Mobile app data must improve, say retail giants

With mobile apps increasingly being used by consumers to provide more data about products, three retail giants--Unilever, Tesco and Sainsbury--have warned that their brands are being damaged by the poor quality of the information being served to consumers.

According to Andy Houghton, Unilever UK's e-commerce director, the proliferation of bad data is damaging to its brands. "Unilever is retailer and app agnostic, but we spend money on building our brands so if the consumer has access to poor quality information about our products they can't make an informed choice, so it's vital that the data available is right," Houghton told Marketing Week.

"If consumers cannot trust the data that a third party app uses, they won't trust the app or the product and that's a lost sale and damaging to the brand," added Houghton.

Tesco.com's IT director, Richard Copperthwaite, and Sainsbury's CTO, Julian Burnett, backed Houghton's view that the rapid growth of mobile had accelerated the need for the industry to act and take responsibility for educating consumers on the availability of poor data. Burnett said that standardising accurate data was "about creating certainty for our customers".

In response, the not-for-profit data standards organisation GS1 UK said that a recent survey conducted by Mobile-Savvy Shopper claimed that data available about brands on third party apps was wrong one in five times, and only 9 per cent of products had the correct descriptions.

For more:
- see this Marketing Week article

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