eCommerce Tips

Why Product Transparency is Important for eCommerce Success

By January 28, 2017 No Comments

One of the problems that hold back online shopping desire is that products are distant and untouchable. With the “fit problem” virtually “impossible” to address currently, you have to make the best out of the two “possible” things that online shoppers can do — read and see. Online shoppers largely rely on photographic representation which holds the promise of the actual look and material of an item when making a purchasing decision.

Therefore, your eCommerce website visitors should have an easy access to clear and realistic-looking pictures that demonstrate the true qualities of a product. Make sure that your product images offer multiple-angle shots and zoomable details if you are not able to provide video demos.

Moreover, consumers are evolving. They now have a greater thirst for product information as well as transparency about the way the product was made than the previous generations. They subsequently put assessment of that information into their value equation when deciding whether to buy a product or not.

For instance, “Know your factories”, “Know your costs” and “Always ask why” are the headings that appear on Everlane’s “About us” page. The e-commerce startup claims to offer the “transparent pricing” by drawing a crystal clear picture of the “true cost” of luxury clothing production that includes materials, hardware, labor, duties, and transport costs on the product pages. The pricing transparency has gained Everlane both spotlights and sales in an industry that is known for shrouding the connection between what it costs and what you’ll pay.

Besides conversions, transparency also builds credibility. According to the 2015 Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report, 66% of the global consumers mention that they are willing to pay more if they know a brand is socially-conscious. The majority (73%) of global millennials are willing to pay extra for sustainable offerings. And the biggest influencing factor for 62% of those consumers is about brand trust.

But what it takes to build that trustworthiness is not as simple as just showing consumers the origin and manufacture locations. It should be demonstrated in ways that are more authentic and meaningful. The willingness of paying more that comes from the socially-conscious minds won’t arise without the brand enunciating each word behind how exactly the products were made.

Another way to improve product transparency is displaying the product stock level. If a shopper finds out the product they like to purchase is out of stock during the checkout, they are very likely to abandon their shopping cart at the last minute. Hence, display the product availability and, if possible, the estimated days that it takes to refill the inventory on the product pages prominently.

While your customers are generally satisfied with the information available but if they feel like knowing something, they want to know now. And if they can access the information they are seeking right away from you, you will have a greater chance of having a happy and loyal consumer.

Product transparency has become a trend with more and more big-name eCommerce brands opening up to online shoppers. However, every trend is followed by a bandwagon. Many eCommerce businesses got on the bandwagon only because consumers are paying attention. Transparency must become a mindset and be translated into authentic narratives and then be integrated into your marketing messages.