One of the breakout sessions I’m most excited about at this week’s XChange 2016 conference takes place Wednesday afternoon. It’s called Conscious Commerce: How Retailers are Doing Well by Doing Good, and it will feature Gardener’s Supply, Dogeared Jewelry, Burton Snowboards and Kiehl’s, who will share their stories of leveraging commerce to support charitable initiatives.
The session is an outgrowth of an ongoing blog series on Conscious Commerce. Why are we highlighting these initiatives?
It’s not enough for today’s retailers to deliver a personalized, omnichannel experience for their shoppers (although that’s hard enough.) With the most socially responsible generation in history about to become the largest group of consumers worldwide, retail brands will find that if they don’t use their might as a force for social good, Gen X, Y and Z will take their trillions in spending power elsewhere.
Socially conscious retailers need to do more than donate money, which is the hallmark of Corporate Social Responsibility. They need to align their giving and, more importantly, their actions, to causes their shoppers care about. They must use their skills, resources, people and experience to solve problems that others cannot.
Demandware is profiling national retailers doing just that: The retailers featured in Wednesday’s breakout session are among those going above and beyond, successfully balancing social responsibility with the daily demands of commerce. We know from research that Gen X, Y, Z are loyal to retailers with whom they share common beliefs. (Two examples: Elite Daily, ‘the voice of Gen Y,’ says only 1% are influenced by advertising and crave authentic experiences; CrowdTwist, a loyalty solutions provider, found that half of respondents to a millennial survey wanted socially conscious benefits from their engagement with brands).
What can other retailers learn from those that are already there? I hope you’ll join us Wednesday afternoon to find out.