When you scan barcodes on the products you purchase, do you ever wonder what it all means? I thought so. That’s why I’m going to talk about barcodes today!
So what is a UPC barcode?
A Universal Product Code (UPC) is a set of symbols used to represent letters or numbers. These symbols contain information about the products such as the name of the manufacturer, product description (price, size, color, flavor), inventory quantity, etc.
The barcode number is between eight and 12 digits, depending on the type of code. The first six to 10 digits represent the manufacturer’s identification number, the next one to five represent the item number, and the final digit represents the check digit, which ensures the accuracy of the code.*
Although UPC barcodes are particularly suited for high-volume scanning environments such as retail stores, it’s not just retailers who use them for identification. They may be used in the health care industry to identify medical devices, for example. The barcodes are also used for logistics, data tracking, and security.*
Accurate product identification starts with the UPC barcode since it is the key to which everything is based upon. Barcodes allow businesses to operate more efficiently.
Did you know?
- NCP panel members scanned over 77 million UPC barcodes in 2022! Amazing, right?
- A packet of chewing gum was the first product to have a UPC barcode scanned in a retail store, in 1974.
Why are barcodes so important to NCP?
We get many inquiries from panel members asking why they can’t just scan the barcode on their receipts. We know there are many other apps out there that only require you to scan a receipt. But, for NCP, that just doesn’t work. Do you know why?
NCP is a joint venture between NielsenIQ and IRI, two of the world’s top research powerhouses, and is the “gold standard” in market-research panels. NCP collects a much higher level of purchase information so that manufacturers and retailers can use the data to make more accurate marketing and product decisions.
When you scan a UPC barcode, it provides us with complete details about the product you bought, that can’t be captured by just scanning a receipt. The extra details you provide us about your shopping – from prices to coupons to store sales – ensures that we have the most accurate representation of YOU as a consumer.
Reporting all of your households purchases from week-to-week, both food and non-food items, allows you to influence your future shopping experiences, as well as the experiences for consumers across the country!
What about those barcodes that won’t scan?
Panel members also frequently ask us about barcodes that won’t scan. Check out our new video on this topic, we hope you find it helpful!