How To Help Your Customers Shop Sustainably
Sustainability and eco-friendly brands aren’t just a FAD trend. As we become more and more aware of the decline of our environment, as a society we have started to prioritise going green and making small changes that can hugely impact the health of the world around us. It’s not just all words though, a study by the Guardian highlights that 70% of consumers are positively influenced by brands that use sustainable packaging. This shows a huge potential for businesses to capture a larger and perhaps new audience.
Shopping sustainably and helping or encouraging your customers to make green choices is ethical and will also help to encourage customers to shop with you. This is because it makes them feel good to be making environmentally responsible consumer decisions. In fact, an incredible 84% of people will seek out sustainable products, services and brands. This can have a positive knock-on effect for your revenues, so making sure you help the planet is ultimately helping you, too.
So, Who Has Gone Green?
Millennials and Generation Z (those born between 1995 and 2008) are the demographics set to shake up how we spend our money. Millennials are the ones who are currently in the driver’s seat when it comes to shopping ethically, as they also spend approximately $6 billion per year, they could be the ones to help uplift your business.
Businesses like IKEA, Johnson & Johnson and outdoor clothing giant Patagonia have already gone green with their printed packaging or made a notable effort to cut wastage and ensure they are helping their customers shop sustainably.
How To Go Green:
Change Out Your Packaging
Completely overhauling your printed packaging, bags or mailing materials can be an eco-conscious choice, but only if it is handled properly. For example, it is not sustainable to throw away your existing packaging if it is still suitable for use, it is not also cost effective. Instead, we recommend taking advantage of the opportunity when you do decide to change or upgrade your packaging.
Consider opting for printed paper bags or something that is made from brown Kraft paper to really augment your eco-friendly brand to customers! To really play on your customer’s psychology, let them know how they are offsetting their carbon footprint by announcing it on the printed bags.
Alternatively, you could order a special design for limited edition bags to announce your attitudes and to turn your sustainable re-brand into a promotion, using printed cotton bags or reusable items to ensure the message is seen again and again! Whatever your size and whatever your market, there is fantastic inspiration out there for eco friendly packaging designs.
Run A Recycling Campaign
Reports show that SMEs could help lead the charge for promoting recycling in the workplace – so why not let your customers know and use it as a marketing angle?
You can order collection boxes for relevant recycling products and invite potential customers in to rid themselves of things they were going to through away. For example, TK Maxx and H&M, although not SMEs, now run collection points at select stores and shout about it to their customers on social media and in traditional print ads. The target is to get customers to come and drop their unloved clothing items in and browse the store whilst they are there.
For an SME, this strategy can be adapted to be a much lower cost and even if you are not successful at completely converting your customer, you will have boosted your visibility and begun to establish a responsible and ethical brand image. To help re-capture the customers that turn up to donate or recycle their goods, you could provide voucher codes or a limited-edition discount to help encourage them back to you.
Going Green Starts From Within
If you really want to convince your customers and potential audiences that you are a conscious and responsible SME, then a good place to start is with your internal practices. Implementing green initiatives and eco-friendly practices is something that starts from within the company, although these might not directly drive customers to your business, they could still save you money on your overheads.
For example, implement ‘turn it off’ programmes, ensuring your staff turn off their desktops, unplug chargers and turn their lights off. Smallbusiness.co.uk highlight that this could save up to 50% of your energy, which will positively impact the environment, and your bills. Ensuring you recycle your paper waste and have the appropriate facilities within the office is one of the best and easier ways to make your SME more eco-friendly. Of course, this is still something you can shout about on your website, socials and controlled channels and will help boost client opinion and how your brand or services are perceived.
Have you got any more ideas for how to go sustainable as an SME? Leave a comment or get in touch with The Printed Bag Shop with your printed packaging idea, we’d love to help you!