In the past few years, as consumer concerns regarding climate change have become greater, retail establishments have begun to align their goods and services accordingly. But this might seem easier said than done at first glance. That’s why the omnichannel retail experts from Eurostop have collected a range of insights for you here.
Below you’ll find some top tips to create a sustainable retail strategy for your business.
Why is Investing in Sustainable Retail so Important?
These days, consumers have become much more conscious when it comes to big issues such as fair labour practices, waste management, climate change, and the preservation of dwindling natural resources. This has played a large role in changing their purchasing habits and impacting their buying decisions. Consumers are more likely to patronise retailers that advocate for sustainability and the environment. This has created a shift in the retail sector, as retailers look to find ways to be more sustainable and reduce their environmental footprint.
6 Tips to Make Your Retail Establishment More Sustainable
It may seem a little overwhelming at first, but there are actually some simple and practical steps your business can take to make itself more sustainable including:
1. Changing Your Everyday Processes
One of the first things you can do to make your retail business eco-friendlier and more sustainable is by changing some of your everyday practices, like choosing energy-efficient equipment, appliances, and lighting for your brick-and-mortar stores. Even something as simple as switching to LED lighting can demonstrate your commitment to sustainability. Additionally, reducing paper waste as much as possible is key. Provide and promote to customers the option of having receipts emailed to them and dispose of any waste properly. This means recycling and donating items or reusing things like displays whenever you can.
2. Invest in Sustainable Packaging Solutions
Every retailer will have a range of packing expenses, whether it be for example printing price tags, order and returns paperwork or packaging. However, there are a wide variety of sustainable alternatives out there to take advantage of, such as paper-based packaging that can be easily recycled. Anything that a customer can reuse that’s also eco-friendly is essential. Going paperless is also an option – reviewing your returns procedure can not only reduce the amount of paper used, but if done effectively it can also enhance customer convenience, enhancing their experience with your brand.
3. Help Your Customers Reduce their Carbon Footprint
Providing products and solutions that actively help consumers reduce their carbon footprint can also be a big selling point. Doing so will help them feel more empowered as consumers and give them the opportunity to make purchases more in line with their lifestyles. For example, you can sell eco-friendly products that are not only reusable but also donate a portion of the proceeds to eco-friendly initiatives. This demonstrates a commitment not only to changing your retail business but also trying to make an impact in your industry toward more sustainable practices.
4. Incorporate Sustainability into Your Story
Another important way to demonstrate your commitment to sustainability is to publicise your efforts and make them part of your brand’s story. By letting consumers know where you stand on issues like climate change and the reduction of carbon emissions etc., you can attract more clients and use your sustainable retail practices as a selling point. Your marketing strategy will play a big role here so it’s important to have a clear message across the board. This includes all your content, like your website, blogs, and social media channels.
When developing your business’s sustainable retail marketing plan, ask:
- What are your business’s long-term sustainability goals?
- How are your business’s eco-friendly efforts going to create a better customer experience and product?
- What initiatives does your business engage in?
- How do your business’s sustainability efforts align with your corporate vision?
5. Help Customers Become More Sustainable
Piggybacking off point three, you can easily help your customers become more sustainable by including notes on recyclable items or packaging. You can also post gentle reminders and tips on how to “reduce, reuse, and recycle” on your business’s website and social media channels.
6. Be Honest & Avoid Greenwashing
Although greenwashing is nothing new, these days many companies are unfortunately falling into the habit of making their products and services appear eco-friendlier and more sustainable than they actually are. When forming a sustainable retail plan, it’s important to be honest about your business’s products/brand. This means labelling everything you sell accordingly and even searching for third-party certifications to strengthen your brand. Not doing so can seriously damage your reputation so be sure not to have any misleading information; eventually, consumers will catch on.
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Contact us today for a no-obligation demonstration or call +44 (0) 208 991 2700.