Meeting the growing demand for resale and sustainable ecommerce

A first look at Innovation Lab companies coming to NRF 2022: Retail’s Big Show

When the pandemic hit, more and more consumers turned online for their shopping needs. With that shift came a rise in consumer consciousness regarding waste, spending and fashion’s impact on the environment.

For retailers, a healthy bottom line has historically been a key motivator for future retail innovation. As the pandemic forced retailers into a digital-first era, many realized that doing well and doing good are not mutually exclusive. Underscored by the swell in funding into institutional resale companies like ThredUp, The RealReal and Poshmark, it’s clear that resale commerce and a shift toward a circular economy are here to stay.

Sustainable retail

Learn more about the latest sustainable practices in the retail industry.

After taking Retail’s Big Show virtual in 2021, NRF is bringing the retail industry’s largest gathering back in person in 2022. Starting January 16, 2022, more than 50 visionary tech startups across the retail industry will be featured at NRF 2022’s Innovation Lab.

One of the most popular attractions in the Retail’s Big Show expo, the NRF 2022 Innovation Lab is an immersive exhibit that tracks the latest developments in retail’s tech transformation.

Here’s a look at some Innovation Lab companies showing the promise of sustainable retail and ecommerce in the year ahead.

Recurate is a tech integration enabling brands like Mara Hoffman and Re/Done to establish their own peer-to-peer resale platforms directly on their websites. By powering back-end logistics, Recurate lets customers visit a brand’s website, upload a picture of the product, set the selling price and receive a store credit/payout once the item sells.

Peer-to-peer resale marketplaces have been limited to date; Recurate facilitates the process for retailers. Not only does shifting toward a circular business model reduce emissions for the retail industry, but it also attracts a new base of customers who want to try merchandise at a lower price point.

Returnity helps forward-thinking companies shift to the circular economy with reusable shipping and delivery packaging. In an era where consumers prioritize speed and convenience when making a purchase, cost-effective and wasteful delivery packaging have become the norm. The problem was exacerbated by the pandemic due to the rise in online sales.

But at what cost? Around 3 billion trees are pulped every year to produce 241 million tons of shipping materials. Returnity presents an alternative: durable, customized, reusable bags and boxes — and the logistics systems to support them. Companies like New Balance and Rent the Runway are using Returnity to make the shift to circularity.

EcoCart is a free ecommerce plugin that empowers customers to make their orders carbon neutral. By simply clicking a button at checkout, customers can support carbon offsetting initiatives that work to reduce carbon from the atmosphere. The proprietary algorithm uses multiple variables to determine the carbon footprint of each order, factoring everything from manufacturing to shipping.

It’s been proven to boost conversion rates while helping brands easily offer a sustainable shopping experience and push retail innovation forward. More than 10,000 companies are currently working with EcoCart, underscoring the demand and interest consumers who value sustainable initiatives and missions from retailers.

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