- Julia Luce
June 12, 2018

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Doing Good is Good for Business

A small business's good conscience may be the key to its survival.
E-commerce retailers that are outspoken about their values and ethical practices have a competitive edge over massive retail chains. They're also likely to snag loyal customer base along the way.
 

Consumers want to buy better.

Jules Pieri, CEO and Co-Founder of The Grommet (a.k.a the birthplace of Citizen Commerce), laid out some interesting stats on the intersection of personal values and consumer behavior at this year's Internet Retailers Conference and Exhibition (IRCE):

  • 66% surveyed said they “want to support small businesses
  • 29% like the ability to support businesses based on personal values
  • 64% feel guilty about the products they currently buy
  • Their most loved phrase? “Made in the USA

Why this matters
Aside from restoring a little faith in humanity, these figures highlight the fact that consumers are yearning for guilt-free options amid the deluge of  shopping options. Small business may not be able to compete on price, but they can stand out on good values. 

Another plus? This behavior is creating a new ecosystem of shops like The Grommet that follow a mission of marketing and retailing products of like-minded businesses. The Grommet only selects retailers and products that reflect their 10 personal values: crowdfunded, made in the USA, sustainable, handcrafted, philanthropy-oriented, independent maker, innovative, founded by an underrepresented entrepreneur, social enterprise, and made for a lifetime. 

Mariah Chase, CEO of Eloquii, later added that “50% of Millennials don’t believe in organized religion... can brands fill that void?” Good thing to think about as both consumers and brands alike navigate the world of values in the 2018.

Extra perk: 
Consumers who buy from cause-based retailers are also more forgiving of things like a lack of overnight shipping, according to Ivory Ella CEO John Allen. This is a relief to small e-commerce businesses who don't have the bandwidth to meet a customer's on-demand, high-touch expectations.

What do you think? Can a small business stay afloat on strong values alone? Let us know in the comments! Also, don't be afraid to promote your favorite cause-based stores.

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