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Green Friday: Why Brands Should Go Green for Black Friday

Green is the new black friday

Green Friday is a sustainable alternative to Black Friday. Not only does Black Friday promote over-consumption, but it also carries a significant environmental footprint. 

Those who care about sustainability but adore a good deal seek an alternative that makes them feel good. The Green Friday movement offers a solution. 

So, what is Green Friday, and what are some Green Friday marketing strategies? Let’s take a look.

What Is Green Friday?

On Green Friday, shoppers are encouraged to reduce wasteful spending by shopping only for the products that they need and seeking out sustainable brands and products. Green Friday is meant to keep people at home with their families over the Thanksgiving weekend, while raising awareness of green shopping habits, and encouraging people to practice ethical online shopping

Instead of arguing over a discounted flat screen on Black Friday, shoppers can peacefully support sustainable ecommerce businesses at home on Green Friday.

The Environmental Impact Of Black Friday 

Black Friday exemplifies the negative sides of society’s shopping habits. Offering steep (and often inflated) discounts, Black Friday deals encourage wasteful and compulsive consumption under the guise of getting ahead of your Christmas shopping. As a result, the busiest shopping day of the year has a substantial environmental footprint.

Even as many retailers turn to the ecommerce model, online shopper behavior during Black Friday is wasteful. Overconsumption is encouraged, which means that returns skyrocket. Once the excitement of the sale wears off and buyer’s remorse sets in, customers send products back, resulting in two unnecessary deliveries. 

Even if you choose to avoid the hubbub of stores and enjoy Black Friday sales online, it still carries an environmental footprint.

Let’s look at the facts:

  • Black Friday promotes waste, as up to 80% of Black Friday purchases will shortly end up in a landfill. 
  • It results in a lot of carbon dioxide emissions, even if you shop at home. In the U.K., Black Friday 2021 resulted in an estimated 386,243 metric tons of CO2 emissions.
  • Increased purchases on Black Friday mean increased plastic packaging.

All in all, Black Friday is a challenge for local businesses and environmental activists.

Why Brands Should Go Green For Black Friday

Last year, some 64% of consumers said they are less inclined to shop on Black Friday than they were a few years ago. Nearly 60% said they had also lost interest in shopping on Cyber Monday. Those numbers have risen from 55% and 47%, respectively, from the previous year.

But it’s not just about losing interest in BFCM. Current ecommerce statistics show that customers want to shop with sustainable brands too.

  • One study revealed that 70% of consumers in the U.S. and Canada think it is important that a brand is sustainable or eco-friendly. In fact, 69% of environmentally-conscious buyers willingly pay a premium for recycled products. More than half of these buyers are ready to change their shopping habits to reduce the negative impact on the environment
  • McKinsey also projects the growing demand for sustainable offerings will generate $12 trillion in annual sales by 2023. 
  • Our own Sustainability Report reveals that 74% of consumers will actively research a brand’s sustainability efforts before making a purchase.

Green Friday offers a sustainable alternative to Black Friday so that brands can stay aligned with their core values, provide the deals that their customers desire, and generate sales. 

See more about what consumers want in our Sustainability Report.

6 Green Friday Marketing Strategies

Sustainable businesses need to be careful as they develop their Green Friday marketing strategies. (AKA you’ll want to avoid greenwashing)

Local retailers and ecommerce companies must ensure that their Green Friday marketing strategies first and foremost promote ethical shopping practices over deals that encourage over-consumption.

Here are six sustainable marketing strategies that you can use:

  1. Above all else, foster mindful shopping. Rather than offering sales with a time limit, give ample room for shoppers to make a decision. This will help reduce returns, thereby minimizing your greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. With each order, donate to a sustainable cause. This will help encourage sales while making an environmental difference. In fact, HubSpot found that 66% of consumers will actively seek out companies that make donations to causes they care about.
  3. Emphasize education versus guilt. Instead of making consumers feel guilty for wanting to shop, opt for an educational approach. By focusing on educating your customers, they will better understand your initiatives and are more likely to support them. 
  4. Promote your most sustainable products, such as gently used items and eco-friendly clothing. By offering deals on your most environmentally friendly offerings, you will encourage better shopping decisions. 
  5. Offer carbon-neutral shipping at checkout through EcoCart. By offsetting the carbon emissions associated with each delivery, you’ll greatly minimize your impact.
  6. Incentivize longer shipping times. Overnight delivery carries more carbon emissions due to the logistics of getting a package there on time. Longer shipping times allow space to efficiently pack vehicles and use more environmental shipping methods, resulting in better environmental impact.

Want more tips on how to make your brand more sustainable? Read through our guide about how to incorporate sustainability in your lifecycle marketing strategy.

How To Be More Sustainable For Green Friday

Aside from marketing Green Friday every year, you can also make your ecommerce business more sustainable year round. These talking points may be marketing enough for the conscious consumer.

Here are some tips for those looking to make their brand more sustainable for Green Friday this year:

1. Minimize your carbon footprint associated with shipping

If you promise a sustainable shopping experience on Green Friday, then you must minimize your carbon emissions. One of the greatest areas of impact within ecommerce is shipping and transportation. 

Using eco-friendly packaging is a great start and offsetting your entire carbon footprint associated with shipping is a great way to make up for the rest.

EcoCart can help you easily determine the CO2 emissions of each shipment by using our proprietary algorithm that considers variables like package size, weight, and distance shipped.

Once you have your carbon footprint in hand, you can offer carbon neutral orders to your customers through verified carbon offsetting projects

2. Choose a project that aligns with your brand 

When you choose a carbon offsetting project, opt for one that aligns with your brand. For example, if you’re a beauty brand that uses natural ingredients from the Amazon Rainforest, you might choose a Brazilian reforestation project, like the Amazon Rainforest Protection Project. Not only will this allow you to offset your carbon emissions, but you’ll also contribute to the protection of a resource your company benefits from. 

EcoCart has a wide variety of projects all over the world that protect forests, build wind farms, or provide water purification, ensuring that any brand is able to select one to fit their needs. 

3. Keep your messaging simple and understandable

With any sustainability initiative, it’s important to communicate your impact to your customers. However, it’s easy to get lost in sustainability jargon. Use digestible language and metrics when sharing with your customers. 

For example, instead of saying, “Your order will offset 37 pounds of carbon dioxide” consider something like, “Your order will help save five trees.” This is much easier to conceptualize and helps customers actually understand the impact they have. 

4. Reward sustainable actions 

Many consumers want to be more sustainable but aren’t exactly sure what that means when they’re shopping, aside from purchasing eco-friendly products. By rewarding sustainable actions, you’re both teaching your customers how to make sustainable choices while also being more sustainable as a business. For example, a green loyalty program rewards customers for offsetting emissions, choosing sustainable products, and buying recycled products.

5. Show impact post-purchase

Reinforcing your customer’s impact post-purchase will establish your brand as one that cares about the environment. Post-purchase notifications and emails about how many trees their order saved will remind your customers that shopping with you is better than your competitors. Plus, they are a great tool to help customers get excited about their impact and share these post-purchase emails on social media. 

Green Friday with EcoCart

Celebrate and participate in Green Friday with EcoCart by providing carbon neutral orders to your customers. This creates the perfect opportunity to make your Black Friday the most sustainable and engaging one yet. See how our integrations make it easy to automate the process and connect it with your existing tech stack.

New to EcoCart? If you get set up before Black Friday, we’ll cover the cost of making all your orders carbon neutral that day and help you launch a successful Green Friday campaign that will attract, engage, and retain the next generation of shoppers. Reach out to our team for a demo today. 

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