The perfect example of social philanthropy can be seen in the eCommerce industry. eCommerce industry has opened entirely new doors to bring in the seasoned spenders. Besides reaping benefits alone, the brands are looking forward to bring in a positive change in the world, thanks to the needs of the socially conscious consumers. Yes, they believe in helping out to make the world a better place rather than just reaping in the profits alone as they are now learning the fact that their business can affect the change.
To name a few brands like Lush Cosmetics, Marks and Spencers, Dogeared which have already started making this contribution to bring a change that impacts on local and/or global level. Capitalizing such an opportunity should be on the cards for brands and savvy entrepreneurs
You can find several stories of selflessness on the internet. Likewise, today’s consumer has become socially conscious. They want the companies to take responsibility in improving the world around them. The companies are very well listening to the demands of the socially conscious millenials. An active participation is seen from the eCommerce companies.
There are three trends that lead to this socially conscious eCommerce model:
1) eCommerce is growing:
eCommerce accounts for over 7.3% sales of total retail sales according to eMarketer. This number is expected to grow to a whooping 12.4% by the year 2019. With less time available, consumers are shifting towards eCommerce than traditional retail shops for fulfilling their shopping needs.
2) Spending power has grown significantly:
The fact of the matter is that the tech-savvy millenials are spending money on online shopping. The figures of online sales are expected to touch $200 Billion by the end of year 2017.
3) A desire to make the world better
The millenials want their spending to not only go entirely into one pocket, but they want it to have a positive impact in the world. They want the eCommerce companies to take responsibility and spend the resources in betterment of the society. Most of the millenials would like to buy products from responsible companies. It brings in psychological and emotional satisfaction.
Socially conscious consumers are more likely to consult social media about the company and its products before reaching to a decision to buy.
What is making it so important?
Consumer has become socially more active. The demand and access for them to support a cause they love has become closer. They want the companies to come forward and take the responsibility to improve the environment and the society in which they breathe in.
Several surveys have been conducted with regard to consumers’ online buying behavior and below are some of the facts collected from the surveys:
A corporate responsibility survey by Nielson demonstrates that 55% of the buyers are willing to pay extra to buy goods from companies who have benefited the society.
According to Cone Cause Evolution study, 85% of the buyers have a positive image about the company and its products that supports a cause about which they care.
52 % of the consumers have made at least one purchase from the socially responsible companies. (Nielson corporate responsibility survey)
Growing trends indicate that the greatest concerns among the millenials are that of environment, education and hunger.
A large number of consumers wish that the products and/or services they use would support more charities and social causes for which they care.
The inclination towards a brand which is more socially responsible is growing in comparison to the one which is not socially responsible.
How eCommerce companies can help?
Ecommerce can be of great use as the ease, the speed and the pervasiveness of eCommerce can be used to raise significant charitable contributions, that too on a daily basis. The best possible way eCommerce companies can help is by linking buying and giving back. It will help in two ways; the company will be able to grab more sales and it will be able to help for a cause which its consumers’ care most about. While doing so, they need to ensure that they support causes their consumers actually care about.
While paying online, an option can be included wherein the user would be asked to make a small donation to help in a cause. This way, eCommerce companies can raise substantial amounts of money to support a cause. Take a look at the example of LUSH, the cosmetic company that manufactures hand-made cosmetics and soaps. They utilize their retail shops and digital platforms to raise public awareness.
In 2014, they launched a limited edition hand-made shark fin soap to support a campaign protesting the killing of sharks. The amount raised was $210,000 for the cause.
The three main causes on LUSH’s corporate social responsibility plan are animal protection, human rights and environmental conservation.
It is better to utilize the power of significantly growing ecommerce industry to raise funds and support various charities and NGOs in accomplishing a goal. This enables the consumers to donate directly for a cause in which they believe. Passionate Millenials have made it possible with their growing efforts to make a difference and increased retail philanthropy.
It is also beneficial for the millenials who don’t have to take out time from their busy schedules to do good to the society.
The bottom line of the whole picture is that the brands have an opportunity to enhance their reputation by engaging in more socially aware programs that support a worthy cause. The goal is to utilize the full power of internet. This not only provides consumers with useful buying information, it can be also be used to tell them that a part of the money with which they make the purchases is going in good hands.
From business perspective, brands and companies have hope and optimism that they would be widely recognized and embraced as a mark of a brand doing good work for the society.
Ecommerce companies are listening and they are looking forward to the philanthropic endeavors. Surely, you want to be a part of it as well right