The GCN

The GS1 standard and personalised coupon management

The Global Coupon Number (GCN)

The Global Coupon Number (GCN) concept introduced in 2012 through the GS1 Germany makes it possible to personalise coupons.

The GCN is a unique identifying serial number assigned to each individual coupon that means that these can be continuously tracked all the way from distribution to redemption. This puts in place the ideal conditions for data-driven marketing. Moreover, using GCNs it is possible to provide for online checking of the validity of the offer and prevent unauthorised reproduction of coupons posted online. As a result, it is now feasible to generate high value coupons, including, for example, vouchers for free products. Initial pilot trials of the GCN were undertaken in 2016 and 2017. Multi-retailer projects involving the GCN are to be launched in 2018.

The GCN makes mobile coupon processing possible

2D code coupon storage

In recent years, many businesses have acquired modern scanner systems that can read a 2D code generated by a smartphone. With the help of the GCN, simple and straightforward mobile coupon processing is possible. In this case, a customer’s smartphone converts the information on several GCN coupons to a 2D code, which is shown on the smartphone display. At the check-out, all that is necessary is a single scan of the display to register and process all encoded coupons. This standardised procedure eliminates related investment risks to retailers, manufacturers and their partners.

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