Sustainable Shopping Statistics

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(Also see the GoodCarts Index with Sustainable Product Statistics.)

Liar, liar sustainable shopping stats on fire … but there is hope

Preparing for my keynote at Sustainatopia, I dug into a very interesting global survey [PDF].

A whopping 66% of global consumers said they would pay more for sustainable products.

That’s great, if it were true.

Another question pulled out the fact that only 10% said they actually buy sustainable products now on a regular basis.

OK, so let’s call the remaining 56% the “sustainability dreamers” rather than liars.

How do we make that dream a reality?

Unfortunately, survey after survey, story after story can lead social impact consumer good entrepreneurs astray. The drum beat builds up the illusion that most consumers will pay more [PDF] for sustainability when they first meet your products. In fact, 44% now say [PDF] the cost of socially responsible goods is now a bigger barrier to purchasing them than availability. Reality sucks.

Actually, I’m an optimist.

That said, I’ll bet we can double to 20% those who will do what they say and actually pay more for sustainable products. However only once they become a repeat customer. First, we need them to experience your quality sustainable product or brand. Reaching first time prospective customers via GoodCarts, you can give them that inspiring discount that motivates them to try something new. Your compelling mission-driven story is great, but with most even the most conscious consumers it is not enough to press ‘buy’ the first time.

So for sustainable and social impact retail entrepreneurs ready to try something new too. GoodCarts can help.

Photo of Steven Clift at SustainatopiaEvery day, I talk to retail entrepreneurs who are doing good by empowering consumers to shop their values for impact.

GoodCarts is like a smart digital version of coupons on the back of the receipt. Member stores share an invite to discounts at other “good” stores post-checkout on their receipt page. It works! (Contact us for a video demo.)

Here is my pitch – know your margins, set your discount, and gain a new first time customer via GoodCarts. Then it is up to you and your product to turn them into a valuable repeat customer.

GoodCarts is also an exciting way to maximize ethical spending through new brand discovery. What I love about our reciprocity powered model is that every member store is also that first bridge to the 56% of consumer who aspire to shop for positive impact.

Newer sustainable and impact brands also have a huge opportunity to break through with the existing 10% who actively shop sustainably – why? Their “share of wallet” spent based on their values has room to expand. The challenge is to introduce them to “vertically” good products. This means that they are ethical right down to the producers and land up to the packaging and distribution. Not just settle for an isolated shelf of commodity priced eco-friendly products at a big box retailer.

Reciprocity powered means we share what works.

Whether it is an enticing photo on Instagram, an optimized Google Search result, a well targeted Facebook ad, or an ethical brand, etc. bringing someone new to your online store will bring impact shopping to the masses one person at a time. This will also bring those who shop for good into our shared cross promotional network.

We have an opportunity to help drive generational impact.

As I’ve watched Gen Z take the lead on the #climatecrisis, I’ve had dynamic conversations with Gen Z leaders on how mass protests will go beyond political calls for government action. Furthermore, how this will also impact how young people shop. Not only Gen Z, but also their parents to buy far more sustainable products. This is on top of numbers that show Millennials already expect a far greater corporate commitment to sustainability than previous generations.

The future for sustainable products is packaged sustainably for reuse/recycling/compost, and delivered with both convenience and energy efficiency in mind. This is quite exciting. I am proud that GoodCarts is part of this revolution. Connecting impact entrepreneurs in retail to each other so we can collectively reach millions more people looking to shop their values for good inspires us everyday.

Please get in touch for more info about GoodCarts.

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