How mobile technology can encourage sustainability

By empowering customers to shop more sustainably it can help them to make informed decisions and achieve greater sustainability, writes Will Broome, founder and CEO of Ubamarket, the app that helps consumers to make the most environmentally-friendly and sustainable purchases. 

The notion of sustainability has become a concern for supermarkets across the country, due to growing consumer demand for conscious and environment-friendly shopping.

A study conducted by Pi Datametrics found that one of the main trends that emerged from last year was sustainable consumption, as an increasing number of people are making decisions to buy and use longer-lasting materials and products that have fewer damaging effects on the environment.

Over the last year, there has been a 137% growth in ‘alternative to single-use’ search terms.

Over the past three years, ‘plastic-free shops near me’ searches increased by 1,774,900% and ‘zero-waste stores’ have also seen a 4,470% rise.

Furthermore, a study by TetraPak showed that 97% of retailers are making sustainable changes due to this consumer demand; food retailers, in particular, are arguably feeling the pressures of sustainability requirements, as they contend with growing concerns over food waste as well as the sustainability of their packaging.

This shift in consumer demand, causing sustainable developments is a welcome and much-needed change for the retail sector, as Greenpeace has found that UK supermarkets are responsible for 58 billion pieces of plastic a year.

In a post-Coronavirus climate, it is important to consider that this number may have grown significantly due to the larger number of people buying products to cook from home. As such, it remains of utmost importance that retailers can prioritise sustainability while also maintaining safety protocols.

One way in which retailers will be able to adapt to the new climate while placing sustainability at the forefront is through the integration of mobile technology into the sector.

Ubamarket, a white label app pioneering in retailing technology, which provides an innovative and simple to use solution that puts the consumer in control of their shopping experience.

Ubamarket’s mobile technology offers retailers and customers a solution to maintain safety protocols as well as prioritise sustainability. The ‘Plastic Alerts’ feature allows shoppers to scan every product in-store for information on the recyclability of any packaging.

Customers are then presented with an overall ‘sustainability score’ at checkout, to see where they can easily make changes to shop more sustainably.

By empowering customers to shop more sustainably, the app also enables retailers to access targeted insights into shopping trends of their consumer bases and make informed decisions to achieve greater sustainability as a result.

In light of this, Ubamarket conducted nationally representative research that showcases exactly why environmental awareness has become such a concern for retailers as of late and justifies the need for such technology:

  • 82% – nearly 43 million – of UK shoppers believe the level of plastic packaging on food and drink products needs to be changed drastically
  •  57%, or 30 million, think that plastic pollution is the single greatest threat to life and the environment in modern history
  •  77% of Brits, representing more than 40 million nationally state that, no matter how much they recycle, it is the manufacturers and supermarkets that are causing the most plastic pollution

With the retail sector now fully reopen and functioning after the lockdown, it is now of utmost importance that retailers maintain a safe environment while making more sustainable advancements. In a post-Coronavirus climate, sustainability is essential for retailers that want to prosper, as we move and develop into a more environmentally conscious society.

By implementing mobile technology, such as that provided by Ubamarket, retailers will be able to get ahead of the curve; it can improve in-store safety and efficiency while also providing access to useful data for the retailer. For the retail sector to advance and evolve, it must adapt to the sustainability needs of the consumer.

The future of retail is sustainable and with inevitable initiatives supporting environment-friendly shopping to come, it is high time that retailers to look into the benefits of mobile technology, for sustainability and increased success.

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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