GS1 unveils new guideline to improve mobile shopping experience

GS1 recently announced the ratification of the new Mobile Ready Hero Images Guideline to address the importance of imagery and authorised product information for the mobile shopping experience.

Sue Schmid, Head of Customer Relations & Standards Office at GS1 Australia said, “The GS1 Mobile Ready Hero Images Guideline addresses the challenges of providing the information consumers need when making rapid purchase decision to replenish everyday items while shopping from their mobile phone.

The guideline highlights the importance of the 4Ws: Who is the brand, What is it, Which variety is it and hoW much of it is there. Brand owners and retailers need to work together to present all 4Ws in a clear and consistent manner across the digital shelf. This should help shoppers find the product they want more easily, increase incremental sales, and reduce the frequency of accidental or erroneous basket adds.

“The GS1 Mobile Ready Hero Images Guideline standardises the combination of product images and information viewed on mobile devices. It helps brand owners clearly communicate product information to enhance the consumer shopping experience including the brand, the product offering, the variety of the product and the size,” Schmid added.

Global smartphone ownership is expected to reach 80 per cent by 2020 with mobile fast becoming the preferred platform for shopping. One of the largest areas of opportunity is in grocery shopping, however, fast-moving consumer goods packages are primarily designed for physical display in-store to consumers whose primary activity at that time is shopping, not on screens less than 13 centimetres across to consumers who may be engaged in multiple simultaneous activities.

Research by multiple brands and retailers shows that visual consistency is a key priority. Retailers said they needed a proven solution that would work across all categories and that could be easily included into online commerce channels designed for small screens.

The Global Standards Management Process (GSMP) is the community-based forum for businesses facing similar problems to work together and develop standards-based solutions to address them. Within this framework—led by GS1 as a neutral facilitator—the Mobile Ready Hero Images Guideline was developed and agreed to by industry.

The GS1 Mobile Ready Hero Images Guideline links directly to existing GS1 standards, including Smart Search and other image standards, but does not affect them directly. By adopting the guidelines, brand owners and retailers will be able to minimise internal investments, while achieving greater consistency across their websites.

Robert Beideman, Senior Vice President Solutions & Innovation, GS1 said: “More and more consumers use their phones to discover and buy products, and industry came together to improve this shopping experience. The guideline promises to increase the speed and accuracy of online shopping by making product images consistent between brands and retailers, thereby minimising the number of orders placed in error and lessening the number of returns.”