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Sustainability

The Path for Retail’s Sustainable Future

Shutterstock Photo License - By Dr. Victor Wong
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A growing number of consumers are concerned about sustainability. A recent poll by YouGov found that 81% of customers have said that they intend to place greater priority on purchasing products from companies with a focus on environmentalism.

Retail companies have started recognizing this trend and are trying to adapt eco-friendlier business practices. They are finding that there are numerous benefits of sustainable business practices.

The shift towards sustainability in retail is hardly surprising. Retail, in the modern era, is undergoing unprecedented transformations. The advent of the internet has led to the development of new channels as well as opportunities for reaching out to customers seamlessly. Moreover, the concept of globalization has opened doors for new market competitors.

Right when the world was advancing, the pandemic occurred. The pandemic rocked the global retail industry to its core. Stores all around the world witnessed closures. This was when end customers had no choice but to shop online.

In addition to the online environment, the concept of sustainability has also become a major agenda for retail players all around the world. Strategies like frictionless shopping, sustainable packaging, and so more have gained impetus in the modern era. As per the experts, any business that looks forward to being relevant in the future should think about adopting sustainable behavior as soon as possible. Let us know about it in detail.

Pursuing Sustainability in the Retail Industry

How can retailers blend operational excellence with environmental and social responsibility? There was some opposition before, but retailers have since learned that sustainable business practices can be good for their bottom line as well as their wallet. Retail players all around the world are under pressure to minimize their overall impact on the environment. Special focus should be given to aspects like global warming, climate change, preservation of biodiversity, and boosting scarce resources.

Agencies and industries all around are also undertaking steps to improve the overall impact on society. Initiatives like social-responsibility audits at industries or factories and improved attention to social inclusion.

COVID-19 has Accelerated the Need for Adopting Sustainability in Retail

Most retailers witnessed major shifts in customer expectations and preferences during the pandemic. As per a study report, it was reported that 65 per cent of UK and German consumers claimed that they now preferred buying high-quality products. On the other hand, another 64 percent of Chinese consumers revealed that they would be shopping for more environmentally-friendly items.

There is ample evidence that indicates investing money or capital in green stimulus for resulting in improved ROI. Here are some steps that retailers around the globe can undertake to ensure sustainability:

Placing Sustainability at the Heart of the Brand

Sustainability can be properly aligned with the operational and strategic goals of the company. For instance, reducing waste packaging will also help in minimizing the overall costs.

If you wish to improve sustainability, it involves rethinking your inventory management –right from marked-down products to waste management, fulfilment, and even packaging.

Offering Customers a Choice

Customers want to be a vital part of the sustainability discussion. Retail players can consider offering customers the option to ensure sustainability. The process of making choices should be seamless. Moreover, it is imperative for customers to be well-informed.

Setting Targets and Ensuring Progress is Real

Most leading consumer-centric brands are coming forth with aspirational goals. Consumers out there are also demanding quantifiable and concrete actions to make sure that the goals are achieved effectively.

Conclusion

It is important more than ever before to adopt a sustainable way of producing and distributing goods in the modern retail industry.

Chris Farrell is the managing director of Zenex Energy, a British company founded in 2003 specialising in innovative energy saving products for both the domestic and commercial markets

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