Wellspring spoke with Melbourne founder of the popular Glow app Tim Clover about how the rising public interest in safe, healthy and sustainable products is changing the face of technology in Australia and putting pressure on companies to provide more product information to the public.
How are the expectations of consumers changing when it comes to their products?
People care more and more about business practices, and they have a right to know. Many of us expect to know where our products come from, how they are made, whether the people making them get a fair deal and the environmental sustainability of products they consume. We expect to have access to this information when we’re looking at the product on the shelf to help us make a decision on whether it is the product for us. People don’t want to call a 1800 number to answer these questions – they expect it to be easier than that.
How is Glow helping?
We launched Glow to simplify the way consumers can get their voice heard, and to give them access to the product information they seek. I come from a data analytics background and could see there should be a more simple way to deliver this to consumers through their smartphones.
People can download our app to send complaints, praise and questions directly to product makers and retailers anonymously through scanning the barcode of the product.
Many manufacturers also use Glow as a platform to share information about their product’s country of origin, ingredients and supply chain for people who search for them. If the company has registered with Glow they can respond to the consumer directly. We have a million products and brands registered so far including Target since Glow launched in February this year, with thousands of Australians using the app.
If people want to praise something great, complain when standards slip, or just pass on their feedback then Glow will get their voice heard. Technology is helping change the world in our favour – we can all have a bigger, more powerful voice.
What has been your biggest high point since launching Glow?
That would have to have been getting a call from Industry and Science Minister Ian Macfarlane MP’s office last month asking for a meeting to talk about how Glow could play a part in solving some industry issues around product labelling.
What is coming up for Glow?
We’ve added extra features, so shortly people will be able to talk about businesses on Glow and respond to entries from other people, with businesses able to respond. We expect this will add to our sense of community. It will also help people create and build pressure for answers and transparency which is definitely a good thing.
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