With more than 40% of consumers actively opting for brands that prioritise environmental values and another 34% willing to boycott brands over ethical concerns, sustainability has emerged as a significant and expanding influence on consumer shopping preferences. With this in mind, businesses are doing all they can to meet new consumer demands.
With this change in consumer behaviour, it’s no surprise that businesses are now seeking ways to infuse environmental consciousness into their Black Friday and holiday campaigns in conjunction with or in lieu of monetary incentives.
One of the ways they’re doing this is through impact-led campaigns.
An impact-led campaign (or purpose-driven campaign) goes beyond profit generation for a business. It's a campaign that actively supports societal and environmental causes alongside or instead of discounts, promotions and offers.
Running a campaign with an environmental focus does not mean forgoing monetary benefits for customers. Still, it means putting an additional spotlight on the positive impact the campaign is having on the planet, people and wildlife, helping customers feel actively engaged and involved with those supported projects and charities. This could be by planting trees for every order you make, rescuing ocean-bound plastic every time a specific product is purchased or offsetting carbon every time a customer spends over a certain amount in your store.
It's widely recognised that Black Friday and similar consumer-driven holidays are far from the planet's best allies. In fact, they can pose significant environmental threats.
This year's Black Friday is projected to result in a staggering 429,000 metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions solely from product deliveries. To put this into perspective, these emissions are equivalent to the environmental impact generated by 459,888 round-trip flights between London and LA.
In light of this, businesses are going the extra mile to align with evolving consumer preferences.
Making an impact shouldn’t be difficult. At Greenspark, we know how sustainability can seem daunting and many business owners don’t know where to start or where to look when it comes to environmental action.
So, we’ve put together a short guide to help you develop your impact-focused campaign and hopefully spark some ideas on how you can embed sustainability into your Black Friday plans.
These well-known brands have found creative ways to make a difference and stand out in a sea of discounts and promotions, and your business can do just the same!
During the 'Green Friday' weekend in 2022, bedding company Bedfolk planted a tree in the Scottish Highlands for every order placed over £99, and they plan to run the same campaign this year as well.
For Bedfolk, impact-led campaigns are at the heart of their sales over the holidays, including Black Friday, Christmas and the January sales. They refuse to inflate prices to account for flash sales or ad hoc promotions. They believe in keeping margins low and prices fair for all.
“We don’t believe in sales, but we do believe in minimising our ecological footprint. So this weekend, rather than taking part in Black Friday (or Cyber Monday, or whatever-it’s-called Tuesday), we’ll be taking a stand and planting trees instead. Black Friday just went Green.”
If you're interested in planting a tree whenever a customer reaches a specific spending threshold, this can seamlessly be done with Greenspark.
You can encourage your customers to spend more and inspire them to contribute positively to the planet by adding an impact for every 'X' amount spent per order while adhering to well-defined limits.
Several noteworthy businesses within the Greenspark community are already leveraging this trigger:
As Bumboo focuses on sustainable toilet paper and sourcing, they created the ‘buy one plant one’ initiative in partnership with the Eden Reforestation Project. For Black Friday and Christmas last year, they pledged to plant two trees for every box of eco-friendly bamboo toilet roll and kitchen roll bought instead of one.
Since then, they have planted a massive 186,442 trees.
Their purpose-driven ethos has resulted in numerous positive reviews as well as significant engagement from their community.
“Throughout the month of November, we want to work together to achieve our reforestation goal of planting 100,000 trees by the end of the year, enabling us to give back to this amazing planet. How? Well, with every Bumboo box purchased, we will plant not one, but TWO trees!”
If you want to make an impact, whether with trees, plastic or carbon, but don’t want to define spending limits, you can add your choice of impact to every order with Greenspark. This means that every time customers check out, they’ll take positive environmental action, no matter how many items are in their basket.
Numerous companies in the Greenspark community are already doing this, including:
During the 'Green Friday' weekend in 2022, Accessorize partnered with humanitarian aid charity Turquoise Mountains to donate 20% of their online sales.
This impact-led campaign was just the start of Acessorize’s sustainability roadmap, which also includes becoming a B-Corp by 2025, reaching net zero by 2030 and the growth of their ‘New Life’ recycling scheme.
“From considering what goes into our products to how we support our people and making better choices for the planet, we’ve updated our sustainability goals to reduce our environmental impact from every angle.”
You can easily donate a portion of your Black Friday sales with a Greenspark account, and you can also do this alongside other offers such as well, such as planting a tree for every order.
With Greenspark, you can choose to donate as little as 1% of every order to your chosen project, including:
This is a great way to give a designated percentage of sales to projects that are important to your business and community. You define your limits, and our systems do the rest for you.
The UK’s leading online garden centre, Primrose, donated £2.50 to The Tree Council Charity for every sale of specific garden bushes in 2022. Similarly, in 2021, they donated £2.50 for selected fruit tree purchases over Green Friday. They ran this campaign alongside monetary discounts such as 20% off all indoor house plants.
“Green Friday is Primrose's answer to Black Friday. Let's help the Earth and our UK communities to breathe, and plant loads of trees to do it.”
Primrose promoted their impact-led campaign across social media and saw great engagement from old and new customers. Such a campaign made their customers feel like they were making a difference and taking much-needed action with their purchases.
If you want to make an impact only on specific products within your catalogue, this is super easy and seamlessly done through your Greenspark account. You can swap your chosen products weekly or monthly or even based on timely campaigns like Black Friday.
These are just a few of the eco-conscious companies within the Greenspark community growing their impact using the ‘Per Product’ trigger:
Running promotions and offers with monetary discounts is a popular way to engage with your customers as well as boost sales. So, changing your campaigns to focus on impact may sound quite daunting.
However, while sales figures after a promotion look great in the short term, these types of offers tend to lead to impulse buys. Research has found that these purchases actually have a negative impact on a company’s bottom line in the long run. In fact, regular discounting has been found to lower customer lifetime value, lower satisfaction scores and create higher revenue churn.
With that in mind, a more purpose-driven campaign has been proven to boost key metrics instead.
Here are just a couple of examples:
So, while an impact-led campaign may not seem as bold as heavy discounting does, the results speak for themselves! And what could be better than helping fight climate change at the same time as improving the metrics that are most important to you?
When considering a more positive approach to Black Friday for your business, your first thought may be to boycott it entirely, a popular strategy with sustainable pioneers such as Patagonia and Allbirds. However, by ignoring it completely, you might miss the opportunity to further engage with your eco-conscious audience, do more for the planet, and shine a light on more conscious alternatives.
As you can see from the examples above, running an impact-led campaign instead means you can take part in these large consumer holidays, engage your audience, boost your metrics and help the planet at the same time.
For more information about impact-led campaigns, check out our latest ebook, where we discuss all things impact! Download it for free here.