Written by Deepak Subramanian – Digilah (Thought Leadership)
As COP26 comes to an end, there is an even bigger emphasis on sustainability within the business sector and we can expect more brand owners to jump on the ESG and sustainability bandwagon. At the same time, there is growing consciousness with consumers about climate change. All of us slowly begin to understand that the choices we make can have a lasting impact on the health of the planet. We are all increasingly being flooded with green offerings of some sort or the other. And more will come!!!! Consumers are indicating that they need help in solving some of the pain-points around shopping for green products.
They say “Don’t…
- make me change my daily habits and make it inconvenient for me to use green products”
- make it so hard for me to find green products”
- make it so expensive for me to use green products”
- make it so hard for me to identify which products are really green and which are not”
- make it so technical that I don’t understand my impact when I make a green choice”
I believe that online shopping can be a big force to trigger the green shopping movement. There are many aspects of e-com that can address these pain-points in the moment of the shopping act
- High quality first party data can help identify current and potential green shoppers.
- Live streaming can help mobilize key local influencers to make green shopping trendy
- Green labelling can help to better signal to shoppers which products are truly green.
- Product pages can help educate on the performance and benefits of green products (vs regular offerings)
- Gamification tools like coins can help measure the impact of a green cart vs a regular cart
- The pricing algorithms can drive better repertoire purchase with cross-sell and upsell actions
- The high reach of these platforms can drive scale economies to bring down green product costs.
- The efficient fulfilment networks of these platforms will allow for brand owners to also avoid the fixed costs related to running a targeted go-to-market system
Two major developments are needed to make online shopping for green products truly impactful.
- Retailers will also need to play their part in designing and implementing more circular delivery systems which promote reuse and recycling of packing material (including options with less / better / no plastic). It does not help to deliver green products to the consumer homes with lot of virgin plastic and cardboard.
- Brand owners and retailers must leverage industry bodies to establish independent and science-based certification systems that become the common currency in the industry. We must avoid the fight for ‘my certification VS your certification’ as this will erode consumer trust.
As with most big transformations, this requires strong leadership from the top of the organization. It also needs a different kind of leadership from the past. We need a mindset that prioritizes partnerships across the value-chain (suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers) with the common intention of solving the consumer friction points and to make shopping for sustainable products truly simple and easy.