ChannelEngine: how are GTINs handled?
About this article
This is a guide on how ChannelEngine handles GTINs (e.g.: EAN, UPC, etc.), specifically when such numbers are imported with more or less than the standard 13 digits. You can read more about the different types of trade numbers required for products in the following article: How can I acquire a GTIN or GLN?
How are GTINs handled on ChannelEngine?
Product feeds and product imports
When products are imported via a product feed or the Merchant API, the GTIN is validated upon import. This is to ensure that the GTINs ChannelEngine receives from the source are valid.
- If the validation fails, that product is not imported, and you see an error.
- If the validation passes, the original value is saved on ChannelEngine. This original value is also seen on the product page.
- The same validation is performed during the import, as explained below.
Product exports to marketplaces
Some marketplaces, such as bol.com, only accept GTINs that contain 13 digits. To handle this, ChannelEngine has built-in functionality that automatically converts GTINs into a recognizable format by adding or subtracting leading zeroes (i.e.: zeroes at the very start of the number, such as 0123456789101).
This is necessary to prevent rejections from the marketplaces themselves. Due to marketplace integration methods, if an incorrect GTIN is sent, the entire export may fail – and none of these products would be published on the marketplace.
- Non-numeric characters are stripped from the provided GTIN.
- ChannelEngine checks for a length of 8, 12, 13, or 14 digits*.
- ChannelEngine then pads the GTIN with leading zeros until a length of 14 is met, but only if the original number was shorter than 14 characters long.
- ChannelEngine calculates the check digit to verify the integrity of the GTIN, and then compares it to the original value.
- The original value is saved to the ChannelEngine database. However, if the product does not pass the validation methods above, it is blocked and not exported to the marketplace.
* Note that the automated logic of converting and verifying GTINs does not apply to all character lengths, but only to the lengths listed here.
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