Data-Driven Sustainability: How Supply Chain Efficiency and Clienteling Drive More Sustainable Operations and Customer Choices

Luxury retail brands are making sustainability a priority more than ever before. From choosing more eco-friendly materials to incorporating energy-saving technologies, these companies have seen the importance of creating better environmental practices and have acted accordingly. As luxury retail continues to move with the times, increasing sustainability is sure to become an even bigger part of their strategies for success going forward.

Consumers are becoming increasingly mindful about sustainability when it comes to shopping habits, and luxury retail is responding by investing in sustainable initiatives that will protect the environment while still allowing them to continue delivering luxurious items. With sustainability set to continue its growth in influence in the industry, upscale retailers must be prepared — or miss out on this particular trend. The brands we work with are pursuing a multitude of sustainability initiatives, from improvements in their supply chain to innovative ways to extend the usable life of their products through curated resale channels.

Sustainability can be highly data-driven. Sustainability has become more important than ever in the retail industry, and within the supply chain, retailers now have access to technology that provides them with a 360-degree picture of their inventories and customer preferences. They are already making sustainable and ethical supply chain decisions with regard to material sourcing and labor, and by layering in data they can also make intelligent decisions about pricing, discounting and future inventories so they can reduce unsold inventory at the end of a season.

With this deeper insight into both their sustainability initiatives and inventory stocking, businesses can better tread the line between meeting customer demand and minimizing waste to stay competitive in an ever-changing and complex market.


When delivering goods, luxury retailers can also reduce their carbon footprint by offering BORIS, BOPIS and BOSS (buy online, return in-store, buy online, pick up in-store, and buy online, ship to store) options. These services allow customers to shop online and pick up their purchases at a physical location rather than having items shipped directly to their homes. This can help to reduce the amount of packaging and emissions associated with shipping, as well as improve the customer experience by giving them more control over how and when they receive their purchases.

There is also a significant intersection of sustainability with customer preference data. Clienteling can play a key role in helping customers find items that they will cherish for much longer than disposable fast fashion. By taking the time to build relationships with customers and understand their individual styles and preferences, luxury retailers can help them find high-quality, long-lasting pieces that align with their personal brand — pieces they will keep for seasons, not pieces they will wear once and forget about or that they will dispose of at the end of a season. Sustainability is a “quality over quantity” mission — and it is important that retailers both offer quality goods and ensure there is a high-quality match between these goods and each individual customer.

Data, used innovatively, helps luxury retailers improve sustainability and enhances their overall brand experience. From optimizing inventories and the supply chain to the use of clienteling to help customers find high-quality, long-lasting items, and the implementation of options that reduce the carbon footprint of shipping and returns, retailers can not only help to protect the environment, but also differentiate themselves from fast fashion competitors and build stronger relationships with their customers.

Susan Jeffers, Founder and CEO of XY Retail, is a serial entrepreneur and digital marketing veteran with over a decade of experience founding and advising many consumer startups and fashion brands. She has a deep passion for creating innovative and scalable products with a focus on UI/UX design. Her strength lies in bridging the gap between business and technology while creating solutions on how to best leverage them to align expectations and attain business goals.

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