How Sustainability in Retail Spurs Brand Loyalty

by Melanie Frank - February 12, 2020

Retailers are starting to realize that sustainability is no longer a niche market. As a growing number of consumers—especially new generations like Millennials and Generation Z—show their preference for sustainable brands, you may have no choice but to adapt.

Benefits that go beyond sustainability

Conscious consumerism, however, is not necessarily bad for business. Far from being mutually exclusive, sustainability and profitability often go hand in hand.

A notable example of this changing mindset is the growing number of retail businesses that are joining the B Corp community, whose goal is to use profits and growth to generate a positive environmental and societal impact.

The trust factor

But even if you have the best intentions to “clean up your act,” don’t be surprised if consumers welcome your sustainability initiatives with some skepticism. After so many years of unsustainable practices in the retail industry, who could blame them?

Regaining their trust is no easy task. It takes transparency and authenticity. More importantly, it takes a willingness to completely change the way you manufacture, package, transport and stock your merchandise. In other words, you have to walk the talk.

Understanding what your consumers care about

Practicing sustainability in retail is no small undertaking. For that reason, it makes sense to start by gaining a better understanding of the causes your consumers really care about. Is it fashion waste? Sustainable packaging? Ethical sourcing?

You might even have that information already right at your fingertips if you’ve been gathering structured and unstructured data over the years. You just have to leverage modern retail technology to turn it into actionable insights.

Build a lasting emotional connection to drive loyalty

Naturally, when consumers feel good about your brand, they’re more likely to stay loyal to it. It all comes down to building an emotional connection.

Here again, retail technology can help you make relevant recommendations, which ultimately provide a personalized experience. And when that experience is consistent across channels, consumers have every reason to stay loyal to your brand.

Sustainability is not a passing trend. The question is: Will you be a leader or a follower? To learn more about how responsible retailing can help you strengthen consumer relations, download our white paper

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