Retail is a world that relies on customers buying your goods and this means that for all the items a customer is unable to buy – you as the owner or manager, becomes the customer. Now, we all know that everyone likes a bargain so when it comes to expendable items such as carrier bags, you need to make sure that you are being as cost-conscious as possible and you may be surprised to learn that by being environmentally-conscious at the same time, you could be saving yourself a whole heap of money rather than simply wasting it.
As much as 50% of household waste that ends up on landfill sites has originated in some way from well-known supermarket chains (research by WRAP) and this has led to WRAP – Material change for a better environment – working with such retailers to develop better packaging and reduce this waste. However, although you may think it is just the large retailers, such as Marks & Spencer or Asda who have looked at recycled packaging options, no matter how small your business, you can still save money as well as the environment.
As a fruit and veg store, for instance, you could look into recyclable heavy-duty carrier bags and encourage your customers to be environmentally friendly by buying one and re-using it or simply reusing any carrier bags when they come to your store. As a retailer, you have the power to spread the word to your customers and by encouraging them to partake you will be setting a good example as well as saving yourself money. You can start by taking small steps, for instance you may decide to display colourful posters encouraging your customers to become more environmentally aware or you may simply train your staff to ‘ask’ whether a customer would like a bag instead of automatically providing one. Instantly you could be making more money by simply not letting your customers fill up their bags!
If you are an internet-based business and you are constantly sending out goods to customers then why not re-think your packaging? Often a small item packaged within a box is then put into a bigger box and packed out with bubble wrap – by looking into bespoke packaging that fits your items exactly you could cut down not only your postage costs, but also your packaging. If you sell soaps or jewellery you might look to package items in drawstring bags made from natural materials such as hemp. By packaging items like this you are still creating a luxurious feel, but one that is also kind to the environment and you are also giving customers the opportunity to reuse the packaging to maybe send their own presents out!
Most customers are looking to become environmentally friendly these days so far from creating a lax image by sending and giving out less packaging or by reusing, you are instead creating an image that cares for the environment and this will appeal to a lot more people than you think. How can you go wrong when you are creating a good image as well as saving yourself money and therefore ensuring that you are not spending more than your customers.