Environmental responsibilty & digital: two key points for optimized customer experience

Environmental responsibility has never been more relevant. According to a study conducted by Oney and OpinionWay on sustainable consumption , 90% of consumers expect brands to make a real commitment and help them consume better.

While the current health crisis has accelerated this profound shift towards better consumption, it has also put the focus on better communication, which provides greater support and reassurance in a society that is searching for meaning. 

  • How does the digital customer experience serve and strengthen brands' environmentally responsible actions?
  • What are the two areas where optimization can help to enrich the experience and strike the right balance between commitment and efficiency?

Building trust through transparency

In the face of the many recent greenwashing scandals, consumers are no longer as trusting and are wary about brands' claims about environmental responsibility, which are often perceived as opportunistic marketing tools. It is no longer enough to simply claim to be a green or responsible brand: saying it is one thing, proving it is another. Consumers are well aware how difficult it is for brands to achieve targets such as carbon neutrality and zero waste. Nobody is expected to achieve the impossible, which is why the general public demands transparency above all.

The e-commerce and ROPO (Research Online Purchase Offline) booms are proof: digital holds a select position in the buying process. It is essential now for brands to use digital to highlight their commitment and attract consumers' interest, whether directly on their own websites or via social networks, for example. How can this be done? 

  • Through regular updates: news and thoughts about sustainable development (such as the replacement of a material, the optimization of a logistics process or an innovation underway) are steps forward that reflect a real and ongoing commitment.
  • Through relevant certifications and standards: with an ever-growing number in the area of sustainable development, they offer brands an opportunity to back up their claims with tangible, objective evidence, which is always more reassuring for consumers.
  • Through storytelling: history, origins, aspirations and values are all ways in which brands can develop their communication strategies to link environmental responsibility with their DNA, give their green actions authenticity and highlight evidence of their commitment.

Ensuring coherency, always

According to ADEME, the French Agency for Ecological Transition, the carbon footprint of digital, information and communication technologies is equivalent to that of civil aviation over a one-year period. So how can a responsible digital strategy not be considered when thinking about sustainable development? Digital does not seem to be a real priority in companies' green transformations, however, unlike production and logistics processes, or offline media, for example.

It should be! Digital makes it possible not only to ensure a constant commitment, but also to reconcile ethical requirements with profitability targets. Which good practices can help integrate environmental responsibility in your digital strategy?

  • An eco-designed website, combining minimalism and performance. From design to integration, and the choice of CMS to hosting, each design stage is an opportunity to deliver sustainable improvements that will lead to a slimline, fast, functional, attractive and even search-engine optimized website.
  • Targeted and personalized marketing campaigns based on big data. This is a very good way to prevent digital pollution, by optimizing the volume of communications, as well as to avoid large numbers of unread emails being stored indefinitely in inboxes.
  • Responsible marketing campaigns in the "age of better consumption". Competition for Black Friday and sales, where brands are seen as being responsible for uncontrolled consumption (fast fashion, food waste, constant push marketing, etc.), is encouraging them to be more sparing with their promotional offers.

Digital is a powerful tool to increase the number of touchpoints between consumers and brands, and this is a real asset when it comes to convincing people about a topic as sensitive as sustainable development. For some, it is an opportunity to regularly gather a mass of information and experiences, in order to make enlightened choices.

For others, it is a chance to build the relationship based on preference and loyalty that consumers expect, step by step.However, at a time when ethics and authenticity are key, it is essential to bear in mind that environmental responsibility is a long-term investment, where humility and regularity remain the best guarantors of a recognized commitment and a lasting customer relationship.

[1] https://www.oney.com/etude-consommation-raisonnee/

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