NEW YORK — While food retailers have traditionally relied on their own loyalty card programs to communicate directly with consumers, retailers will need to increasingly participate in third-party mobile apps to share private-label information with consumers, said Bob Carpenter, president and chief executive officer, GS1 US.
“Retailers have viewed B2C [business-to-consumer communications] as something they could control through their loyalty programs,” said Carpenter yesterday at the National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention & Expo here. “But it’s becoming clear that consumers are looking around for price comparisons, ingredient comparisons and nutritional information and go to apps not related to retailers.”
If retailers want their private label products to be part of the comparison with branded products, “they will need to open up their private label to be in a compare-and-save environment” through third-party apps, he said.
Carpenter and other speakers in a session on “Beyond the Label: Providing Digital Information Consumers Can Trust” emphasized the need for accuracy in product data provided through mobile phones. This means that retailers and manufacturers need to carefully vet the accuracy of the information before sharing it electronically with consumers.
“If consumers are not getting accurate data, they’re not going to come back to the store,” said Bob Fassett, vice president, consumer products, retail and distribution leader, North America, Capgemini, who also spoke at the session. “They’re going to blame the app, but it’s probably not the app, it’s the data.”