A sea change is underway and consumers are looking to retailers for information and guidance.
As you might expect, many of the retail executives we interviewed for a recent report (Retail Experiences of the Future, in partnership with SAP) revealed that sustainable behaviours are one of their priorities into 2022 and beyond. Siti Astrid Kusumawardhani, VP of Public Affairs at Indonesian tech giant GoTo Group, was one of those to speak about carbon reduction.
According to Kusumawardhani, “Gens Z and Y are very aware of climate issues and how everyday activities contribute to it. The GoTo Group has set a target to achieve ‘Three Zeros’ on our platform by 2030, including Zero Emissions, Zero Barriers and Zero Waste. We’re already seeing real excitement from consumers, with strong take up of our carbon offsetting feature GoGreener.”
In addition, GoFood is already reducing single-use plastic packaging waste such as cutlery and straws and helping merchants explore more environmentally friendly packaging options.
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From PR to packaging
In China, against a backdrop of increasing ecommerce competition and regulatory scrutiny, the likes of Alibaba and JD.com are focusing more on sustainability. For Alibaba in particular, this meant a more low-key approach to its annual Singles Day sales festival, focusing less on the big GMV numbers and more on powering sustainable growth.
For ecommerce and retail in general, packaging is another issue that has long been a concern and the subject of innovation. For Anand Narang, VP of Marketing and Customer Experience at Bata India, paper and repurposing existing packaging have been the way to go. “At Bata, we sell nearly 47 million pairs of shoes every year. That can mean a lot of paper bags. We scaled our sustainability initiatives by encouraging consumers to get their own bags and rewarded them with loyalty points. In addition, we rolled out ‘green handles’, a Bata India innovation, which, when pasted to the shoebox in a store, can be converted into a smart carriable box. Such innovations have helped us drive a change in consumer mindset and in the process contribute to our sustainability initiatives of recycle, reuse and reduce.”