How Natural Products Retailers Can Provide the Right Product Information to Consumers

According to Transparency Market Research, demand for organic food and beverage – which was valued at $70.7 billion in 2012 – is expected to reach $187.85 billion in revenue by 2019.

As consumers become increasingly health conscious, they are spending more time perusing natural and organic items to ensure that the products align with criteria that may include dietary, wellness, farming, pricing and ethical considerations.

As shoppers demand better transparency into the products they buy, they are conducting research in-store and online along the path to purchase.  

Because of this, natural and organic retailers need to provide consumers with accurate, detailed and up-to-date product information in order to empower shoppers to make purchase decisions.

But while the organic industry continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, many retailers still struggle to provide the product content consumers are hungry for when choosing organic items.

With product content encompassing everything from images to nutrition facts, ingredients, marketing claims and more, managing this product information and ensuring its availability when and where shoppers go looking for it can be difficult.

As natural products retailers work with their suppliers, technology vendors and product content providers to improve processes for product content management, retailers should keep in mind these three considerations for product information:

  1. Accuracy
    Product information accuracy is critical in the natural and organic industry. After all, it’s the information about the product – what it’s made of, how it was grown, etc. – that can distinguish it from its retail counterparts. Essential details need to be accurately conveyed to shoppers throughout a product’s life cycle, which may include several item modifications and packaging updates. The speed at which these changes are communicated to shoppers is also important to maintain accuracy. 
  1. Availability
    Because consumers now use multiple channels along the path to purchase, product information must be available across all touch points. This includes websites, in-store signage, print materials, mobile apps and more. A consumer who picks up a jar of organic pasta sauce in store will want the ability to find that product on the retailer’s website or mobile app to conduct additional research, download a coupon, search for recipes or engage in other value-add activities.
  1. Consistency
    Even the smallest inconsistency in product information can create confusion and lead to an abandoned sale. Product information, both in-store and via digital, should inspire confidence in purchases, not mistrust. As an example, if a product on the retailer’s physical shelf does not match the product’s image in the retailer’s circular, shoppers may not feel confident placing that item in their carts. Retailers must ensure that product information is consistently portrayed across all touch points at which they engage the shopper.

As the natural and organic industry continues to grow, it’s each retailer’s responsibility to act as a partner to consumers making informed choices. Often, this means better collaboration with manufacturers and partnering with product content experts. By ensuring the availability of accurate and consistent product information across all channels, natural and organic retailers will earn a trusted reputation and increase sales.


Paul Waldron joined Gladson in 1995 as a seasoned retail veteran. Prior to joining Gladson, Paul held management positions at the store, district and regional level for some of the nation’s leading retailers, including Jewel, Phar-Mor, B.J’s Wholesale Club, and immediately prior to joining Gladson, Wal-Mart. His extensive retail experience provides Gladson a deep understanding of its clients’ operational and business needs, allowing him to create business solutions that meet both their strategic and operational requirements.



Posted May 12, 2014