Marketplace sellers flock to GS1 UK to access GTINs

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The number of business joining membership organisation GS1 UK to access GTINs in order to trade on sites such as Amazon, Google Shopping, and eBay has jumped 300% year-on-year.

More than 2,400 businesses joined GS1 UK, the supply chain standards organisation, to sell via online marketplaces in 2017, compared to 800 in 2016 and 450 in 2015. If you’re selling products which you manufacture yourself or which don’t have GTINs assigned by your supplier than GS1 is the authoritative source for the all important EAN or UPC that you’ll need to sell on marketplaces.

Amazon and eBay #1 Reason for joining GS1

Amazon is the most popular online market place for new joiners with 75% looking to sell on the site, while 41% are looking to use eBay.

The average revenue of business joining GS1 UK to use online marketplace has fallen 15% year-on-year, from £1.3m in 2016 to £1.1m in 2017 as more small businesses look to sell products via third-party platforms.

The growth in the use of online marketplaces looks set to continue with more than half (53%) of UK retailers planning to do more business through online marketplaces in the next five years. Just 3% of businesses plan to use online marketplaces less often and 24% said they don’t use these third-party platforms now and have no intention of starting.

“Online marketplaces are fast becoming the top choice for businesses looking to sell their products around the world. Many SMEs are now choosing these sites as their first route to market, with some using them as their only sales channel, as they provide access to millions of consumers, without the costs of developing their own website. While online marketplaces offer businesses the chance to increase exposure and sales, each site is different and comes with its own unique capabilities. Businesses must ensure they use a tailored strategy each site to increase profits and make to most of the opportunities available.”
– Monica Bird, Head of Marketplaces, GS1 UK

Today (Cyber Monday) will be one of the biggest shopping days of the year for online marketplaces, with retailers offering significant discounts on their products. Last year, consumers spent £1.1 billion shopping online on Cyber Monday.

GS1 UK has also published new research into the personas of businesses using online marketplaces, and how businesses can get the most out of these sites: The rise of UK’s digital entrepreneurs: harnessing the power of online marketplaces.

The research found that small businesses make up the majority of traders using online marketplaces to sell their goods. Businesses also had different motivations for using third-party platforms, such as being their only sales channel or using online marketplaces as a testing ground for new products.

8 Responses

  1. Such a scam. Needless expense and admin for small businesses just so ebay can group items to offer the cheapest. Large sellers and Chinese win at our expense again.

  2. Ridiculous … renting out numbers?! I have a feeling that there is a big story behind it, if only we knew.

  3. GS1 is a massive supply chain enabler. Think of going to the shop and the till person having to key in every product code or being able to scan 20% and then key in the 80%. Well the standard barcode is because of GS1.

    The ability to self scan at checkout is because the item attributes (weight amongst others) are within the GS1 system. Imagine asda having to weigh 20 of everything to manage a standalone system, an error in weight at morisons could be different to asda.

    The ability to scan the numbers and store data associated with location supports traceability. Think about the horsemeat issue. The ability to have batch information and ability to notify people who bought infected meat is due to GS1 standards.

    The ability to identify people, product and place using gs1 standards, one set of identifiers, means that anyone can trade with anyone.

    As to costs, its £250 per year for a small enterprise. Less than £5 a week.

  4. The pricing is simply unacceptable for small sellers and businesses that only need to ‘rent’ a relatively small number of EANs on a batch basis.
    This is what happens when an uncompetitive and unresponsive monopoly supplier is allowed to operate like this claiming to be ‘acting’ in the best interests of industry.
    This organisation needs to be either broken up into at least three or new competition allowed into this market asap.
    At the very least the needs of smaller businesses that are not producing thousands of items a year should be recognised and much cheaper pricing options introduced.


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