Consumers have a new tool to help them make buying decisions and compare products on a fairer level, thanks to an international effort spearheaded by Australian experts.
ISO 21041:2018, Guidance on unit pricing, provides a number of requirements to enable consumers to compare prices on similar items more accurately. The standard provides guidance on how unit pricing should be displayed in-store (both on-shelf and on packaging), online, and in advertisements. It also highlights the importance of clarity and consumer education.
Unit pricing—or comparative pricing—is a way for retailers to show the price of a commodity in relation to a standard unit of measure, such as the kilogramme or litre. However, this is not always consistent across retailers or products, which creates a layer of perplexity for.
ISO 21041 aims to clear up the confusion by defining unit pricing systems and enhancing transparency of pricing information.
“This standard is directly aimed at empowering consumers, and enabling them to make informed purchasing decisions,” Standards Australia CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans said.
“Australia worked hard to lead the establishment of the relevant committee of the International Organization for Standardization, which has become ISO/PC 294 Guidance on unit pricing, with the intent of delivering an international guidance standard,” Evans said.
“Consumers on a global scale may soon benefit from more information at the time of purchase thanks to the dedication of the international committee.”
Chair of the international Technical Committee, John Furbank, said that by simplifying the price comparisons of products, ISO 21041 will benefit retailers and consumers alike.
“Shopping has never been more complex, with not only a greater choice but a wider range of packaging, in terms of weights and sizes,” Furbank said.
“ISO 21041, then, is a key tool for retailers, enabling them to provide clear and consistent pricing, ultimately building trust and loyalty as a result.”