Shopping and spending sustainably

23 Jan 2020

How consumers are shopping and spending sustainably


We’re seeing more and more sustainability and the environment appearing as concerns informing customers’ purchasing behaviours. Maybe* have taken a look at the conversation about shopping sustainably to understand the trends, tactics and takeaways independent retailers can tap into to inform their own marketing and business operations.

Sustainability is everyones’ business.

Large High Street players like Zara are laying out their plans to use 100% sustainable fabrics, pressure is mounting on online brands to reduce or replace their plastic packaging; and lotions and potions favourite Lush, went packaging free earlier last year. There is no getting away from the fact that all businesses and organisations have a responsibility for their planet as well as their profits.

Material matters

From fast fashion to luxury, customers and brands are increasingly investing in sustainable materials.

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‘Tis the season to recycle

With every Christmas that passes, thoughts are increasingly turning to how to make Christmas more sustainable. From doing away with gift wrap and plastic free crackers, to buying or making secondhand and upcycled gifts, Santa is set to get sustainable in 2020.

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Naturally packaged

It’s not just retailers responding to the current climate for packaging change. F&B outlets and cinemas are replacing plastic straws and packaging with natural alternatives like bamboo and banana.  Cardboard coffee and fizzy drinks cups are on their way out with customers bringing their own increasingly incentivised.

Refill not landfill

As well as reusable receptacles for water, coffee, and your favourite smellies, increasingly spaces are being provided to refill toiletries and cleaning products. Pop-ups, markets, shopping centres, and unused units are doubling as places customers can pop in and top up their existing bottles and boxes.

Thinking differently

As well as using social media analytics to understand what products your customers like best, you can also use this insight to think differently about your business operations. Understanding whether your customers want less packaging from you and responding appropriately, is a great opportunity for your brand awareness and positive word of mouth about you. But understanding your conscious customers and their needs can inform more than your communications or social media strategy. It could help inform your product buys, your stock levels, and suppliers; contributing to the reduction of waste, and your carbon footprint.

Click here to find out more about how Maybe* can help you understand your customers better.

For more information on how to become a more sustainable independent retailer, visit our Sustainability Hub

Additional guidance and resources

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