Global Brands and Retailers Meet to Make Mobile Commerce a Reality

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GS1 MobileCom brings key stakeholders together at MIT to define vision and shape actions for mobile commerce.

Global brands and retailers including Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, Kraft, L'Oréal, Wal-Mart and Carrefour met with solution providers and industry associations at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in Boston last month to define the future of mobile commerce together.

The objective of the meeting was for all participants to share their vision and show what has been done to allow businesses and consumers to interact using mobile phones supported by open standards.

GS1 MobileCom is a cross-industry initiative involving manufacturers, retailers, mobile industry companies and solution providers that aims for:

  • all consumers to have access to trusted product information and related services via their mobile phones
  • all stakeholders to use open standards to make this possible and so ensure interoperable, scalable and cost-effective applications

A number of associations representing key mobile industry stakeholders (mobile operators, mobile phone manufacturers, marketing agencies) were present. MMA (Mobile Marketing Association), GSMA (the global association representing interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry) and CTIA (the association representing mobile operators in the United States) presented their visions and work in progress and how they think the GS1 MobileCom group can contribute to the common development of the mobile commerce marketplace.

GS1 is continuing an open dialogue with these associations to define the details of how to work together and how to leverage the strengths and expertise of each group to move the mobile commerce definition and adoption of open standards ahead.

Together with a visionary look at the future at MIT, the group also reviewed the progress of the foundational Extended Packaging scenario which defines how consumers can get product information on their mobile phones by scanning a barcode on product packaging. Work done so far by GS1 MobileCom group gives recommendations for companies to develop Extended Packaging solutions.

The group worked on the new whitepaper that will provide recommendations on how to build retail environments that can interact with mobile phones during the consumer journey through the store. The In-Store Environment whitepaper will be published in September 2009.

The group also agreed that mobile promotions and coupons should be the next business scenario to develop recommendations and the definition of open global standards.

Notes for editors:

About GS1

GS1 is a neutral, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the design and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve the efficiency and visibility in supply chains. GS1 is driven by more than a million companies, who execute more than six billion transactions a day with the GS1 System of Standards. GS1 is truly global, with local Member Organisations in 108 countries, with the Global Office in Brussels, Belgium. For other information about GS1, go to

About GS1 MobileCom

The goal of the GS1 MobileCom initiative is to give all consumers access to trusted product information and related services via their mobile phones. It urges all stakeholders to use GS1 standards to make this possible and in doing so to ensure interoperable, scalable and cost-effective applications. In general, it seeks that collaborative Mobile Commerce applications are enabled by an open infrastructure. The group aims to:

  • identify opportunities to use mobile technology and GS1 standards and to drive innovation in the extended supply chain
  • show the business case behind relevant applications
  • bring together existing standards to support those applications
  • launch the development process to fill gaps in standards
  • support standards implementation in the market

More information available at


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Joe Horwood
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