By Chris Welsch
The COVID-19 crisis has slowed retail activity across the world, but Christoph Hantschk believes something positive will emerge: more conscientious shoppers.
The cofounder of goodbag, a Vienna start-up that uses technology to encourage responsible shopping, says sales meetings used to happen face-to-face, but now his team is using video conferencing to continue adding partners. To reduce the need for face-to-face meetings, the company has developed a new platform so that stores and brands that want to participate in its project to help shoppers protect the environment can join entirely online.
“There’s a lot to learn from this crisis,” Christoph says. “It’s a great time to consider what do we really need, how do we consume, and what is sustainable.”
Goodbag motivates shoppers to protect the environment by giving rewards if they use cotton bags, instead of asking for store bags. Clients can buy a reusable cloth bag in a partner store or on goodbag’s site. Embedded in each bag is an NFC (near-field-communication) chip that connects to an app on the user’s phone. When shoppers walk into one of 1,000 participating stores in five European countries, they activate the app and connect it to the chip to show that they are in the store with the cloth bag. Clients then can use a credit to plant a tree, collect plastic waste out of the ocean or receive a shopping discount.