Insight: UK businesses spend £2m redesigning products to meet eco-demands – Bazaarvoice

According to new research launched from Bazaarvoice, UK-based retail marketers and supply chain managers are investing just over £2million per year on remanufacturing products.

Conducted across Europe, the study found that meeting consumer demands around environmentalism tops the challenges faced by British (55%) and French (49%) respondents – where remanufacturing expenditure hikes to nearly €3.5m.

Interestingly, this figure drops to €1.6m in Germany, where businesses list the quality of products as their greatest challenge (46%), followed by environmentalism (40%).

Joe Rohrlich, Chief Revenue Officer, Bazaarvoicecomments, “The figures highlight the expense associated with driving the green agenda higher up the supply chain. It’s clear that the process of remanufacturing products is not to be taken on lightly and where businesses are prioritising consumer demands for greener products, we’re seeing the highest cost figures.”

A drop in the ocean

With climate change and sustainability currently at the very top of the business agenda nationally, almost half of UK respondents express that greener materials within products (49%) would be a feasible solution to making businesses greener as a whole.

Certainly, remanufacturing products appears to be largely geared towards increasing the product lifecycle, at least three quarters (75%) of European retailers are investing in higher quality materials to this end.

Elsewhere however, less progress has been made. While 88% of British respondents state their business has looked into recyclable packaging, only 36% currently report they have successfully made the change. Sadly, this is almost double the uptake seen in Germany (20%), and nearly 3 times higher than in France (13%).

Balance of power

Exploring where challenges to driving change occur, the study finds less than half (45%) of European professionals with oversight of the supply chain report that they feel they hold power over transformational change.

In retail, one third of UK businesses admit the balance of power is split equally with manufacturers. This is even lower in Germany (29%) and France (22%).

In a bid to close the business-supply chain gap, around a quarter of UK (25%) and French (27%) businesses feel new legislation would help to drive businesses towards greener production and packaging materials, rising to one third (31%) in Germany.

Tipping the scales

While regulation might take years to arrive, businesses are driving change in the supply chain by proving the issues they face with real customer feedback.

In fact, 9 in 10 respondents have used ratings and reviews to inform the conversations they have with manufacturers, with 44% stating that this authentic customer content helps them obtain wider business insights on a day to day basis.

“These findings attest to the power of ratings and reviews in helping businesses to drive transformation through the supply chain. Brands and retailers that harness this rich customer content will be best placed to meet the environmental demands placed on them by consumers”, Joe Rohrlich explains. “Only by listening to customers can businesses deliver what they want, leading to reduced costs and increased loyalty.”

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