The world is becoming more socially responsible. Are you?
European carmakers are showing more and more battery operated vehicles. Wind farms are popping up. We’re buying free trade coffee and won’t drink it unless it is free trade. We’re investing in socially responsible mutual funds. And 60% of Americans have purchased organic goods in 2009. Continental Airlines is running a marketing campaign entitled “Eco Skies” and tying it to the fact that their fleet is newer than any other U.S. airline and as such, is more environmentally friendly. And California is mandating that 20% of the state’s power comes from renewable sources by 2020 (that’s only 10 years away).
The tide isn’t turning. The tide has turned. Americans are decidedly environmentally conscious and the drive toward experiences in retail that meet their thirst for such a mindset will only grow.
So what are you going to do as a retailer to support your customer’s environmentally-conscious needs?
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
Tell your customers your story of social responsibility for increased loyalty.
Packaging – use environmentally conscious packaging. Recycled, made from renewable resources are a starting point. Ask if the customer wants a bag instead of just putting the products in one. Or better yet, be an environmental steward by asking every customer if they brought their own bag, or if they would like one of yours.
Products – source organic products, products made from renewable resources. Have you noticed the size of organic produce sections in grocery stores? The greenness of products, proudly stating their claims on the packaging? Find your own brands, or entire categories of products that are made from renewable resources, or are pesticide, chemical and hormone free. Create an entire area of your store that features such products. Or make sure you call your customer’s attention to those types of products.
Store Environment – Create an environment based with a nod toward efficiency. Use compact fluorescent lighting, turn the AC a bit warner, or the heat a bit cooler, find fixtures, flooring, etc. that are made from renewable or recycled resources. Provide a cup of water versus a bottle of water. Buy carbon offset credits.
Marketing – If you’re going to print it, make sure it fits your new socially conscious store. Print with soy inks on recycled or sustainable paper for in-store signage. Eschew printed marketing collateral and send emails instead. Use social networking like Twitter, Facebook, etc. to communicate with your customers versus sending a printed piece.
There literally are hundreds of ways you can be more socially conscious. But it doesn’t do any good if you don’t tell them. We’re still at a point where we need to inform our customers, taglines on signs, in eblasts etc. (understated, but stated nonetheless) help our customers understand our commitment ot the environment.
How are you creating a more socially conscious store experience?
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