Sustainability: Less talking & more doing say consumers


Consumers have spoken, it’s no longer enough to just talk about sustainability. They want to see brands doing more to put sustainable practices into action.

According to Tryzens’ Customer Insight Report, 84% of consumers expect businesses to have sustainable practices and 83% expect them to use sustainable packaging. Clearly a good product alone is not enough for consumers and they prefer products and brands who relate to their personal values in regards to sustainable living.

Recently we have seen a rise in discussions on global warming with what seems like constant announcements of Australian bush fires. It’s no surprise that people are wanting to make a real change and with the rapid growth of ecommerce it is not surprising that these changes are being demanded by consumers online.

In September last year we wrote about a report by Shoppercentric stating that 82% of UK shoppers consider ‘environmentally friendly’ labelling within their purchase decisions and 80% of the respondents believed themselves to be “environmentally friendly.” The focus on sustainable shopping has always been a talking point and although sustainable advancements are taking place they are not happening quite as quickly as consumers would like.

“Whether looking at the issue through the lens of the recyclability of packaging materials, shipping distances, sustainable materials in products, energy efficiency or operational ethics, the agenda has changed and digital commerce provides the means to effectively showcase and explain the brand or retailers mission and mandate for a greener world.”
– Andy Burton, CEO, Tryzens

Keep up with key trends in 2020

It’s not only sustainability changing the way merchants think and engage with consumers it’s also things like usability and speed of service. Keeping up with these consumer needs and working out the best ways to provide a well rounded service means businesses have to be agile and adaptable.

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This is all very well.... but will consumers pay for it? Most sadly will not. I can guarantee that if i go on say ebay ( other market places are available!), and find a competitor selling product 'X' for say £10, and i come along and sell it at say £11... but highlight our eco friendly packaging etc.... It will be the other guy that sells the most. Trust me, we have tried it. Until eco friendly alternative are equal price to normal ones... the majority of people will talk the talk... but buy the cheapest. PLUS.... When you look into alot of this eco packaging etc for example, much is not as friendly as you think. The biodegradable bubble wrap etc is actually not very biodegradable unless it is dealt with ina special way. Just dumping it in the ground does not work. then there is the great 100% recyclable joke... gre4at, but most councils have very poor recycling records. Mine is quite truely dismal and ranks amongst the worst! So it is not worth it if it is ending up being burnt or not recycled. Unless we get on top of this, i fear the push to a more sustainable world will faulter and never pick back up. .... but yes, getting back to my earlier point, every says they want it... few want to pay extra for it.

Toby • 22nd January 2020 •

While i completely agree with almost everything you're saying, there is an option C, depending on the market you're in... pressure the manufacturer to make eco-packaging compulsary. then if your competitor is selling the same item, you both have to be selling at £11 - i understand that won't work in a lot of cases, especailly when the manufacturer has competitors, but eco-packaging at their scale would also work out cheaper per unit, they may be able to come close to the original cost and give you/them a USP over the other manufacturers. Consumers generally aren't willing to pay for it, but if it's the same price or close enough, a lot of people do seem to take notice.

james • 22nd January 2020 •

Make eco friendly packaging affordable, as I do not believe 84% of customers are WILLING to pay more and will always go for the lowest price. Cant have your cake and eat it. Margins are already razor thin in the age of Pay to Play. Every eco option I have found has been very expensive. I have seen clowns on ebay leave poor feedback for people who use re-used packaging.

SAM • 22nd January 2020 •

Poly bag £0.001 each. Fully Biodegradable as in made from starch and degrades within 6 months £0.04. Multiply that up with all the other packaging out there, will the shopper pay for it? If both cost the same then the shopper has no choice but until then forget it. To make it work, heavy taxes on one side and subsidies on the other to equal the packaging prices. OK off my trolley but how much for the flooding, wildfires etc that are now common and NOT a once in a life time event.

Ian • 22nd January 2020 •