Retail sustainability is a key competitive advantage in today’s industry landscape. In fact, CGS reported that 68% of consumers consider sustainability practices to be an important factor when making a purchase decision. Lucky for retailers, adopting sustainable business practices will not only please your customers, but will also benefit the environment and drastically cut down your operating costs. We’ll show you three ways your natural heath store can get started.
When evaluating how your natural health store can make a significant impact on the environment and your business costs, start with cleaning up your energy methods. Conduct a simple energy audit on your properties to discover opportunities for an upgrade. Swap old equipment and lighting for alternatives that are specifically designed to be energy efficient and use less power. If you can, consider solar options for powering lights and other electronics.
It’s important to keep in mind that even the smallest energy changes have a big impact on retail sustainability. Simple changes such as turning down the heat a few degrees, turning off electronics at the end of each day, and using more natural light instead of electricity will create meaningful cost and energy savings.
Limit Your Paper
Do you know just how much paper your natural health store uses each year? In the United States alone, over 12 million trees are cut down each year just to create paper receipts. When looking to increase your retail sustainability efforts, a good place to start is with your receipt consumption. To do this, many companies are opting to forgo paper receipts all together, only offering digital receipts to their shoppers. Other options include dual sided or consolidated receipts, which greatly decrease the amount of paper used per receipt. If your store is ready to make the switch, look for companies like Auto-Star who integrate with digital receipt technology, as well as condensed receipt printing.
In addition to your natural health store’s receipt production, look for other opportunities to cut back on paper. A few easy retail sustainability switches include:
You might be surprised just how easy it is to reduce your business’s paper consumption, and how much you’ll save every year from reduced paper and printing costs.
Watch Your Waste
Paper isn’t the only thing retailers should cut; natural health store owners should also evaluate the amount of waste their business is producing. To start, examine your manufacturing process to look for excess waste in materials, packaging, and inventory loss. Are there any materials that you can swap out for recycled or reusable alternatives? Can you reduce or eliminate some of your packaging? Could you upgrade your inventory management to include expiry tracking and scientific purchasing? All of these efforts will greatly reduce the amount of waste your natural health store produces, as well as boost your margins.
In store, improve your retail sustainability efforts by cutting down on plastic bag use and waste. Encourage and reward shoppers to use reusable bags by implementing a small discount program if they bring their own bags. Some cities, including Chicago and Seattle, are even trying bag taxes to further discourage disposable bag use.
When it comes to retail sustainability, it’s all about the details. Natural health store retailers can do their part by implementing some of these starter sustainability practices. Small day-to-day changes truly do have a big impact, and your customers will thank you. Contact Auto-Star for more information on how our natural health technology can create a meaningful difference in both your wallet and your ecological footprint.