How to create a GS1 Digital Link QR code

The Orca Scan Digital Link solution was designed to make it as easy as possible to create and maintain GS1 Digital Link QR codes. By providing a GS1 barcode and a link to the product page on your website, the Orca Scan Digital Link solution automatically generates a unique homepage and QR code for each of your products.

  1. Login to your Orca Scan account
  2. Create a new sheet using the GS1 Digital Link template
    1. Select a GS1 resolver
    2. Enter a Custom Domain (optional)
    3. Enter an API key (not required if using id.orcascan.com)
    4. Click create
  3. Enter your product GS1 GTIN barcode
  4. Enter your Product Name
  5. Enter your Product Info URL (a link to product page on your website)
  6. Click save

That’s it. You will now see a preview of your GS1 Digital Link home page on the right.

  1. Login to your Orca Scan account
  2. Select your GS1 Digital Link sheet
  3. Select the product you wish to use
  4. Open the Barcode Generator on the left-hand side
  5. Click download

That’s it. You now have the GS1 Digital Link QR code to add to your product.

Note: For legacy reasons, you must keep the existing 1D barcode on your product until 2027, at which point all computer systems should have been updated to support the new QR code.

Every product with a GS1 GTIN is assigned a new QR code containing a unique URL. When a customer points their smartphone camera at the GS1 QR code (no app needed), they’re taken to a web page containing key product information such as videos, recipes & recycling information.

GS1 Digital Link homepage example.
GS1 Digital Link homepage example.

Regardless of the size of your product label, consumers can scan and access your brand story, purchase directly from you and even connect with you on social media. It’s a direct connection between you and your customer and a new source of traffic for your website.

Orca Scan automatically generates a unique homepage using your logo and brand colours extracted from your website. Use our free GS1 Digital Link Preview tool to test your product, or point your smartphone at the QR code below to visit one of our customers, JUX Food.

Interactive GS1 Digital Link homepage example.
Interactive GS1 Digital Link homepage example.

It’s simple. GS1 Digital Link helps you build relationships with your customers by driving high-intent traffic, from the person holding your product, to your website, social media and related content. Don’t just take our word for it; hear what our customers have to say:

Hillfarm Oils

It’s enabled us to reach our customers far easier than before… We have a lot of information to share, and we’re proud to have a new way to introduce our story and promotions to our customers
Clare FairsCo-FounderHillfarm Oils

Ntsama

I want to give my customers the full story and bring the Ntsama experience to life. I can do that with Digital Link
Joyce GannonFounderNtsama

You can read more GS1 Digital Link customer stories here.

At present when a retailer wants to sell a product in a store, they must first request the product information from the manufacturer and import it into their system. This allows WMS/POS systems to recognise the product on scan. Using GS1 Digital Link from Orca Scan, retailers can:

When a computer system scans a GS1 Digital Link QR code created using Orca Scan, it can request the data from the Digital Link URL in a machine-readable format known as Simplified Product Data. This allows developers to:

A developer can test this without writing any code using the curl command below:

bash json
curl -H "Accept: application/json" https://id.juxfood.com/01/05065016432004
{ "product": { "url": "https://www.juxfood.com/products/beetroot-80g", "language": "en", "title": "Beetroot 80g Pot", "description": "9 small fresh beetroots in every pot! Unlock cardiovascular benefits with beets", "images": [ { "url": "http://www.juxfood.com/cdn/shop/files/11_a223a8ca-d342-44ff-baf4-fbd48246e188.png?v=1706723201", "type": "image/png" } ], "barcode": { "isValid": true, "gtin": "05065016432004", "gtin8": "", "gtin12": "", "gtin13": "5065016432004", "gtin14": "05065016432004", "machineReadable": "\u001d0105065016432004", "humanReadable": "(01)05065016432004", "digitalLink": "https://orca.link/01/05065016432004", "imageUrl": "https://orca.link/01/05065016432004.svg", "values": [ { "ai": "01", "name": "GTIN", "description": "Global Trade Item Number", "raw": "05065016432004", "value": "05065016432004" } ] }, "price": "", "currency": "", "availability": "" }, "org": { "url": "https://www.juxfood.com/", "name": "JUXfood", "faviconUrl": "https://www.juxfood.com/cdn/shop/files/JUX_LOGO_BLACK_square.png?crop=center&height=32&v=1693931039&width=32", "logoUrl": "https://www.juxfood.com/cdn/shop/files/jux-logo.png?v=1686223843&width=500", "logoColors": { "lightest": "#313131", "darkest": "#040404", "dominant": "#040404", "background": "#00000000", "palette": [ "#313131", "#040404", "#1c1c1c", "#141414", "#0c0c0c", "#041008" ] } }, "links": [ { "href": "https://www.juxfood.com/products/beetroot-80g", "rel": "gs1:pip", "method": "GET", "title": "Info" }, { "href": "https://www.juxfood.com/collections/all", "rel": "gs1:promotion", "method": "GET", "title": "Promotion" }, { "href": "https://www.juxfood.com/blogs/recipes", "rel": "gs1:recipeInfo", "method": "GET", "title": "Recipe" }, { "href": "https://www.facebook.com/JUXfood", "title": "Facebook", "rel": "facebook", "method": "GET" }, { "href": "https://www.instagram.com/juxfood/", "title": "Instagram", "rel": "instagram", "method": "GET" }, { "href": "https://www.linkedin.com/company/juxfood/", "title": "Linked In", "rel": "linkedin", "method": "GET" }, { "href": "https://www.tiktok.com/@juxfood", "title": "TikTok", "rel": "tiktok", "method": "GET" }, { "href": "https://id.gs1.org/01/05065016432004", "rel": "resolver", "method": "GET" }, { "href": "https://orca.link/01/05065016432004.json", "rel": "self", "method": "GET" }, { "href": "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/orca-scan/simplified-product-data/v1.0.0/schema.json", "rel": "describedby", "method": "GET" } ] }

The traditional barcodes used in retail will be phased out by 2027 and replaced with GS1 Digital Link QR codes. So, while there are still a few years to go, by adopting Digital Link today, you can

What is a GS1 GTIN?

A GS1 Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) is the unique barcode on all retail products, enabling checkout systems to recognise and process items quickly. Essential for selling both nationally and internationally, the GTIN is a global standard for identifying retail products everywhere.

Explanation of the GS1 GTIN data structure.
Explanation of the GS1 GTIN data structure.

GS1 Digital Link is the latest barcode standard from GS1 that connects products to the internet by giving each product its own unique web address and home page that can be modified long after the product has left the manufacturing process.

The GS1 Digital Link data structure.
The GS1 Digital Link data structure.

What is a GS1 Resolver?

A GS1 resolver is a database in the cloud that directs users who scan a GS1 Digital Link QR code to the relevant online content setup by the brand. You can think of it as a redirection service that allows your QR codes to be modified long after your product has reached the market.

How a GS1 Resolver works.
How a GS1 Resolver works.

The Orca Scan Digital Link solution supports the following GS1 compliant resolvers:

Owner Domain API Key Action required
Orca Scan id.orcascan.com No None
GS1 UK id.gs1uk.org Yes You must request an API key from GS1 UK
GS1 US id.gs1.org Yes You must request an API key from GS1 US

If you would like to use an alternative GS1 compliant resolver, please chat with us live.

How do I update my product images?

The Digital Link home page created by Orca Scan automatically extracts product images from your websites product detail page. To update the images on your Digital Link home page, simply update the images on your website.

Our GS1 Digital Link solution uses Open Graph tags on your website to gather information about your company, brand and logo. To ensure we can detect your logo, please add the correct Open Graph tags. You can use our free Open Graph Validator to check you have your tags setup correctly.

Yes, to use the GS1 Digital Link solution, you must have a valid GS1 GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) which can only be provided by GS1. For most brands, this is the barcode value printed on your products. Orca Scan works with any GS1 GTIN (GTIN-8, GTIN-12, GTIN-13 or GTIN-14).

Why should I use a Custom Domain?

When a customer points their smartphone camera at your GS1 Digital Link QR code, they see the web address of the destination website. To improve brand awareness, you can assign a custom domain to ensure your brand name appears in place of the value below. Follow the steps in our How to setup GS1 Digital Link subdomain guide to get setup.

A user pointing an iPhone camera at a GS1 Digital Link QR code.
A user pointing an iPhone camera at a GS1 Digital Link QR code.

Can I remove the old retail barcode from my packaging?

No. Brands must keep the traditional 1D barcode used on retail product until 2027, at which points global computer systems and checkouts should have been updated to support the new GS1 QR code.

If you have any questions about GS1 Digital Link not covered in this guide, or need help upgrading to this new GS1 barcode standard, chat with us live or book a demo.

Use this solution Need help? Book a demo