Ideas

Price transparency in retail. Is this the key to sustainability?

If consumers could see that extra costs were due to a sustainable supply chain, would a higher RRP priced become a conversion driver? Everlane pricing model leads the way.

A significant hurdle for sustainability is us as consumers. A lack of price transparency in retail results in very little information or knowledge on why an item costs a certain amount. As a result, as consumers we are influenced by price regardless of the understanding the factors contributing to that price. 

People understand and appreciate environmental issues however when it comes to purchasing; pricing is a significant factor in decision making. Even if we know a company is eco-friendly and sustainable, a like-for-like cheaper product will sway even the most conscious consumer during the purchase journey.

What if all retailers were completely transparent with their pricing? What if pricing transparency became a standard element on all product pages? Would consumers make different decisions once sustainability became a key part of the purchase funnel.   

Everlane Transparent Pricing Example
Everlane Pricing Transparency- https://www.everlane.com/collections/mens-all

US retailer Everlane is leading the way with pricing transparency in retail. Costs for materials, hardware, labour, duties and transport are all displayed on product description pages. 

Everlane Transparent Pricing Example Cashmere Crew
Everlane Pricing Transparency: https://www.everlane.com/about

While Everlane pricing is undoubtedly one of the more forward-thinking, this pricing transparency tool is currently being used to highlight over-priced competitors. What if the same tool was used to highlight sustainability initiatives?

When making a purchasing decision, if consumers were made aware that the extra cost was due to the product being more sustainable, the increase in price potentially becomes a conversion driver. 

Sustainable cotton, eco-friendly transportation, ethical factories, these are all things that cost and push the up the retail price of an item. They are however factors that would drive conversion for many people, and would more than justify an increase in cost. The issue is making consumers aware.

Pricing transparency is just one of a number of sustainability initiatives being championed by Everlane. Be sure to check out their charitable take on Black Friday.