With an increasingly eco-conscious population, shoppers are coming to expect a certain degree of sustainable effort from the brands they support on the high street. For retailers, this means that the environment must become a part of their operation, with efforts being made to reduce carbon emissions and contributions to landfills, with a greater emphasis on being a positive influence on the planet’s sustainability.
While this might seem like an overwhelming challenge, there are a number of ways changes can be made to a retail concept, with even small adjustments having significant and positive effects on both the environment and shoppers’ perception of a brand.
There is a long history of high street stores keeping their spaces illuminated with artificial light through the night. From an advertising perspective, this has previously made sense. However, now customers are beginning to form a negative opinion of wasteful energy usage. Instead, brands are turning off their lights and leaving notes of environmental justification in their windows instead.
Customers no longer enjoy being encumbered by the waste typically associated with shopping, from bags and receipts to leaflets and packaging. As such, retailers can improve their brand perception and customer support by limiting or entirely removing such offerings from transactions, choosing to replace them with options or digital alternatives.
The materials used to create a shop space, those that construct retail furniture and shop shelving, are under constant scrutiny from customers. If they are not environmentally friendly or fail to give the impression of sustainable production, then they can have a negative impact on brand perception. As such, retailers should strive for eco-friendly and locally-made retail equipment within their stores.
By hosting promotions in support of charities, such as those focusing on the environment, retailers not only improve their brand perception by association but can also encourage customers to make purchases when part of the transaction is in support of an environmental cause.
A brand’s products are statements of sustainability and the retailer who makes efforts to ensure that its products are environmentally friendly will see support from eco-minded customers. Ethical products can take a number of forms, from locally made gift cards filling greeting card units to carbon-neutral clothing, all of which leave customers feeling a sense of pride and freedom from guilt.
Choose Carbon Positive Energy Suppliers
The power that supplies a high street store can be sourced from sustainable and renewable energy companies. While these may be more expensive, choosing solar and wind power alternatives to supply a shop space allows brands to proudly share, and effectively advertise, their sustainability efforts.
Any claims of being environmentally friendly that are untrue or misleading are likely to be called out by environmentally-minded customers, potentially leading to significant backlash. This is why it is crucially important that brands only describe their retail efforts of sustainability when there is an honest intention behind both the decision and execution.