Product tags are descriptors assigned to specific products to organize, document and track their progress. The product tag contains keywords or key phrases for each respective product, which are stored in a computer. A store administrator usually has to approve a product tag the first time it is used, but any logged-in user can add other keywords to a product tag, rename it or delete it. Once a tag has been approved by a store owner, it is free for use on a product and will not have to be re-approved. Many products have hang tags as well as required UPC bar codes.
Product tags are added online on sites such as Magento, which even allows customers to add tags to products in the "tags block" of their product page, which is situated below the product description. The phrases must be added inside single quotes, and a store administrator must approve them. Customers and administrators can add product tags to the "tag cloud," which are groups of popular keywords designated for each product. Although rules are different for some computer systems, they always include keywords and require administrative approval.
Many product tags also have UPC bar codes, or Universal Product Codes, which are required on all mass market products by retailers and distribution centers. UPC bar codes are on products such as food, toiletries, electronics, clothing, etc. UPC codes allow products to be tracked throughout the entire distribution process. A unique UPC code is required for every product. According to Barcode-Labels, to get a UPC code you need to submit a request to the GS1 US (formerly the Uniform Code Council), which is a global organization that guarantees that each product has a unique code. Businesses have to pay a fee every year to use the company numbers that are assigned to them.
Product tags are forms of branding which often include a logo, business name and form of contact information such as a website, phone number or store address. Product tags can be made on the computer for mass market products or specially handmade for one-of-a-kind creations. Clothing often has hang tangs, which are tags attached to the garment that hang off by a piece of plastic. Many hang tags are also professionally designed by graphic designers to present an eye-catching aesthetic to increase the product's attractiveness.
Besides tracking and organizing products, product tags can also help businesses. Colorful, well-designed product hang tags can grab attention, help sell additional products, promote the product and even help the owner collect demographic information. While business cards can be lost or discarded, product tags stay on longer because they are attached until a person begins to use the product. They also increase the product's professionalism and remind customers where it is from so they remember where to repurchase the item in the future.