Industry acts to improve data on mobile apps

Unilever, Tesco and Sainsbury’s have warned that the increase in bad data being made available through mobile applications is damaging their brands.


The growth of mobile apps and mobile web has given consumers access to more data about products than ever before, however, there is no standardised system to make sure the data being used by third party applications is correct.

The brands were speaking at an event hosted by not-for-profit data standards organisation GS1 UK to launch its TrueSource data platform.

GS1 UK says that the data available about brands on third party apps is wrong one in five times and only 9% of products have the correct descriptions, according to its Mobile-Savvy Shopper study.

Andy Houghton Unilever UK e-commerce director says the proliferation of bad data is damaging to its brands.

He adds: “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.

“If consumers cannot trust the data a third part app uses, they wont trust the app or the product and that’s a lost sale and damaging to the brand.” IT director Richard Copperthwaite and Sainsbury’s chief technology officer Julian Burnett agree that the rapid growth of mobile has accelerated the need for the industry to act and take responsibility for educating consumers on the availability of poor data.

Burnett says standardising accurate data is “about out creating certainty for our customers”.