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What Is Universal Product Code (UPC)?

3PL Glossary > Universal Product Code (UPC)

Universal Product Code (UPC) Definition | TLDR

The Universal Product Code (UPC) is a standardized barcode symbology used for identifying products and items in retail environments, consisting of a series of black bars and spaces representing a unique product identifier.

Universal Product Code (UPC) Meaning

A Universal Product Code (UPC) is a standardized barcode symbology widely used for identifying consumer products. The UPC system was developed to streamline the checkout process in retail stores and enhance inventory management. The code consists of a unique 12-digit numerical sequence, divided into two parts: the first six digits represent the manufacturer or company, while the remaining six digits signify the specific product. When a product is scanned at the point of sale, the UPC allows for rapid and accurate identification, facilitating efficient transactions and reducing the likelihood of errors in pricing or inventory tracking.

How does the Universal Product Code (UPC) contribute to efficient retail operations?

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A Universal Product Code (UPC) is a standardized barcode symbology widely used for identifying consumer products. The UPC system was developed to streamline the checkout process in retail stores and enhance inventory management. The code consists of a unique 12-digit numerical sequence, divided into two parts: the first six digits represent the manufacturer or company, while the remaining six digits signify the specific product. When a product is scanned at the point of sale, the UPC allows for rapid and accurate identification, facilitating efficient transactions and reducing the likelihood of errors in pricing or inventory tracking.

Furthermore, UPCs have evolved to include variations such as the European Article Number (EAN) system, which expanded the code length to 13 digits. This modification accommodated the growing global market and provided additional capacity for a broader range of products. As technology advances, new iterations of UPCs may emerge to meet the changing needs of the retail and supply chain industries. Nevertheless, the core purpose of UPCs remains constant: to uniquely identify products, streamline operations, and enhance efficiency in the complex web of modern commerce.

FAQs

Yes. A UPC (Universal Product Code) is a type of barcode. It is a specific standardized 12-digit barcode widely used for product identification in retail and other industries.

Yes. The term "universal" in Universal Product Code reflects its global applicability. UPCs are recognized and used internationally for uniquely identifying products, facilitating efficient tracking and management in the supply chain.

Yes. Each unique product variant, such as different sizes or colors, typically requires a distinct UPC. This ensures accurate tracking and differentiation of individual products at the point of sale and throughout the supply chain.

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