You may have noticed that coupons have been going through some updates the past few years. In addition to the standard UPC-A bar code that manufacturers have been using on coupons for decades, GS1 DataBar has also been added. The use of both bar codes is part of the transition phase to a DataBar-only coupon system. June 30th marked the date that the Joint Industry Coupon Committee (JICC), set to completely transition to the newGS1 DataBar bar code. However, because DataBar is a voluntary standard you will see that some manufacturers postpone the switch to later this year.
Manufacturers will see numerous benefits when they make the switch though. GS1 DataBar is a robust bar code that holds much more information than the UPC-A and enables:
- Automatic expiration date checking
- Validation of specific offers and purchase requirements
- Reduced fraud due to improved validation
Retailers will also realize the benefits of improved scan rates, faster checkouts and a reduction in the need for cashier intervention. Retailers will need to ensure that their bar code scanners and POS software support the new code in order to realize these benefits. Are you ready?