What a year a difference makes in the world of retail getting serious about sustainability. The subject is no longer just a headline retailers are throwing around to tick a millennial happy box.
At the NRF Big Show I estimate more than half of the panels I attended addressed the subject in the form of traceability, transparency, resale, rental and more responsible manufacturing. Perhaps one of the most notable comments on the subject came from Jen Hyman, CEO of Rent the Runway, who said fast and sustainable don’t have to be in conflict.
Retailers only need to look to IBM’s recent study, in association with the NRF, to understand just how fast consumer priorities are changing. As a result, brands and retailers are taking action (see my top 10 list below). I spoke with IBM’s Luq Niazi about surprising findings in the survey.
The consumer can get anything they want as quickly as they want (same day delivery, one hour delivery, BOPIS) all while comparing prices in real time, so it is no surprise some retailers may wonder whether sustainability really factors in the decision making purchasing process. According to findings in IBM’s recent study of 19,000 consumers in 28 countries, the answer is a resounding yes.
Findings from the study revealed nearly 60% of consumers surveyed are willing to change their shopping habits to reduce environmental impact. For the nearly 80% of respondents who said sustainability is important to them over 70% would pay a premium of 35% on average. The statistic that surprised me most was the almost even split between consumers being value driven vs. purpose driven and the small percentage of consumers that report being brand driven.