Facebook Retail Chief: 'Trust Is The Main Currency For Our Business'

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Facebook Retail Chief: 'Trust Is The Main Currency For Our Business'

The global head of Facebook's retail and e-commerce strategy, Martin Barthel, has said that the business is taking "a lot of steps" to regain consumers' trust, following the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Speaking at the World Retail Congress, which took place in Madrid last week, German native Barthel said that the company "made mistakes and we fully take responsibility for this.

"If you think about it, trust is the main currency for our business, protecting people's data is at the heart of this - if we don't get this right, we frankly don't deserve to serve you. Period."

Barthel noted that he is "proud" of how in Europe, Facebook is handling the impending introduction of GDPR legislation, which provides internet users with more control over how their data is used online.

"We at Facebook have decided to launch the same set of controls, not only in Europe, but across the globe, including the US," he said.


He also said that the current situation offers a "great opportunity" for the entire business sector, including retail, to educate consumers about digital advertising, including "to educate people about what we are doing with data. And to think about what we can do to give people more control over how their data is used.

Seamless Experience

On retail, Barthel added that there is now a "seamless experience" between the online and offline worlds, and when experts "talk about the future of this or that, they should be taking about the here and now".

Retailers and other business need to try to be "highly relevant" to their target businesses when online, he said, noting that some 80% of teens and Millenials expect mobile ads to know their age, location, interests and habits.

This level of granularity, he said, is made possible by machine learning, powered by Facebook, which "combines what you know about your customers with what we know about people. [...] Instead of waiting for people to find your products, your products are starting to find people."


Going forward, he said that he expects more brands to augment parts of their real world experience into the digital arena; a phenomenon he dubbed "augmented commerce".

© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.


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