Sustainable Shopping Statistics

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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. If 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 … but 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 amazing 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-check out 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 with your product on its way to turn them into a valuable repeat customer.

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

Newer sustainable and impact brands (who are leading retail growth) 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 that are ethical right down to the producers and land up to the packaging and distribution and 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 being promoted on an ethical brand directory, app, or marketplace, etc. bringing someone new to your online store will bring impact shopping to the masses one person at a time AND 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 thought leaders on how (and when) mass protests will go beyond political calls for government action but will also impact how young people shop and how they pressure 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, packaged sustainably for reuse/recycling/compost, and delivered with both convenience and energy efficiency in mind 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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