With hundreds of other priorities, sustainability can often be seen as a tick box exercise that companies feel they should do. But are brands missing opportunities to leverage sustainable marketing for competitive advantage?
Our research suggests so. In 2021 three quarters of Gen Z consumers stated that sustainability is more important to them than brand when making purchase decisions and every generation expects brands to become more sustainable (First Insight 2021)
What’s clear, is that sustainability can no longer be an afterthought for brands in 2023 and beyond, and forms a core part of business strategy.
Critically, consumers are more concerned than ever about end-end sustainability, meaning everything from manufacturing right through to product delivery. Marketing teams can do a lot in their efforts to both promote their brand’s sustainability initiatives but also develop a sustainable online presence to increase their ROI and ultimately meet customer expectations.
What is a sustainable website?
A sustainable website is designed and developed with an aim to minimise its environmental impact and promote sustainability. The goal of a sustainable website is to reduce the carbon footprint associated with the website's design, development, and operation. They usually have one or several of the following:
- Energy-efficient hosting: Sustainable websites are hosted on servers that are powered by renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, or hydro power.
- Minimalistic design: Sustainable websites have a clean and minimalistic design that reduces the website's load time and energy consumption.
- Use of sustainable web design practices: Sustainable web design practices include optimising images and videos, reducing file sizes, and using efficient code to reduce the website's energy consumption.
- Use of green web technologies: Sustainable websites use technologies that have a lower environmental impact, such as content delivery networks (CDNs) and energy-efficient web servers.
- Ethical and sustainable content: Sustainable websites prioritise ethical and sustainable content that promotes sustainability and environmental conservation.
What competitive advantages can your brand expect?
- 1. Improved brand reputation: A sustainable website showcases your commitment to environmental sustainability and social responsibility, which can help you attract and retain increasingly environmentally conscious customers.
- 2. Improved user experience: A sustainable website is designed to be fast, responsive, and accessible, which can improve the user experience and increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention. The best kind of infrastructure for this kind of website is by far Composable DXP, which allows brands to create their own technology stack consisting of API-first vendors which allow your experience to materialise on any platform. This infrastructure also allows a way to build and manage virtual environments in a modular, reusable way, saving time, costs and energy.
- 3. Cost savings: A sustainable website is designed to be energy-efficient, consume fewer resources, and reduce waste. This can lead to lower operational costs and, ultimately, higher profits. According to McKinsey, efficiency improvements can in turn boost operational profits by as much as 60%.
- 4. Better search engine rankings: Search engines like Google prioritise websites that are fast, reliable, and well-optimised for mobile devices, which can lead to higher search engine rankings, increased visibility, and more organic traffic.
A report by Google found that a one-second delay in page load time can reduce conversions by up to 20%. By building a sustainable website that is optimised for speed and performance, you can potentially increase conversions and revenue.
- 5. Improved conversion rates: A sustainable website can improve conversion rates by making it easier for users to find what they are looking for, navigate through your website, and complete their desired actions, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.
In 2020 Accenture found that 60% of consumers were willing to pay more for sustainable products and services.
- 6. Increased engagement: Sustainability is a topic that resonates with many consumers, especially younger generations. By building a sustainable website, you can attract and engage environmentally conscious consumers who are more likely to share your content, recommend your products or services, and become brand advocates.
By building a sustainable website, you can differentiate yourself and gain a competitive advantage in the market. This can lead to increased market share, higher profits, and long-term business sustainability. With small tweaks, you can make to create a sustainable website that builds your brand reputation, increases engagement and impacts your ROI.