The Global Language of Business

GS1 Digital Link Explained

Connect your customers to the product information they want and need

enabling consistent representation of GS1 identification keys within web addresses to link to online information and services

The GS1 Digital Link standard for web-enabling barcodes promises to enhance the experience for consumers and patients around the globe while strengthening brand loyalty, improving supply chain traceability, patient safety and efficiencies and bringing mobile phone scanning into the 21st century.


Similar to the way a web address (URL) points to a specific website, GS1 Digital Link will enable connections to all types of business-to-business and business-to-consumer information. And instead of being limited to one type of data carrier like a traditional barcode, brands can now use a QR code, radio-frequency identification (RFID), GS1 DataMatrix tag or near-field communication (NFC) to deliver this information to their customers.

More specifically, in Healthcare, the GS1 Digital Link standard helps reinforce the One-barcode initiative. Meaning, manufacturers, distributors and hospitals will still use the ubiquitous barcode for years to come, for many different purposes like traceability and point-of-care scanning. Yet, now with GS1 Digital Link, they have the opportunity of using a single barcode to access digital information about the product.

Brochures and Fact sheets

Open 2-page information sheet

Download the 4-page fact sheet 2019

GS1 Digital Link in Healthcare

The How and Why of GS1 Digital Link

GS1 General Documents Repository

GS1 Digital Link explained - the Definitions

  • GS1 Digital Link is the title of the standard and of the overall ecosystem that it defines. It is a general term that refers to the expression of the GS1 System of identifiers on the World Wide Web.
  • A GS1 Digital Link URI is a Web URI that encodes one or more GS1 Application Identifiers and their value(s) according to the structure defined in this standard. An identified item is anything identified by one or more GS1 element strings, including their encoding as a GS1 Digital Link URI, be it a product, location, organisation, asset or anything else.
  • A GS1 conformant resolver is a Web server that is able to process GS1 Digital Link URIs, redirecting or directly answering requests in accordance with this standard.
  • A link type (or linkType) defines the relationship between the identified item and the linked resource, such as a product information page, a warranty registration page, a related video etc. It does not specify the media type or any other characteristic of the linked resource as this information is provided by metadata describing the resource itself.

GS1 Digital Link layers

Learn several different aspects of GS1 Digital Link that relate to both business needs and technical details. Watch video.

GS1 Digital Link Standard (latest)

"Enabling consistent representation of GS1 identification keys within web addresses to link to online information and services"
View Latest Standard Release: GS1 Digital Link Standard (Ratified)

GS1 General Documents Repository