Many customers today have greener expectations for the businesses they choose to shop. While you don’t need to reinvent your entire business to appeal to this demographic, you can make small changes to your operation that show your eco-conscious side. Check out this list of ways you can appeal to consumers who seek out eco-friendly retailers and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.
- Retrofit your lighting to LEDs. A simple way to modernize the lighting in your store and save some money on your electric bill is to retrofit fluorescent lighting with LED fixtures. Your wholesaler may work with a vendor that can help or you can ask your electrician customers what your options are. Be sure to check in with your utilities provider to find out about possible rebates for making the switch. If you’re looking for an even bigger reduction on energy costs, consider installing solar panels or going for net-zero energy.
- Stock eco-friendly products. In addition to bringing in eco-conscious customers, this method may also appeal to traditional customers who are looking to cut down on chemicals in their cleaning products or fertilizers. In lawn and garden, enhance your selection of organic plants and supplies. Consider eliminating products that contain neonicotinoids, which some experts attribute to the declining bee populations. When it comes to cleaning, find out what nontoxic or natural products your are available from your wholesaler and display those types of products together on an endcap to show customers what alternatives you offer.
- Encourage—or sell—reusable bags. By 2025, Kroger will no longer offer plastic shopping bags to customers, opting for paper bags and selling reusable shopping bags for a few dollars each. While reusable shopping bags are better for the environment, they also present a marketing opportunity for your business. Find a local vendor that makes branded bags and stamp your company logo on it. You can sell them in the store at the checkout counter and use them as giveaways during promotions and events. People who regularly use reusable bags tend to take them to all the stores they shop, which increases the chance of someone seeing your business’s name around town.
- Set up recycling. Whether you set up a public recycling facility on-site or you implement a recycling policy for your business, showing you are committed to reduce, reuse and recycle will go a long way for many customers. Talk to your waste management company or other recycling organizations in town about setting up a recycling receptacle in your parking lot for public use. Station recycling containers outside your doors and throughout the store so customers and employees have several options to recycle.
- Go paperless. Many wholesalers are making the transition to paperless statements and ordering, even at buying markets, so there’s no time like now to go paperless companywide. Limit the use of printers to certain associates or only for certain documents. Talk to your POS system vendor about creating a prompt that asks whether the customer wants a receipt. If there’s an option to email receipts to customers instead, that’s also a great way to collect customer information at checkout.
- Consider your company vehicle options. If you’re in the market for a new company vehicle, find out how you can make an eco-conscious choice that will also serve your purposes. If you need a vehicle for deliveries, consider a van that runs on biofuel instead of traditional gasoline. If you just like to use a company vehicle to market your business everywhere you go, consider hybrid or electric options. Not only will you be a little kinder to the environment, you’ll also likely save on fuel costs, too.