Design Strategist & Researcher
Poppy Marina Youde
Keeping up with the constant rising demands from customers is one of the survival keys for companies. In the retail industry, there is a high level of mistrust among customers when it comes to the company’s ethical commitment. Research has indicated that customers are more willing to support and pay more for brands that demonstrate ethical principles.
Ecotick is a mobile digital platform that aims to provide a trustworthy base of information about the company’s commitment to the people and the planet. Using blockchain technology, Ecotick stands out among other similar services for the startup’s inclusive solution for all stakeholders.
CUSTOMERS WANT TO FEEL GOOD WHEN THEY ARE BUYING
According to recent trend study report by Nielsen, 92% of Millennial consumers are more likely to buy products from ethical companies. 82% of those consumers believe ethical brands outperform similar companies that lack a commitment to ethical principles. 75% of the millennials generation want to pay extra for products that are sustainably made.
In addition the quality of products and services, consumers want to know if they are supporting companies that demonstrate ethical commitment.
In Marketing, this is called Ethical marketing, the process that refers to the process by which companies market their goods and services by focusing not only on how their products benefit customers but also how they benefit socially responsible or environmental causes.
TRANSPARENCY IS A REAL ISSUE
Transparency is not a choice. The only choice is, does it happen to you, or do you participate in it
Consumers didn’t know enough about the impact of clothing has on the labor force, the local community, the environment, etc
The Fashion Transparency Index 2017, published by Fashion Revolution, reveal the ranking of 100 biggest global fashion and apparel brands and retailers according to how much information they disclose about their suppliers, supply chain policies, and practices, and social and environmental impact.
The result is surprisingly lacking:
• None of the 100 entities scored above 50%.
• 0 brand has managed to publish details about their raw material suppliers.
• Only 32 of the 100 brands are willing to publish supplier lists.
• 14% publish their processing facilities where clothes are dyed, printed and finished
There is a lack of transparency in understanding how products are sourced, manufactured and distributed. This inadequate truth affects consumer’s ability to trust the companies, which might cause a negative impact on their decision to support the brand.
It has been reported that a staggering 86% of millennials are more likely to be loyal to a brand when it comes to full transparency. In addition, 73% of consumers say they are willing to pay more for a product that offers total transparency
We carried out several interview sessions with millennial shoppers and conducted co-creative workshops in big retails venues to understand customers between Brands that demonstrate ethical commitment and Brands that fail to do so.
Based on the data that we collected and the people that interview, a lot of people are concerned about a brand’s ethic and sustainability quality, also the product that they want to buy, but there are limited tools to find out. Some might find it difficult to find the indicators that would make an ethical brand and products.
While there are some tools on the market which provided the users to check a brand’s eco-level, they are not inclusive enough.
We want to include brands, the market research company, and ethical committee as well as environmental agencies as part of our key partners. This way, we can establish transparency, trust and enable traceability
- 60% of our participant said that they don’t trust the information published on the company’s website as some major Brands has been exposed for lying by the media in the past
- A solid 83% (35) of the interviewed customers said that they are more likely to support Brands that are environmentally friendly, don’t experiment with animal and pay their workers well.
- Out of 15 key drivers that we asked, the 5 key drivers of authenticity that consumers look for are Environment-Friendly (85%), Animal Protection (75%), Labor Law (75%), Raw Material Quality (68%), Commitment/Giving back to Local Community (62%).
- There is a need for an inclusive solution that encourages all stakeholders to participate
- Customers want a digital tool to check the brand’s ethical commitment. The aforementioned tool has to be supported by system and technology that is fully transparent, non-bias and requires multiple trustworthy organizations to verify.
The result of the research indicates that retailers need to catch up with the rising expectation of consumers.
Interestingly, during the research stage, It is revealed by a Mintel research that 88% of consumers review products before they make a purchase and 71% compare products on their mobile phones whilst they are in store.
In order to gain the customer’s trust and show the company’s goodwill, there is a need for digital platform where consumers can find out information about the company’s ethical commitment
Ecotick is an app that allows users to scan the barcode of any product and pulls up it’s sustainable and environmental ratings. Consumers are provided with information that is quick to access, easy to digest and bias-free so that they can make a globally conscious decision.
The startup aims to enhance the relationship between retail companies and their customers, establish the trustworthy base of information and creating a new channel to support sales facilitator.
Ecotick is also available as a web extension, where customers can get access to the service when they are shopping online on their computers.
Ecotick’s T-3 philosophy: Trust, Transparency, Traceability
One of the most challenging aspects of Ecotick’s platform is the ability to gain the customer’s trust. There is a need for an independent body, offering unbiased information on each retailer.
To this end, Ecotick’s back end is supported by a Blockchain application. Information about the product’s ethical values are submitted by various stakeholders in the process (the retail companies, the contractors, the labor unions, environment watchdogs and agencies/committees such as The British Fashion Council, The Ethical Fashion Forum and The UK Fashion and Textiles Association
Blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin, which guaranteer a non-bias, non-interference and independent process to achieve most accurate information about a product’s ethical commitment
The Feel Good Purchase principle is not only effective in the Retail industry but also in Entertainment and Personal Branding. Public figures also want to find opportunities to demonstrate their commitment to ethical and sustainable values.
Ecotick also seek to collaborate with patron, celebrity or well-known figure who endorse ethical fashion and eco-friendly production
Despite the obvious benefits, not so many retail companies are willing to disclose the list of suppliers, environmental policies, labor force treatment as well as raw materials.
Ecotick is going to run the Pilot Programme, focusing on two groups:
- Companies that already demonstrate their commitment to the people and the planet.
- Companies who express the desire to become so and requires our consultancy service to raise the bar of their ethical commitment
After the pilot programme ends, we will expand our membership scheme to a wider variety of brands.
Eventually, the long-term goal is for Ecotick to become an international standard eco-friendly label.
The startup aims to become the new sustainability & eco-friendly measurement for retail companies
In addition, Ecotick also offer consultancy service, providing ethical commitment and sustainability strategies for companies that want to join our membership scheme and reach the expected standard of Ecotick