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Digital Insider

Digital Insider: Zia Daniell Widger on sustainable ecommerce

Júlia Miozzo
Júlia Miozzo December 8, 2021
Digital Insider: Zia Daniell Widger on sustainable ecommerce

New consumer habits have led companies to put in place actions that not only respond to their needs but also their personal values. Each time, they’ve been requiring brands to stand up for causes such as being environmentally friendly and proposing sustainable ecommerce, which led to new initiatives in support of those movements.

Generally, adapting to new digital habits in order to give customers the experiences they’re looking for has also become a top priority for brands — if it hasn’t yet, it should. To find out more on these topics, you are invited to this episode of Digital Insider, a podcast series about the digitalization of retail, featuring Zia Daniell Widger, Senior VP of Content for Insider Intelligence.

Meet the guest

Having graduated from Dartmouth College, Zia Daniell Widger started her career in the research field, where she would manage research and analyst teams covering topics such as global broadband connectivity, mobile access evolution, online marketing and media. She joined the ecommerce industry around 2005, right after having followed the globalization of different digital initiatives through research projects. 

A very experienced professional from the industry, Zia is currently the Senior VP of Content for Insider Intelligence, having worked before for impressive companies such as Forrester, Groceryshop and Shoptalk. Nowadays, she manages a team of over 100 people with the mission of producing insights into what’s happening in digital trends around the world.

“Our research helps companies figure out how they should be spending money and then how they will make money, as well. For example, we help them figure out how they should allocate their digital ad spending across different platforms: What is it like to work with different platforms out there and what can they expect to see, as a result?”

— Zia Daniell Widger, Senior VP of Content at Insider Intelligence

Sustainable ecommerce and ethics

As the discussions surrounding sustainability and ethical ecommerce have become more and more popular, companies shifted their strategy on how to achieve their desired goals. Instead of having a single focus point, most online retailers now focus on sustainable practices across different areas for better results

Proposing carbon-neutral shipping, having eco-friendly packaging and using renewable energy are just some elements diminishing an ecommerce business’s environmental impact, proving social responsibility and increasing brand loyalty at the same time.  

An example Zia brought up, closely tied to the retail industry, is regarding companies’  great concern on how to reduce the overall carbon footprint. At some point, though, they started to also think about using reusable and recyclable containers, as well as reusable, sustainably-sourced and recyclable materials. The goal is making sure that the whole supply chain is sustainable, not just the end result. 

“What’s interesting there is that it really has become a global phenomenon. Some of these trends might have started in a single market before, partially through social media, and now they show a big impact worldwide. But you see this everywhere:  consumers in Brazil, Latin America, China, Europe and the US are pushing brands on these issues.”

— Zia Daniell Widger, Senior VP of Content at Insider Intelligence

One-stop-shop and other trends to follow

Still on trends that companies are enacting in response to consumers’ demand, Zia touches upon the challenge of understanding how the post-pandemic store experience will look like. She makes a smart guess that it’ll certainly be integrated with the digital experience — and that newer experiences will come from that. 

A trend that follows this tendency is the one-stop-shop experience. There’s evidence that customers are looking forward to making the most of a trip to the store, just like the experience that the so-called super apps currently offer. Also, live shopping is another trend that correlates to this, since it involves interaction with products and sellers through a digital platform. 

“I think you’re going to see a lot more attention being paid to this space and brands getting better at it. It’s also targeted at a much younger demographic than what we traditionally saw with those shopping shows, so it’s evolving in a new way and constantly changing. So I think it’ll be a really exciting one to look at over the next few years.”

— Zia Daniell Widger, Senior VP of Content at Insider Intelligence

All in all, just like sustainability and ethics in ecommerce are becoming more and more of an unmissable trend, so are these brand-new digital experiences that put shoppers at the heart of the buying journey — be it by embracing their environmental concerns or adapting to innovative platforms and habits.

Besides those insights, in this episode, Zia also touches upon:

  • How companies can make digital transformation smoother;
  • Retail media networks as a new revenue stream;
  • Digital maturity and technology adoption in different regions.

Listen to the episode in full to get the full picture. 

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