How Smartphone Apps can support consumers and affect purchases

02 / 01 / 2019

Consumers are concerned about the potential impacts of products on the environment and on their health. Smartphone apps on problematic substances in articles can support consumer decisions about which products to buy and use.

There are plenty of apps available that address substances in cosmetics and food. Regarding other ”articles”, i.e. solid objects such as toys, textiles, electronics and furniture, the LIFE AskREACH project is developing a smartphone app for consumers to scan article barcodes and immediately receive, or request from the article supplier, information on substances of very high concern (SVHCs) in those articles.

Lessons learned from other tools are taken into account for the design of the AskREACH app and the related awareness raising campaigns.

The app is intended to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions. For most consumers this will require behavioural changes and in this respect, sustained user engagement is key.

“Gamification” features and campaigns that focus on real consumer concerns have been found to be useful tactics. Apps also make companies more aware of customer concerns. Depending on the app’s visibility, companies are eager to receive good ratings or to show that their products do not contain problematic substances. Apps can thus have an effect on the product design of proactive companies.

The LIFE AskREACH report Consumer Smartphone Apps for Problematic Substances in Products provides insights on the emergence of such tools and their potential impacts. It is based on a survey of tools in the AskREACH partner countries and interviews with the developers of tools such as ToxFox, CodeCheck and Detox Me.

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our site. By continuing to use our site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.
Learn more