A new report co-authored byGS1andCapgeminicautions companies selling consumer products that much of the digital product information accessible via smartphones and the Internet is incomplete or wrong.
The report, titled “Beyond the Label:
Providing Digital Information Consumers Can Trust,” addresses a “perfect storm”
of three converging forces: consumer demand for more information; increased
smartphone usage; and a widening variety of data sources, leading to an
explosion of data.
Consumers’ interest in researching products
is illustrated by the finding that more than two-thirds of consumers want
nutrition and ingredient information, while more than 30% of smartphone users
have downloaded a bar code scanning application, with usage of these apps
jumping 1,600% in 2010. But the results these consumers get frequently let them
down, depending on where their searches take them and the incorrect product
information often received.
The report cites recent research by GS1 UK
and the Cranfield School of Management in which 91% of mobile barcode scans
returned incorrect product descriptions and 75% returned no data. The report
also cites New York-based Scanbuy’s finding that 40% of requests processed
through its ScanLife application cannot be authoritatively connected to a
Available free for download, the report was
written by Capgemini, a leading provider of consulting, technology and
outsourcing services, and several country-based member organizations of
not-for-profit standards group GS1, including GS1
and GS1 UK.
“Brand owners – both retailers and
manufacturers – and application providers need to understand the severity of
this problem,” said Bob Carpenter, president and CEO of GS1 US. “We found that
38% of consumers will not purchase a product if they don’t trust the
information they get on a smartphone, and 35% may stop using an app if they get
the wrong information.”
The authors advise brand owners to begin
rigorous data-integrity programs and collaborate with other companies to
improve the consumer experience in researching products.
digital product information for consumers requires that all relevant players understand
their responsibility to work together collaboratively and in a consistent
manner,” said Bob Fassett, vice president, North America Consumer Goods,
Retail, and Distribution Leader, Capgemini.
right solution can help the industry realize the digital data vision: Brand
owners can share relevant product information easily, thus building trust with
consumers; application providers can ensure they are delivering authentic data;
and consumers can feel confident that the digital product information they
access is accurate, no matter how or where they shop,” he said.