Tom Ryan, RetailWire
Zappos has announced the launch of Goods for Good, a site featuring over 150 eco- and socially-conscious brands. Zappos features products on Goods for Good under the following categories:
The site currently features four “brand spotlights” telling the stories behind Fjällräven, Life Is Good, Tentree and Diff Eyewear.
Studies continue to find consumers, particularly members of Gen-Z and Millennials, are seeking out brands for sustainable and ethical reasons:
Discussion Questions: How would you rate the appeal of a platform featuring purpose-driven brands such as Zappos’ Goods for Good? Do you see a broader opportunity across channels to help consumers shop based on their eco- and social-consciousness?
Comments from the RetailWire BrainTrust:
When a giant company like Zappos makes it so easy to shop with a purpose filter, the masses will respond. We as a nation need more of this in the near future, not less. Kudos to Zappos for acting boldly.
Anne Howe, Principal, Anne Howe Associates
I think that the risk/reward economics are pretty simple — at least initially. Zappos won’t have much upfront investment and if it works, i.e., if consumers actually buy the way they say they buy, the upside is fairly significant. The issue isn’t whether consumers — especially late Millennials and Gen Zers — believe in issues like sustainability and organics, it’s whether they are really ready to spend against those beliefs. That said, we are talking about 150 brands here, not 15,000, so the program is manageable. And many of these brands are small, niche players — so even a 2 or 3 percent hike in sales spells big success. As to how large the broader opportunity is, whatever the size of the market, it’s likely to be controlled by the prime movers. You really don’t want to be the 125th retailer or brander to discover their corporate conscience.
Ryan Mathews, Founder, CEO, Black Monk Consulting
As we see success with “purpose-driven” brands and efforts such as Zappos’ Goods for Good, we see more and more companies chasing the trend. I hope it’s not a trend. I like that Zappos is positioning this as a section of their parent site; it gives consumers a way to organize choices on their terms. Elevating it to almost-brand status is an interesting move. Perhaps they are testing the long-term viability of the “do good” component of consumer decision-making? I have concerns about the authenticity of similar efforts. I like to think that consumers are voting with their wallets and will support brands that really do good, but the research shows that the simple perception of doing good is sufficient.
Chuck Palmer, Senior Advisor, ConsumerX Retail
I appreciate the premise, and I believe “conscious consumption” will be a win for Zappos. The jarring part, for me, is the implication that non-Goods for Good products in the assortment are therefore morally inferior.
James Tenser, Principal, VSN Strategies
Socially conscious shopping is more than just a trend today – it’s an emotional response to consumerism and Zappos is brilliant for not just supporting the trend, but enabling people in a frictionless way to fulfill that desire.
Ricardo Belmar, Sr Director, Global Enterprise Marketing, Infovista
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