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It is not enough anymore to just talk the talk on sustainability, consumers say

When it comes to sustainability, consumers say it is not enough anymore to just talk the talk. They want sustained change for good, according to data from digital commerce consultancy Tryzens.

Tryzens’ Customer Insight Report showed 84 per cent of consumers expect brands they shop with to have sustainable practices and 83 per cent expect sustainable packaging.

“Whether looking at the issue through the lens of the recyclability of packaging materials, shipping distances, sustainable materials in products, energy efficiency or operational ethics, the agenda has changed and digital commerce provides the means to effectively showcase and explain the brand [or] retailers mission and mandate for a greener world,” said Andy Burton, Tryzens CEO.

The consultancy firm stated this will include the likes of “dark mode” which boasts the benefit of using less energy on devices as well as causing less strain on the user’s eyes.

Adoption of this style is on the rise and is part of the trends the report put forward.

Burton said a retailer’s sustainable priorities is only one of the key trends they see that would impact e-commerce agendas in 2020.

“Innovation for engagement will continue to drive retailers’ priorities in 2020,” he said.

Burton said another key trend for 2020 is simplifying the way in which products are found, using the likes of voice and image search, natural language processing and social selling, as well as tools to ensure the right product has been found, such as improved content options, VR contextualisation and size/fit where appropriate.

“This is all about ensuring the shopping experience remains aligned with consumer habits and keeping pace with how they use and interact with various technologies in their everyday life, while building loyalty over the longer term,” he said.

The report indicated that retailers need to be more agile in 2020 to adapt to changing consumer trends and behaviour and quickly implement contextual commerce add-ons.

“While this approach has typically leant itself to large scale retailers to date, the good news now is that the leading vendors in the e-commerce market are making strong in-roads, through their roadmaps, to enable this next generation of capability for retailers of all sizes.”

Burton said traditional e-commerce infrastructures are often built around an ‘enterprise software’ all-inclusive platform and, therefore, material change often requires retailers to deploy an entirely new application and /or IT capability which is resource hungry, lengthy and, unsurprisingly, costly.

He suggested retailers look into ‘headless commerce’ or ‘API-enabled’ commerce, which places the focus on a technical architecture driving reusability of common capabilities, time to market benefits for changes, transactional scalability, efficient launch of new channels etc. 

“This enables retailers to integrate a wide variety of social, visual and in-store digital touchpoints from the customer-facing front-end to a back-end e-commerce platform, which can be efficiently updated and changed at any point,” he said.

Burton also said to help maximise customer engagement and sales success, retailers need to align with more innovative payment methods that resonate with their customers to help streamline the purchase process, as pre-registration with a payment service simplifies the data capture and authorisation process, reducing time and increasing convenience.

“The overarching theme running throughout all of these trends is keeping the customer at the heart of everything a retailer does; from recognising how they want to shop, to managing them across multiple channels, to demonstrating a commitment to sustainability, and to enable them to purchase through their trusted payment services,” he said.

“Those retailers recognising this and implementing the right technologies to enable these experiences will be the ones we see come out on top in 2020.”

This story originally appeared on sister site Inside Retail Australia.

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