Make Your Business More Sustainable

  • Who/what causes does your business benefit?
  • How do your efforts create a better product/customer experience?
  • How do your efforts link back to the ethos of your brand?​
  • What do you hope to achieve long-term by becoming more sustainable?​

It is often said that retail never stops moving.  Recently, sustainability has become a niche approach in retail.  Why should retailers pay attention to sustainability?  There are a number of challenges that retailers need to go over.

Retailers need “a deep understanding of how customer are living their lives.”

Successful retailers will not be those who meekly follow the customer like some obedient puppy.  Shoppers are more focused on value for money.  Shoppers demand more convenience from retailers, and retailers must respond first and foremost with innovation through new channels and formats.  The retailer is present, 24/7 online or down the street, come to us or we’ll come to you: the strategy that keeps in every retailers’ mind.

Retailers need to differentiate from the competition through innovation is as great as it ever has been.

Retailers are moving away from ad hoc sustainability marketing campaigns and abandoning minor themes that are not integral to the business.  Instead, retailers are making meaningful sustainability commitments where they can make a significant difference and that align closely with the values of the brands, and their target audiences.  The winners will be those who found their innovations in true shopper need and remember that every innovation has a short shelf-life, and must be followed by another.

Retailers need to create a well-rounded brand and show customers how they organize sustainability fits seamlessly alongside with other selling points as a retailer.

As digitization empowers the shopper, today’s model largely involves making it easier to source and collect.  But the tools are now available for retailers to predict, based on past experience, when shoppers will need to replenish.  This will put retailers with loyalty data in an advantaged position.  This is where content marketing comes into play. The messaging on retailers’ online channels plays a big role in transforming sustainability efforts into a core part of brand identity.  At its heart, content marketing is all about storytelling, and focusing on the long-term value of efforts to shoppers.  Other strategies such as co-marketing with other sustainable brands, blog posts, social media and email marketing are a great way to keep your shoppers up to date with your efforts. By continuing this over the long-term you integrate sustainability into the essence of your brand, rather than as a heart-tugging sales pitch.

Retailers need to differentiate on things such as healthy options, product that save shoppers’ time, and food freshness.

When considering assortment, this involves carefully managing by monitoring customer data, category trend, and the actions of competitors.  Most large retailers respond in two ways; First, they modify the core offer and space allocated based on catchment profile, optimizing range and quantity based on a general picture of the local consumer.  Second, they recognize that there is more than one shopper mission, and that they must range in a way that recognized that local shoppers have different sets of needs.  The retailer must satisfy the quick-trip, grab-and-go, shoppers’ mission.

A sustainable business not only will save you money and resources in the long run, it offers a wealth of benefits for both retailers and your customers. Sustainability gives you an opportunity to better connect with your customers.