Close
 

Why giving back is good for business

  • Opinion
  • April 7, 2016
  • Francesca Nicasio
Why giving back is good for business

Research has shown that 87 percent of customers consider CSR in their purchase decisions, and that “given similar price and quality, consumers (91 percent) are likely to switch brands to one that is associated with a good cause.”

Clearly, engaging in corporate social responsibility can earn you extra points (and sales) from customers. That’s why if you don’t have any CSR initiatives in place, you may want to cook up ways in which you can align your business with ethical practices and good causes.

Here are a few ideas to help you do this:

Donating revenue or products

One of the most common ways to engage in CSR is to support a charitable organisation. Look for a group that supports a cause you believe in, get in touch, and strategise on how you can support them.

05-Apr-2016-Image2

You can, for example, donate a portion of your revenues to that charity. That’s what the GAP is doing in its Give Twice initiative. For every gift card sold, the retailer donates 2 percent of the purchase to organizations such as CARE or Communities in Schools.

05-Apr-2016-Image3

Other retailers are opting to donate products. Take medical apparel retailer Figs, for example. The company has a programme called Threads for Threads where it donates a set of scrubs to a healthcare provider in need for every set of scrubs sold on its website.

There are also businesses that decide to set up their own foundations. Companies such as Starbucks and Chipotle have taken charitable giving into their own hands by creating organisations under their own brands. Of course, this route may be a bit more complicated, so for a lot of SMEs, it might make more sense to partner up with existing organisations.

Being conscious about how your products are sourced or manufactured

While trying to lower production costs is just good business, don’t do it at the expenses of labourers or the environment. More and more consumers are starting to care about how products are sourced or manufactured. In fact, a lot of them would be willing to pay more for merchandise produced responsibly.

As we cited in our post about competing with fast fashion, “an informal study of 390 consumers found that ‘over 75 percent of respondents agreed that they would be willing to pay more for clothing produced using responsible labour practices.’ Similarly, a YouGov poll found that 74 percent of shoppers ‘would be happy to pay an extra five percent for their clothes if there was a guarantee that workers were being paid fairly and working in safe conditions.’”

05-Apr-2016-Image4

Ask yourself, are your products sourced or manufactured responsibly? If you answered no or if you’re unsure, you may want to re-examine your suppliers. Get in touch and talk about their policies and working conditions to see if they’re upholding ethical business practices and working conditions.

Have a look at what Everlane is doing. The apparel retailer spends months finding the best factories and ensuring that they’re in line with the company’s values. “We visit them often, and build strong personal relationships with the owners,” says Everlane on its website. “This hands-on approach is the most effective way to ensure a factory’s integrity. As an added assurance we also require stringent workplace compliancy paperwork.”

Sponsoring a community initiative

There are likely plenty of CSR opportunities right in your backyard. Do some research on what’s going on in your community and see if there are any charitable initiatives or events that you could support.

Is a local non-profit organisation hosting an event? Are members of your community raising money for a new recreation centre? Do what you can to support these efforts. You could, for example, sponsor that local event or donate a portion of your revenues towards the fundraising effort. Doing so will not only enrich your neighbourhood, but it could also boost your image in the community.

Invest in your workforce

CSR isn’t just about external initiatives. The concept of giving can also be applied to your employees. Remember that it pays to treat and compensate employees well. Studies have shown that retailers who invest in their workforce not only have more motivated employees who provide better customer service, they also tend to be more profitable.

In a New Yorker.com piece about retail staffing, James Surowiecki cites a Wharton School study that found that “every dollar in additional payroll led to somewhere between four and twenty-eight dollars in new sales.”

One retailer that exemplifies this is Costco, which has reaped the benefits of paying and treating employees well.

As TriplePundit’s Leon Kaye put it:

While most big-box retailers insist on paying low wages with the claim that thin margins require reduced labour costs, Costco for years has been breaking the mould. Wall Street squawks that the membership warehouse giant should push for higher profit margins and reduced labour costs, meanwhile the company, led by its iconoclastic founder and former CEO, Jim Sinegal, constantly flicks his chin at The Street and its yammering analysts. The results: happy employees, enviable stock performance and a brilliant shopping model that, let’s face it, bludgeons consumers into shopping happily for more.

Already engaging in CSR? Here are tips to boost awareness (and sales)

If you already have CSR efforts in place, here are a couple of tips to help spread the word:

Include it in your packaging

Be sure to talk about your initiatives in your packaging. If revenues for a particular item would go to charity, see to it that this fact is mentioned in your packing. Doing so not only spreads awareness, but it also encourages shoppers to buy the product.

In a survey by Nielsen about CSR, they found that about 52 percent of global respondents “say their purchase decisions are partly dependent on the packaging – they check the labeling first before buying to ensure the brand is committed to positive social and environmental impact.”

Nielsen also saw “an average annual sales increase of two percent for products with sustainability claims on the packaging and a lift of five percent for products that promoted sustainability actions through marketing programmes.”

Actively market your efforts

When you launch your CSR efforts, market it like you would for an event or a promotion. Mention your initiatives to customers, put up in-store decals, posters, or signage, talk about them in your newsletter, and dedicate a few social media updates to your cause. If you have a website, create a dedicated page for it as well.

Celebrate the success of your initiatives

Once your CSR programme has gained traction, be sure to celebrate its success. Customers love to hear that their money is being put to great use, so update them on all the good that you’ve accomplished.

Document the results of your efforts (i.e. money you raised, number of people that you’ve helped, etc.) then spread the word through your site, employees, newsletter, and social media accounts. It’s always great to communicate good news and this move could also encourage customers to buy from you and support your cause even more.

 Francesca Nicasio is a retail expert and blogger for Vend, an iPad-based point-of-sale software that helps merchants manage and grow their business. This article was republished from Vend's retail blog, where Vend talks about trends, tips, and other cool things that can help stores increase sales and serve customers better.

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

 

Foodstuffs’ Baden Ngan Kee has passed away

  • Who's Where
  • July 16, 2019
  • The Register team
Foodstuffs’ Baden Ngan Kee has passed away

Foodstuffs has announced that its former executive Baden Ngan Kee has passed away after a battle with lung cancer.

Read more
 
 

2 Cheap Cars fined $438,000 under the Fair Trading Act

  • News
  • July 14, 2019
  • The Register team
2 Cheap Cars fined $438,000 under the Fair Trading Act

Used car dealer 2 Cheap Cars has been fined $438,000 for its use of “warranty waiver” documents and marketing statements described as “deliberately misleading”.

Read more
 
 

Retail's new best friend

  • In association with the IHA Global Innovation Awards (GIA)
  • July 13, 2019
  • Anne Kong
Retail's new best friend

As the heart and soul of retailing further evolves, stores and the essence of shopping will continue to morph in unimaginable ways. However, amidst the storm of change, there is one aspect of shopping that remains pure, constant and motivational – the aspirational moment. Anne Kong, member of the GIA expert jury, shares her thoughts.

Read more
 

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
topics
Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Sisterhood
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 

Bendon looks to sell brands after financing falters

  • News
  • July 12, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Bendon looks to sell brands after financing falters

Bendon lingerie is looking to sell some of its brands as the future of the company becomes more uncertain.

Read more
 
 

Smirnoff Pure helps Kiwis discover local artists with Spotify partnership

  • News
  • July 11, 2019
  • Caitlin Salter
Smirnoff Pure helps Kiwis discover local artists with Spotify partnership

The music we love is made up of many influences, including where we live. In its latest campaign, Smirnoff Pure and YoungShand tapped into the unique vibes of New Zealand and set out to help Kiwis discover the music that moves the cities and suburbs they call home.

Read more
 

Outgoing Spark CEO Simon Moutter talks transformation, diversity and leaving a legacy beyond just metrics

  • News
  • July 11, 2019
  • Elly Strang
Outgoing Spark CEO Simon Moutter talks transformation, diversity and leaving a legacy beyond just metrics

Simon Moutter has just wrapped up a seven-year tenure at telecommunications company Spark. Under his rein, the changes the company has gone through are nothing short of radical, from its name (Telecom to Spark), to its operating model (traditional to agile), to its culture (publicly called out to inclusive) to its structure (one monopoly brand to many). Here, Moutter has a candid chat about his journey as CEO, the company's push to be a more diverse and inclusive workplace and how one of his biggest lessons learned was he couldn’t solve a cultural issue with processes and strategy.

Read more
 
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise
The Register

editor@theregister.co.nz

Content marketing/advertising? Email anita.hayhoe@icg.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}