Social responsibility a key driver of omnichannel sales

Social responsibility and sustainability are key considerations for shoppers, and a critical factor in driving eCommerce and omnichannel sales for manufacturers and distributors, a study by Akeneo has found. In a survey of 1,600 business leaders from a range of sectors including retail, 61% said product information relating to areas such as ethical manufacturing, sustainable or organic materials is a top priority for purchasing decisions.

Social responsibility is therefore now a greater driver of sales than criteria such as speed, personalisation, and localisation, according to the analysis. And product information was viewed as an important means of enhancing the customer experience by 97% of the respondents, with most vendors using it to drive marketing and/or social media campaigns in addition to point of sale.

Another key finding from the study was that 81% of businesses now have omnichannel capacities, with nearly half seeing eCommerce, social media, and online ads as their top promotional channels. During the Covid-19 crisis there has been a huge shift to online shopping due to the closure of non-essential stores, and additionally a greater emphasis on digital marketing by retailers.

The Akeneo survey found that across all sectors, manufacturers and distributors are tailoring content to the different channels they sell through.

“Social responsibility is now an important criterion for buyers, so to succeed manufacturers and brands need to communicate their values clearly and consistently,” says Fred de Gombert, CEO of Akeneo. “We’re living in the golden age of multichannel distribution, and this survey shows that product information management, especially relating to ethical and environmental factors, is the key to enduring success for sellers across all their customer touchpoints.”

Yesterday, Google and WWF Sweden announced a partnership to develop an environmental data platform to give fashion brands a detailed view into the use of raw materials in the manufacturing and supply chains.

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