More people are demanding that businesses make a sustainable switch. Consumers around the world and across all age groups find it extremely important that companies create programs that improve the environment, according to Nielsen’s 2017 Global Consumer Confidence Survey.
It’s one thing to apply sustainable methods to your business, but it’s an entirely different thing to convince your customers you’re not just going with a fad. As a matter of fact, only a quarter of the people worldwide believe that businesses are making their processes eco-friendly, as stated in the 2013 UN Global Compact and Accenture CEO Study on Sustainability.
If you want to communicate your sustainable efforts to your customers effectively, the following suggestions may help.
Show, Don’t Tell
Transparency continues to be the key to gaining the trust of today’s consumers. Over 39% of UK consumers say that they’re inclined to buy products from brands that act responsibly. A study on cybersecurity by consulting firm Capgemini also showed that 68% of shoppers are more likely to purchase products and services from brands that are transparent about their processes, especially when it comes to handling customer data.
When you’re communicating your sustainable efforts to your customers, don’t just put out a press release and an event about it. Show them the new process and how you transitioned to it by providing tours or inviting a news crew over to videotape it for a story. No matter how extensive your sustainability plan is, post it on your website or social media for everyone to see. As the old saying goes, honesty is the best policy.
When in Doubt, Put More Efforts In
If your customers still aren’t convinced about your eco-friendly methods, supplement this by adding more ways to make your business sustainable. If you’re running a retail shop or a grocery store, provide discounts for customers who bring cloth bags to use when they buy your products. Not only does this lessen the need for plastic and paper bags on your end, but it also encourages your patrons to start practising eco-friendly shopping themselves. Consider putting cycle shelters in your parking lot to convince your customers to bike to your location instead of using their cars. This way, you’re not just showing your customers that your methods are sustainable, you’re letting them participate in the process.
Partner With Sustainable and Local Suppliers
Your customers aren’t just looking at your business process when it comes to sustainability. Some of them consider your suppliers’ eco-friendliness as well. Do your best to source your materials and products from local partners or ones that practice sustainable methods, too. While it may be difficult to cut ties with longtime partners who provide reasonable prices, it’s a worthy switch that your customers will likely support you for. A recent survey by Nielsen showed that over 66% of global consumers say that they’re willing to pay more for products from sustainable brands.
Sustainable businesses are more than just a passing trend. They’re slowly becoming the norm – and for a good reason, as the UK currently has a deadline to eradicate harmful emissions by 2050. It’s not enough that you’re putting in sustainable efforts. You should also communicate appropriately to your customers what these efforts are. Not only will you gain their trust, but you’ll even inspire some of them to join you in the fight for a greener Earth.