customers pointing at the screen of their laptop
Transparency

Transparency - A/B test proves it impacts buying behavior

In an A/B test, retraced evaluated the impact of its transparency widget imbedded in online shops on the purchasing behavior of 15.000 visitors. The test indicates a conversion uplift of 19.5% when the transparency widget is shown.

Does sharing your supply chain's sustainability efforts help customers make a purchasing decision? Does sharing your supply chain's sustainability efforts help customers make a purchasing decision? Our latest A/B Test suggest that is does. We conducted an A/B test for our transparency widget in the online store of the sustainable footwear brand CANO. The goal of the experiment was to analyze the effect of the widget on over 15.000 visitors between June 1 and June 12. The results show that online shoppers who saw the widget were more likely to purchase the item, compared to online shoppers that didn't see it.

During the experiment, all website visitors were randomly split into two test groups, Group A and Group B, at a ratio of 4 to 1. Each visitor was tagged in such a way that even during repeat visits, they would remain in their respective test group.

  • Group A was able to learn everything about CANO’s supply chain by seeing and interacting with retraced’s transparency widget on the product pages.
  • Group B was not exposed to the retraced transparency widget and therefore did not see the product's supply chain journey and insights.
gif of retraced transparency widget showing the CANO supply chain
retraced transparency Shop widget showing the CANO supply chain

Results

  • The conversion rate for Group A was 1.34%, whereas the conversion rate for Group B was 1.12%.
  • This means that the respective conversion increase resulting from the displayed transparency widget was 19.46%.
Testing results of A/B testing of shop widget in cano store with chart and screenshots of A and B group
A/B testing results for the transparency widget showed increased conversions

Implication & Takeaways

The results are a positive indication that consumers care about transparency, and are willing to support brands and products that share more about their supply chain in a unique and interactive way. Some key takeaways and points to still consider:

  • This conversion uplift suggests that the sharing of a product's supply chain transparency during a consumer's consideration and decision moments has a strong impact on their purchasing behavior.
  • CANO's brand stands for fairness and sustainability, and their story and vision is highlighted on every page on their website. Therefore, website visitors who enter the product page are likely already aware of the sustainability efforts of CANO.
    • This could imply that the retraced transparency tool may not be that relevant in conveying the overall message of sustainability for a sustainable brand, such as CANO.
  • Nevertheless, it seems that the achieved and displayed transparency efforts can still provide the necessary proof for consumers to cement their trust in the brand’s sustainability claims. This increased consumer trust in the product's story raises the perceived value of the product, resulting in a higher conversion rate.
“fashion companies must come to terms with the fact that a more distrusting consumer expects full transparency across the value chain.” (McKinsey & Company highlighting the importance in radical transparency; State of Fashion 2019).

It is not a secret that nowadays shoppers aim to 'buy-in' to the stories of their favorite products. However, these stories need to be believable and trustworthy. Transparency is quickly becoming a standard in fashion, and more and more, fashion brands are trying to connect their sustainable and ethical efforts to the values of their customers. Sharing the products' journey and insights - in a transparent and trustworthy way - is an important and convincing first step.

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