Leading retailers welcome mobile data quality initiative

Tesco and Sainsbury’s have both welcomed a new product data quality initiative that will ensure consumer confidence in the information they gain through mobile scanning apps.

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In a new study, just 9 per cent of mobile scans returned correct product information, showing the scale of the potential problem.

Consumers are increasingly using mobile apps to scan products while in-store. Price comparison is one of the main drivers of this new behaviour. But consumers with food intolerances, allergies or specific dietary needs are also making use of this information channel. Errors in the information provided could have serious consequences.

“That is why we put so much effort into ensuring data accuracy and completeness,” says Richard Copperthwaite, IT director of Tesco.com. “When consumers are using our own app, we take a lot of care about the data provided because it is so important.” Where the consumers is relying on a third-party app, however, the source of that information and its accuracy is less reliable.

“Mobile is changing the way consumers access our services,” says Julian Burnett, chief technology officer at Sainsbury’s. “Data accuracy is a clear issue for consumers and they are moving into mobile with a rapid rate of adoption.”

The new data quality initiative has been created by GS1, the not-for-profit supply chain standards and solutions organisation. Called TrueSource, it provides trusted and authenticated information on over 17,000 products that can be accessed via mobile and is being made available to marketing agencies and app developers. In a study of three generic iPhone scanning apps covering 375 randomly-selected products, 75% of scans returned no product information at all.

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