Barcoding products for Shopify Fulfillment Network (SFN)

Shopify Fulfillment Network (SFN) relies on product barcodes to uniquely identify your products. Any products that arrive at SFN with unscannable barcodes will cost you preparation service fees.

To ensure that SFN can scan your barcodes, you need to do the following:

  • Use a unique barcode number for each product variant.
  • Attach a barcode to every product being shipped to SFN.
  • Print barcodes in black ink on light, nonreflective backgrounds.
  • Make sure each barcode is at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) tall and 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) wide.

Assigning unique barcodes to each product variant

A barcode is used by systems to identify and track a product. Ensure every product you are shipping to SFN has a unique barcode number assigned in the admin.

Changing your barcode after submitting an inbound transfer can lead to processing delays.

assign unique barcodes to each product variant

Choosing a barcode type

Every product that you ship to SFN needs to have a barcode attached. 1D barcodes, including UPC, EAN, Code 39 and Code 128, are all acceptable formats. 2D barcodes like QR codes are not currently supported by SFN.

There are three options for attaching barcodes to products:

  • sticky barcode labels
  • hang tags with barcodes
  • printing the barcode directly on your product or product packaging
label barcodes

Label barcodes

Used to attach barcodes directly on a product

Hang tag barcodes

Hang tag barcodes

Typically used for clothes or home goods

Barcodes on products

Barcodes on products

Used when the barcode number is not expected to change

Barcodes on product packaging

Barcodes on product packaging

Used for scenarios where it's not feasible to directly label a product

If you need help choosing a barcode type for your business needs, then refer to Using barcodes for your products.

Barcode requirements

Using barcode printers

You can print barcodes with a traditional printer or a dedicated label printer. Depending on the model, the printer can connect to your device by USB, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi.

When you’re ready to print out barcodes, install and set up barcode printing software. The Dymo Label software lets you customize and print barcode labels from a desktop. You can also use Microsoft Word to generate and print barcodes.

If you need help with barcode printers and software, then refer to Shopify supported barcode printers.

using barcode printers

Printing scannable barcodes

Your barcodes should be at least 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) wide by 1 inch (2.5 cm) tall. When printing barcodes, use black ink or very dark ink. The background should be a white non-reflective background.

It is best practice to print a barcode number, or GTIN, below the barcode symbol. This allows SFN to confirm the correct barcode in case there is a discrepancy.

print scannable barcodes

Barcoding single products

When barcoding single products, place the barcode label in a highly visible area. The barcode label should lie on a flat surface, avoid attaching barcodes to corners, edges, or seams.

barcoding single products

Barcoding SIOC products

SIOC (ships in own container) products are shipped by SFN in the packaging they are received in. If you have SIOC products, place the barcode in a clearly visible area on the outside of the container.

barcoding SIOC products

Barcoding sets

A set is a collection of individual products that are packaged and sold together. Sets need to be clearly marked with one of the following stickers:

  • sold a set
  • ready to ship
  • do not separate

This helps ensure that SFN does not break these products apart or open up their packaging.

When barcoding sets, make sure only one barcode is visible. If you are using transparent packaging for your sets, remove or cover any barcodes from products inside of the packaging.

barcoding sets

Barcoding case packs

Case packed products are when sellable units are packaged together to save on space and costs. When sending case packs to SFN, remove any barcodes from the outside of the packaging.

This signals SFN receiving teams that the case pack isn't a set and it's safe to open the container and receive the individual sellable units. Each sellable unit on the inside of a case pack needs to have a barcode attached.

barcoding case packs

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