The future of retail

One solution for the future is 2D-Codes, with which you can encode significantly more data than with the EAN/UPC barcode commonly used today.

What is a 2D-Code?

A 2D (two-dimensional) barcode is a graphic image that stores information not only horizontally like conventional linear (one-dimensional) barcodes, but also vertically.

2D codes, such as the GS1 DataMatrix or a QR code with GS1 Digital Link, require only third of the space of a barcode and can contain much more information than an EAN/UPC barcode. 

Will the barcode now be replaced?

At the 2021 General Assembly, GS1 Global decided that two-dimensional (2D) codes such as the GS1 DataMatrix or QR code with GS1 Digital Link may be used at the point of sale in retail from 2027.

The advantages of 2D-Codes

The benefits of 2D-Codes at a glance

Consumer Engagement

Customer interaction








Inventory management


Packaging optimization

EAN/UPC barcode and 2D-Codes in comparison


GS1 DataMatrix

QR Code with GS1 Digital Link
Encoded GTIN




Low space requirement   [check-orange] [check-orange]
Additional data can be encoded    [check-orange]  [check-orange]
BBD control at the checkout   [check-orange] [check-orange]
Enables the use of the GTIN for variable-measure consumer units   [check-orange] [check-orange]
Additional information on allergens, ingredients, product videos, etc.     [check-orange]

Statements of 2D-Codes supporter

Procter & Gamble

“Consumers demand more information about the products they’re purchasing, regulators require the disclosure of more information and there’s an ongoing need to more effectively track and trace products through the supply chain. We can resolve this with 2D barcodes with GS1 standards inside [...]”

Jon R. Moeller,
Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, Procter & Gamble


«2D-Codes bringen viele Vorteile, von denen sowohl die Verbraucherinnen und Verbraucher als auch der Handel profitieren. Einerseits geht es um die bekannten Deklarationsinhalte, andererseits auch um erweiterte Transparenz in der gesamten Wertschöpfungskette.»

Reto Siegenthaler
CIO Ospelt-Gruppe

Logo Coop

«In der ersten Phase der Arbeit mit 2D-Codes geht es vor allem darum, Food Waste zu verringern sowie Prozesse in den Märkten zu vereinfachen»

Thomas Vielhauer
Leiter Prozesse Warenwirtschaft, Coop