Stephanie Watts: Barcode-Swiping Smartphone Apps

The ethical consumption movement is increasingly being supported by mobile web applications that [...]enable consumers to reward ethical companies (and punish unethical ones) with their purchasing decisions. By providing company ethics information to consumers at the point of purchase with the swipe of a barcode, these applications hold the promise of an additional market mechanism for motivating companies to serve the public good. However, the degree that this potential is realized will depend on how widely such applications are adopted and diffused. This paper identifies design factors for such applications that theory suggests will enhance their diffusion by increasing the likelihood that the user will adopt the information these applications deliver.

Tags: boston university, smg, School of Management, faculty researcy day, mobile technology, barcode, smartphone apps, stephanie watts

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