Are sustainability and convenience compatible for retailers?

Christen Martines | December 28, 2022

Raconteur, December 19, 2022, Jonathan Evans

Retailers must adapt their convenience-centric approach to meet younger consumers’ environmental demands. How can they strike the best balance?

For many younger consumers, the environment is the defining issue of our time. That’s hardly surprising, given the growing fears over global warming. However, it’s also influencing their shopping habits, posing a serious challenge for retailers.

Research by consultancy Alchemmy shows that 75% of Gen Z shoppers say their purchasing decisions are influenced by whether a brand or product aligns with their green values. Lucy Gibbs, Alchemmy’s director of retail and consumer, believes the figure reflects a younger generation that wants to engage with brands which are authentic in their efforts to become more sustainable.

“To meet the sustainability expectations of Gen-Z, it is not enough for retailers to appear as if sustainability is important to them,” she says. “Instead, retailers need to work with consumers to make sustainability profitable in the long term and incentivize them to want and choose more sustainable options.”

Retail’s dirty secret

That may be easier said than done. Shoppers are now used to the convenience of endless choice, speedy deliveries and seamless returns, all of which come at a high environmental cost.

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