. Shift4Shop also has a free QR code generator for your business.
A UPC is a Universal Product Code and should not be confused with a SKU. A SKU is a Stock Keeping Unit used for inventory management within a business and is specific to your own store, while a UPC is intended as a global identifier for a certain product that may be carried by any number of retailers. UPCs are considered "universal" because they serve to identify products no matter where they are being sold. While a business determines its own SKUs, UPCs are issued by GS1, a non-profit agency specifically dedicated to product number assignment for supply chains.
The first step in obtaining UPCs for your products is to register on the GS1 website so as to obtain your GS1 Company Prefix, a numerical prefix unique to your business that serves as the base for all your created UPCs. The purpose of this is to identify the company that owns the product as part of the UPC's data encoding. The cost of your registration depends on how many products you have that need UPCs — you can find up-to-date pricing on GS1's FAQ page. You must also be aware of the annual license renewal fee.
Besides being useful for streamlining your business's supply and fulfillment management and POS sales, barcodes are required in some situations. Some products need barcodes in order to comply with the requirements of regulating bodies like the FDA, but this only applies in specific cases. Most of the time, a business will first need to obtain barcodes when selling wholesale to another retailer, which may request barcodes to be provided. In addition, Amazon requires all products to have barcodes before they can be sold. If you're interested in expanding to multichannel sales (via Amazon or otherwise) or selling your products through other retailers, you will need barcodes for all the products involved.