Policymakers + Product developers = 💙

At Wolt, technology is at the core of everything we do. There are currently more than 500 people working in Wolt product teams across the world, and the majority of Wolt’s products are developed in-house. However, those who build products rarely get to meet those who develop digital policy regulations. That’s why we launched the Demystifying Tech series as a means of helping bridge that gap.

In the first event of the Demystifying Tech series, we explored the algorithms engaging with courier partners; this time around, we looked at another important stakeholder on our platform – the consumers. If you are a consumer yourself, you may have wondered why an app recommends a certain restaurant or product to you. With thousands of merchants to choose from at Wolt, algorithms play an important role in enhancing this process. But what kind of data feeds these systems to understand the consumer better? What steps are taken to protect consumers’ privacy?

Director of Engineering Samuel Tervaskanto clarifies Wolt's algorithms to policymakers.

These and many more questions were discussed in the workshop co-hosted by Danish Member of the European Parliament Karen Melchior in November. For the first time, we also welcomed our Director of Engineering, Samuel Tervaskanto, and Product Lead, Nuutti Vienola to the heart of Europe’s legislative capital – Brussels.

Providing a safe and trustworthy experience is essential for providing a great customer experience. During the workshop, MEP Karen Melchior, who advocates for consumer protection and digital rights, emphasised the importance of transparency to build trust online.

When we move our shopping from brick-and-mortar stores to digital apps, we need to trust the algorithms, and that trust requires transparency.

– MEP Karen Melchior

We agree that transparency is required to build trust. That is why we published the Wolt Algorithmic Transparency Report. In it we explain how we, through technology, help our customers find what they need, be it chocolate chip cookies to feed a sudden craving, new fuses to get the lights back on, a surprise flower bouquet, or their weekly groceries.

Wolt's Product Lead Nuutti Vienola explains how Wolt's systems help consumers find what they're looking for on the platform.

One way of doing this is through an algorithm that helps find restaurants or stores a customer might like by looking at the purchase history of other similar customers. The recommendation looks at past purchases of an anonymised user without identifying the user personally and recommends venues based on purchase history. If you want to learn more about how it works, read more about it here.

We need good and proper algorithms for users to make informed choices. We shouldn’t vilify algorithms. I’m very happy that there are events such as this to give us all a better understanding on how digital platforms operate and how they are built.

– MEP Karen Melchior

It is also crucial to take consumers’ privacy seriously in order to secure their trust. We recently announced that we have been certified for ISO 27001, the world’s best-known standard for information security management systems. It is our commitment to keep working hard to maintain the trust and expectations that our customers and partners place in us. And in order to further our understanding of how Wolt works, we will continue the Demystifying Tech series in the future.