Retail, as we know it, is facing a watershed moment. One of the longer-lasting effects of COVID is destined to be our continued fondness for online shopping. We have discovered, en-masse, the convenience of having our food delivered right to our door. Why ever leave the house? That presents a new challenge for modern supermarkets. How will they continue to harness the power of the browser? The impulse shopper. How do you introduce new products to online shoppers who have strong search filters in action?
As part of their cross-channel sales strategy, supermarkets will need to give customers new impulse to return to brick and mortar shops. This is where attractive, entertaining refill stations can allow stores to perform a new primary role: providing a product discovery and taste-making experience for customers. Providing much needed ‘retailtainment’ while simultaneously lowering their environmental impact.
The plastic problem
The world is realising that recycling alone will not save us from plastic pollution. It is incumbent upon all of us to revolutionise our plastic use. We must stop thinking of it as disposable. Currently, it is impossible to avoid plastic when grocery shopping. It’s everywhere! However, research shows that customers are ready for a change. GlobalData’s 2019 Q3 survey revealed that 69% of APAC consumers look for sustainability aspects in product packaging while 71% look for reusable and refillable product packaging. Increased public outrage is inspiring a growing zero-waste movement, moving beyond the fringe to the average customer. With consumers actively seeking out companies prioritising environmental issues, could reusable packaging systems be the answer?
The Zero-waste movement
Zero-waste stores are popping up in city centres across the world, lovely little shops filled with nibbly bits like unsalted macadamias and hemp oil on tap. Fun as these shops are, they cater mainly towards an organic, unprocessed, dare I say it 'plant-based' stereotype. A growing yet still niche market. While spreading the applaudable message of a refillable future, they are not reaching the target audience. The eco-consumer is already on board. We need to attract the everyday shopper, where price and convenience trump sentiment. Mainstream consumers need mainstream solutions.