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How to Boost Consumer Loyalty with Reuse and Recycle Tactics in Retail?

Retail has long been dictated by rules of aesthetics and practicality, however just like many other industries retail has been confronted with its own environmental footprint and brands are beginning to make strides in reducing, re-using and recycling. Driven not so much by a guilty conscience, the consumer has a large part to play in brands rethinking their green initiatives, with the packaging being at the forefront of this. A 2019 report by Zero Waste Week found that a majority (72%) in the UK are interested in buying products with recycled packaging. If your brand is working towards a greener future, below we spotlight the top ways to boost consumer loyalty with reuse and recycle tactics that go beyond just packaging and the brands to look too.

  1. Go Beyond Just Recycling

Recycling and using recycled materials in your packaging is great - in an ideal world all brands would be doing it, but it is really just scratching the top of the surface. Looking to new solutions such as refillable packaging will allow you to drastically reduce your plastic usage and also offer a great way to gain loyalty among consumers. Refillable products tend to cost less, which encourages customers to stay in your brand’s eco-system.

  1. What’s On The Outside Matters

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but sadly that saying just doesn’t swing in the marketing world. It’s been proven that design can encourage new behaviour and today’s consumers are highly tuned in to aesthetically pleasing products. For example, if they like the way a refillable product looks, it’s more likely to change their behaviour. A brand that does this well is the personal-care company Myro, who manage to make something as boring sounding as a refillable deodorant, seem fun and sexy. Myro’s refillable packaging uses 50% less plastic than traditional deodorants and comes designed with tactile edges and bright, playful colours.

  1. Offer Incentives

One of the easiest green-based strategies to adopt is to incentive your customers for their sustainable practices, such as by offering a buy-back scheme or discounts for recycling or reusing. John Lewis’ recent buy-buy scheme is an excellent example of this, with the brand offering to buy back worn or unwanted garments from customers and upcycling them into new products through a partnership with Stuffstr. Customers can simply arrange an at-home collection and receive a John Lewis gift card that matches the value in return.

Other than just offering monetary value, your brand could incentive customers with free educational tutorials like Patagonia who partnered with THE DIY website iFixit. In a series of videos, the brand set out to teach its consumers how to repair their clothing, such as waterproof outerwear at home and the company even offered a repair program for a modest fee.

  1. Motivation Matters

Lastly, when incentivising customers to engage with sustainable practices, having a great product or upcycling scheme is one thing, but the messaging is key. Telling a story around your brand’s messages and its values are key to building a community who are engaged, tuned-in to your practices and most importantly inspired to think more about their purchasing power and the brands they wish to support.

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