Technologically-sophisticated retailers have emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic as winners, but for continued success in 2022 and beyond the true industry leaders will be those which combine tech prowess with a significant focus on sustainability. Why? Because consumers are demanding sustainability.
A 2021 Deloitte study of 2,000 consumers found 30% of consumers have chosen brands that showcase environmentally-friendly practices or values as part of their attempts to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Some 28% stopped purchasing certain brands or products because of ethical or sustainability-related concerns. Additionally, 68% of consumers have made a conscious effort to be more sustainable.
For retailers to win the race for customers this year, it will require a rethink in terms of strategy, investment and partnerships. Technology and sustainability are more frequently working in conjunction to form a new type of customer proposition in retail. The following examples have emerged recently, providing inspiration for the wider industry to follow in 2022.
What’s the UK’s largest retailer doing?
The UK’s largest retailer Tesco has launched a partnership with Loop, to provide reusable packaging for its customers. Ten stores in the UK currently allow consumers to purchase products in reusable packaging that can be returned to store when finished to be cleaned, refilled and used again.
Brands such as Persil, Fever-Tree, Tetley Tea and Brewdog are among 88 product ranges with reusable packaging that Tesco shoppers can add to their normal shop with a fully refundable deposit of around 20p. Once a Loop item has been purchased, the customer must download the ‘Loop deposit’ app to register their details. When they do their next shop, the customer brings back the empty containers, collects a QR sticker from the Loop return point and sticks it on to the container before scanning it with the Loop app, returning the container and gaining access to their initial deposit.
Fugeetex — making returns more sustainable
Sustainable-production-as-a-service business Fugeetex, which was founded by the fashion company Diemonde in 2020 and aims to help designers and brands cut down on textile waste, provides a returns service that combines tech and sustainability goals.
Fugeetex is a nShift Return Rescue partner, based in Sweden, helping local fashion companies offer garment repairs to their customers. Through the combination of nShift technology and Fugeetex’s platform, a consumer can return an item long after the return window has closed for repair or recycling. The product is shipped to Fugeteex’s factory instead of back to the e-retailer, where it is repaired, upcycled or recycled and returned to the consumer once it meets their requirements.
Ovako on how to become the most sustainable steel producer in the world
The Swedish founded steel producer Ovako is one of several customers using nShift’s Transport Management System (TMS) and benefitting from nShift’s innovation in this space, using an emissions data dashboard to build a picture of their transportation carbon footprint across the whole supply chain including inbound shipping to last-mile and returns.
Ovako uses the emissions data dashboard as part of the overall shipping decision making process. They can now actively make purchasing order and shipping decisions based on the carbon footprint of the journey, measure continual improvement as well as showcase their willingness to make decisions with the health of the planet in mind.
Becoming more environmentally friendly is complicated for all organizations, including retailers. But they need to start somewhere.
Learn more about how you can go greener as a retailer and win the race for customers this year in our recorded webinar “Sustainability Sells: How to win over customers”. Read more about this and watch it here.
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