The holiday season is upon us. It is this time of year retailers try their best to outdo one another to collect their share of potential revenue.
One thinks of holiday shopping (and Black Friday in particular) and immediately pictures hordes of shoppers lined outside electronics stores. Videos leak online of people piling into stores, literally trampling one another to get the latest and greatest technology. Indeed, “door-crasher sales” are aptly named.
Year-over-year growth in holiday sales proves consumers are exceedingly inundated with marketing messages retailers use to get them through the door.
In the height of the excitement, there is one extremely important and often forgotten player: Planet Earth.
Everyone plays an important role in preserving the beautiful place we all call home. When your consumers are caught up in the excitement of hot deals and savings, there are ways you can set your company apart from the crowd.
- Communicate deals electronically, rather than with paper.
According to the EPA, Black Friday specifically is a major culprit in generating tens of thousands of tons of paper waste. With every tree we chop to accommodate this demand, we also chop a source of clean air for our earth.
Going paperless is not only good for the environment, it is good for business. Companies embracing green initiatives are continuously winning the favor of consumers who are more educated than ever on the impacts of global warming and environmental waste.
Additionally, electronic receipts require email collection and this equates to customer retention and relationship goldmines.
*Hot tip: tell customers you will not use their email addresses to send marketing messages. Instead, offer voluntary sign-up to mailing lists with elegant e-receipts. A combination of friendly in-store service combined with a beautifully designed e-receipt can be enough to win the loyalty of your dear customers.
- Embrace an omnichannel solution.
Imagine the number of vehicles caught idling in slow-moving traffic while consumers blindly navigate to stores that might hold the product they’re looking for.
A full omnichannel approach offers consumers timely, consistent and up-to-date information so they can make the best decision for themselves and produce less waste.
Consumers are more likely to shop with you if they can reserve inventory online (or with a mobile app) and are confident they can retrieve the item when they appear in-store for pickup.
Better yet, offer delivery direct to their home and eliminate the need for them to start their engines at all.
The key is to instill confidence. We’ve all heard of, or experienced, the dreaded story of finding stock online at a certain location, only to drive there and find out the company’s website was out of date. Don’t let this be your company!
- Offer trade-in programs to foster environmental sustainability.
If you are in the electronics game, consider the number of devices and consoles pushed aside, collecting dust in a corner or, worse, piled up in a landfill.
Consider offering a trade-in program for used devices and offer a rebate for customers who take part. If you have a repair center, you can use salvageable parts from these products or sell them to businesses who specialize in repairs.
Alternatively, partner with a charitable foundation in your community to offer working, used electronics to underprivileged children and families. Imagine the glow on the face of little Timmy when he opens a PlayStation on Christmas morning. He won’t mind that it’s pre-loved.
The incentive of a rebate is likely to increase your traffic during the busiest time of year and taking part in recycling programs and supporting your community will gain your company goodwill and respect – things you can’t buy.
It is not enough to walk away from Black Friday with pockets full of cash from crazed consumers. Companies can play a pinnacle role in preserving our environment, promoting eco-friendly practices and creating happy, loyal customers.