With the holiday shopping season behind us, now is the time for retailers to conduct a post season analysis of their digital tech strategy. One area of focus during analysis needs to be sustainability, something your digital solutions can help with. Creating change in the retail industry to help the environment is multifaceted, but no matter the area your organization will focus on this year, here are some impactful ways technology can help make your sustainability goals a reality. 

Reducing Returns

For ecommerce sites, roughly 20% of all purchases are returned, creating a massive impact on the environment and 5 billion tons of landfill waste. Whether it’s virtually seeing what glasses would look like on, like Warby Parker, or the ability to see a piece of furniture in your actual space, augmented reality can serve as a test drive for consumer purchases. This means consumers are happier with their purchase and less apt to return it, reducing carbon emissions at the same time.

Cutting Back on Paper

One of the easiest ways to increase sustainability through technology is with customer loyalty apps. By offering coupons and incentives on mobile apps you can reduce paper waste and create another touchpoint with customers. The one catch? Make sure to create a customer friendly and easy to use mobile solution like the one we created for Caribou Coffee. Doing so will ensure an enjoyable and seamless experience for customers while reducing your carbon footprint.

Lowering Manufacturing Mistakes

When a product has a manufacturing defect and can’t be sold it can contribute to the same landfill waste returns do. For American Woodmark, augmented reality became an opportunity to detect mistakes quickly and determine the right next step. Doing so meant manufacturers could see in real time what defects were found to improve their process and reduce waste. Using technology like this means your business can operate more efficiently with your suppliers.  

As the retail industry looks towards the future sustainability will continue to be an important part of the conversation for both retailers and their consumers. By leveraging new technologies, the retail industry can meet consumer needs, reach their sustainability goals, and create a seamless environmentally conscious shopping experience. 

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