Sir: It’s clear that the explosion of data within retail is having a major impact on the grocery industry, with retailers wishing to capitalise as much as possible (‘Up close and personal’, 1 September).
What’s driving this on the consumer side is increased demand for transparency and in particular for accurate and consistent information such as where and how a product is made, nutritional information and product specification.
It is commonplace now to see customers using smartphones or in-store terminals to research products or find out more about them. Many also want to use their phones to receive location-based promotions and redeem e-vouchers.
That means companies will have to provide far more information. But it’s not just about quantity.
Failure to provide accurate information could have serious consequences for both brand owner and retailer if, say, a consumer is harmed as a result of misleading or missing information. Information quality is therefore a priority for the industry, which now has an obligation to provide robust, accurate information across ingredients, packaging waste, energy, water and allergens.
It is more important than ever to have the right product, the right price… and the right information. Accurate product information can have a direct impact on loyalty and there are significant opportunities to better serve the consumer.
Gary Lynch, chief executive, GS1 UK