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Using GTINs with Square for Retail

With Square for Retail, you now have the option to associate Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) with item variations created through your online Square Dashboard, on top of the existing option to add SKUs. You can do so by entering the details manually through your Item Library, or importing the information via CSV

GTINs are used to identify trade items and products throughout the supply chain and are typically 8, 12, 13 or 14 digits long. Learn more about GTINs and the types commonly associated with businesses here.

Get Started with GTINs

  1. Go to Items & orders > Items > Item Library on your online Square Dashboard.

  2. Select an existing item or click Create an item.

  3. Under Variations, enter the GTIN and SKU information into the applicable sections.

  4. Enter all remaining item details > click Save.

Once a GTIN has been associated with an item or item variation, you can take the same actions on the associated items that you normally would — including monitoring the item’s progress through reporting, tracking and adjusting inventory, and creating/printing labels with a GTIN barcode.

Create an Item Using a Barcode

You can also easily create items by scanning a UPC/GTIN through your online Square Dashboard, Square for Retail POS app on iOS devices, Square Terminal, or Square Register when subscribed to Square for Retail Plus.

Via Square Dashboard

First, you’ll need to make sure you’re using a compatible barcode scanner and connect it to your desktop computer or laptop. Once you’ve confirmed the barcode scanner is connected, follow the instructions below to get started:

  1. Go to Items & orders > Items > Items Library on your online Square Dashboard.
  2. Click Create an Item.
  3. Under the “Details” section, click Auto create.
  4. Scan the GTIN associated with the item you want to create using a compatible barcode scanner or the built-in camera on your device. Alternatively, you can search by name or barcode number.
  5. Select the item, then elect suggested variations to apply to the item or scan the GTINs associated with the variations you’d like to apply > click Add variation(s).
  6. Click Save.

During the item creation process, you may see suggestions (highlighted in purple) for Category, Description, Price, and other fields. These suggestions are based on information typically found online that is associated with the GTIN. Click a suggestion to apply it to an item. 

To prevent duplication, you’ll also receive a notification during the item creation process if the GTIN already exists in your Item Library.

Via Square for Retail POS app

If you’re subscribed to Retail Plus, you can also easily auto create items by scanning a GTIN through the Square for Retail POS app. First, you’ll need to make sure you’re using a compatible barcode scanner and connect it to your device. Once you’ve confirmed the barcode scanner is connected, follow the instructions below to get started:

  1. Tap ≡ More > Items.
  2. Tap All Items > Create Item.
  3. Tap Auto create and scan a barcode using a compatible barcode scanner or the built-in camera on your device. Alternatively, tap Search for items to search by name or GTIN.
  4. Select the item from the Auto create item screen, and tap Continue.
  5. From here, select suggested variations to apply to the item or scan the GTINs associated with the variations you’d like to apply. Then tap Add variation(s).
  6. Tap Save.

During the item creation process, you’ll also see description hints (highlighted in green) that provide suggestions for Category names, as well as words and/or phrases to add to the Item Description.

Suggest Item Images with Photo Studio

When you’re creating or editing an item, you have the option to use suggested images generated from Square’s Photo Studio library. The images are automatically offered based on the item name — so, no uploading is required on your end. To get started:

  1. Go to Items & Orders > Items > Item Library on your online Square Dashboard.

  2. Click on Create an Item.

  3. Enter an item name in the Name field and click outside of the field.

  4. If we have a photo in our library that matches your item name, you'll see a suggested image on the screen with a prompt to Use image.

  5. Once you select your image(s), click Save.

You can also use suggested images for singular item variations. From the Create Item screen, select Edit variation details and enter a variation name to pull up a suggested image.

Note: Always remember to click Save after uploading your own images or using suggested images from Photo Studio.

Add to Cart Using a GTIN

You can also easily add items to your cart by using a GTIN. Follow the instructions above to associate a GTIN and/or SKU to an item variation and click Save. Once the item is updated, you can scan the barcode to add it to your customer’s cart during checkout.

Note: You can associate both a GTIN and SKU with a single-item variation.

Reporting with GTINs

The following sections of your online Square Dashboard will have the option to show GTIN(s) in the on-screen details:

  • History: This section of your Item Library will provide visibility into what stock actions were taken on items or variations for a given time frame.

  • Pending Restocks: This section of your Item Library provides you with visibility into what items have been returned and need to be restocked.

  • Item Sales Report: This report shows the sales associated with items and item variations for a given time frame.

  • COGS Report: This report helps you keep an eye on your profit margin by keeping your topline metrics — cost of goods (COGS), total revenue, profit, and profit margin — front and centre.

  • Projected Profit Report: This report shows you the potential profit of your business inventory.

To view GTIN information while visiting one of the above sections, click the “+” icon in the upper right corner of the screen and check off GTIN. Once selected, a new column specific to the GTIN will be displayed.

Print Labels with GTIN Barcodes

You’ll also have the option to print labels with GTIN barcodes for any items that have a GTIN associated with them in your Item Library.

To print labels:

  1. Go to Items & orders > Items > Item Library on your online Square Dashboard.

  2. Click the Actions drop-down menu and select Print Labels.

  3. From the Create Labels screen, select the appropriate label type and location.

  4. Under the Barcode Format drop-down menu, select GTIN.

  5. Choose to Select Multiple Items or Select from Purchase Order and check off all applicable items > click Select Items.

  6. Click Create Labels.

Note: Currently, you can only print one type of barcode per product label. For example, you can’t print an SKU and a GTIN barcode on one single label, you would need to choose one or the other.

Learn more about printing barcode labels from your online Square Dashboard.