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People willing to pay more for coffee that’s ethical and eco-friendly, meta-analysis finds

Overall, ecolabelling worked as intended: people were willing to pay for socially responsible coffee.

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Photo by Nathan Dumlao from Unsplash.com

Lesson for coffee biz…

Beyond how much cream and sugar to add to their morning brew, coffee lovers also face more serious decisions: one of those is whether or not to buy ecolabelled coffee, which advertises itself as more ethical and environmentally friendly. But whether customers are willing to pay the extra price for these perks remains an unanswered question.

In a study publishes in the journal Heliyon, researchers combined data from 22 studies to conclude that in general, people are willing to pay $1.36 more for a pound of coffee that’s produced in an eco-friendly way and are especially partial to coffee that’s labelled “Organic.”

“We hear in the media or sometimes read in the newspaper that there is an increasing number of ecolabelling logos in the market, and that these logos are sometimes related or even look alike. This may reduce consumers’ trust and willingness to pay over time,” says first author Nizam Abdu, a Ph.D. candidate and research assistant at the University of Tasmania in Australia. “However, our results show that coffee consumers in some selected countries are still willing to pay a positive and significant premium for ecolabelling.”

As many people’s go-to beverage, coffee’s enormous social, cultural, and economic influence makes it an ideal candidate for ecolabelling, a system that identifies and certifies certain products with ethical and environmental benefits. Common coffee ecolabels include Organic, Country of Origin Labelling (COOL), and Fairtrade (a certification that workers are given fair wages and safe working conditions) and aim to help consumers make informed choices on food safety, health, and environmental impact. However, it’s possible that having too many ecolabel options will instead confuse buyers, causing them to avoid buying ecolabelled coffee.

Many previous studies have tried to quantify the public’s opinion on different types of coffee ecolabelling. But the studies have varied dramatically in their estimates of how much consumers are willing to pay: some found that people are willing to pay more, while others suggest that people actually are less willing to pay for ecolabelling. As a result, it’s been challenging to present a standardized conclusion on the overall effectiveness of ecolabels.

Abdu and his co-author set out to address this gap. They combined data from 22 studies over the past fifteen years, forming an overall dataset of 97 observations across Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia. With their meta-analysis, they wanted to understand what factors give rise to the large range of price estimates and determine once and for all whether consumers are willing to pay more for coffee ecolabelling.

The researchers found that the variation in previous studies came down to a few factors: the region or country under study, surveying methods, types of ecolabels, and publication bias, the tendency for only studies with the desired outcome to be published. For example, there was a noticeable effect on the studies’ results when survey participants made yes/no choices about which coffee they’d buy versus when they were given trade-offs and budget constraints.

After taking these things into account, however, they found that overall, ecolabelling worked as intended: people were willing to pay for socially responsible coffee.

“In general, consumers are happy to pay a premium price of $1.36 for a pound of ecolabelled coffee. In particular, we clearly see that Organic is the most crucial coffee attribute,” says Abdu. The specific ecolabels of Fairtrade, COOL, and Organic all had values significantly larger than zero, but Organic ecolabelling had the highest value of the three – people were willing to pay an additional $1.14 per pound of coffee for just the Organic ecolabel.

That said, consumer attitudes still varied depending on factors like location. For instance, compared to other regions, people were less willing to pay more for ecolabelled coffee in North America, which may suggest that preference for such a labelling system varies across the regions. The researchers were also surprised to find that while people did care where their coffee came from, they didn’t necessarily prefer coffee that was produced near them. “I was expecting consumers would prefer locally produced coffee,” he says.

The authors say, however, that their finding still suggests a clear preference among consumers for certain types of ecolabelling. Abdu says, “Our findings are a good indicator that the policy of coffee ecolabelling is working in the global coffee market.”

Strategies

Lista Phl shares New Year’s resolutions for biz owners

A new year is the perfect opportunity for new ventures but if you are looking to start your own business or improve your operations as a business owner, one of the most basic things you have to master is to manage your finances better.

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Starting a business is no easy feat, but its rewards can be fulfilling. A new year is the perfect opportunity for new ventures but if you are looking to start your own business or improve your operations as a business owner, one of the most basic things you have to master is to manage your finances better. Tracking money allows you to plan better and gives you full visibility of your profits in real time.

As the New Year rolls in, Lista PH, a new financial tool for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), aims to be a partner of more new business owners in growing their business. Here are some tips from Lista PH on business improvements you can do in the coming year.

Digitize your processes

With the increased digitalization push due to the pandemic, business need to adapt to the changing environment to remain competitive. Through various accessible digital tools, migrating processes online can also lessen errors and overall make your daily operations smoother. Whether it is in creating a digital logbook, adding online customer service channels or offering more digital payment options, do not be afraid to look for worthwhile investments that can help your business thrive.

Keep track of your expenses and income efficiently

A lot of businesses, especially those micro and small enterprises, still list transactions manually, which can lessen accuracy and efficiency. Keeping track of money is already a hassle, but Lista PH’s easy tracking feature can help save you from confusion and long nights computing and figuring out your profits. Whether you’re a business owner or just someone who’s trying to save up for their future, Lista PH’s monitoring feature will help you so that you can see your income in real-time. 

Get rid of hiya when it comes to debts

Any aspect of debt is challenging, from borrowing the money, to keep track of the money borrowed, to trying to get back the money loaned. The Filipino hiya culture can also be a challenge to overcome when it comes to collecting debt. This is the idea behind Lista PH’s SMS feature, which automatically sends texts to remind debts through the app. No need to rely on the traditional pa-lista and paniningil which sometimes leads to misunderstanding and uncollected debts.  

Start organizing your finance records

Keeping detailed records of your transactions allows you to have an overview of your financial state, helping you manage your cash flow and spot potential challenges ahead. One way to properly keep track of records as well as amounts due from clients is through proper invoices. However, new freelancers may not have the right knowledge on proper invoice creation and documentation, leading us to Lista PH’s invoice feature. Through this feature, freelancers can generate a professional-looking invoice directly through the app that is ready for billing to their clients.

MSMEs are the backbone of our economy, and it is important to help these enterprises thrive with the right tools and knowledge. We may not know what is ahead this 2022, but one thing we can be sure of is that with Lista PH, keeping track of all your finances is one less thing you can worry about. Spend less time worrying about your income and more time earning it with its numerous features that will help keep track of your finances easily and efficiently.

To know more about Lista PH, you may visit their website at www.lista.com.ph or follow their Facebook page at facebook.com/ListaPhilippines.

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ShopeePay offers pointers to jumpstart a prosperous 2022

To develop good financial habits, it’s best to lay out plans that are achievable and practical.

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The New Year is an opportune time to improve ourselves in various aspects of our lives. When it comes to financial resolutions, what would you do differently this time around? This year, you can consider embracing digitalization by exploring digital payment services like ShopeePay, integrating it to your lifestyle, and using it to your advantage for your 2022 financial goals.  

ShopeePay allows you to do so much with just a few clicks. It’s Shopee’s e-wallet that gives you instant savings with exclusive free Shipping and cashback promos, doubles as a convenient tool to settle your bills, enables you to buy discounted load and data, and more. When it comes to achieving financial goals, having a versatile e-wallet partner can make a difference. As you progress in your financial journey this year, ShopeePay will be with you every step of the way. Here are some pointers to help jumpstart a prosperous 2022:

Create a budget and monitor your expenses

As with any good financial plan, the first step is to set aside a percentage of your income for savings. From what’s left, create a budget and list down your expenses for the month and monitor them regularly. It’s good to be careful of your expenses, big or small, as extra costs like transfer fees could affect your finances in the long run. Fortunately, ShopeePay gives users the chance to enjoy free and real time transfers. You can also cash in for free, with an exclusive ₱25 cashback on your InstaPay fee. You can also send money to any ShopeePay user for free. 

Get cashback when you pay your bills

Let ShopeePay bring you an added level of convenience and value as you pay your bills. With ShopeePay, you can safely pay your monthly bills online and even get cashback for your transactions. This January 15 Payday Sale, ShopeePay users can get up to 50% cashback on bills for Electricity, Water, Landline & Internet, Credit Card, and TV Cable from partners such as Meralco, Maynilad, PLDT, Globe, Smart, Converge, RCBC, Metrobank, Cignal, and more.

Earn additional savings while you shop

Score discounts and deals to bring down the costs of your expenses and to add to your savings. For example, groceries are necessities you need to spend on, so always check out affordable options online. Paying with ShopeePay will allow you to get exclusive free shipping and discount vouchers. During Shopee’s January 15 Payday Sale, enjoy all-day free shipping at ₱0 min spend and 15% cashback when you checkout with ShopeePay. Plus you can also take advantage of ShopeePay’s load discounts. Get up to 50% off on load across all networks. 

Don’t forget to reward yourself

Stay motivated and keep working on your financial goals. The trick is to allot sufficient “fun money” and always look out for the best deals to get the most bang for your buck—which ShopeePay enables you to do. Through ShopeePay Near Me, enjoy exclusive ₱1 Deals from favorites like Potato Corner, Bonchon, Wendy’s, and Papa John’s. During Shopee’s January 15 Payday Sale, you can also get ₱1 Deals for your essential goods from local sellers such as Puregold, National Bookstore, The Generics Pharmacy, Metro Department Store, and many more.

To develop good financial habits, it’s best to lay out plans that are achievable and practical. As another year starts, begin your quest to better finances with ShopeePay.

Stay updated on the latest ShopeePay promos at https://shopee.ph/m/shopee-pay

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3 Trends retailers can capitalize on

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link so make sure that logistics support is your point of strength. Make this a time of festive cheer for your customers and your business. 

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By Kawal Preet
President of Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa (AMEA), FedEx Express

Today, if you’re not buying online, you’re probably the exception rather than the norm, especially with the holiday gift-buying season upon us. Consumer demand is such that e-commerce growth rates in the Asia Pacific region have already met projections for 2025. For sellers, setting up a storefront on platforms like Alibaba – home to a combined 1 billion active users globally – is now a given.

This year, retailers are ramping up efforts to cut through an increasingly crowded online marketplace. As logistics underpins e-commerce sales, we’ve witnessed some critical shifts that may help retailers stay ahead this holiday season.

1. E-commerce 3.0: Winning through immersive experiences 

E-commerce 1.0 was all about building a website and product catalogue for people to purchase. E-commerce 2.0 centered on building omni-channel retail and understanding more about customer buying patterns through data analytics. Now we’re living in an era of e-commerce 3.0, which applies approaches like live streaming and augmented or virtual reality to create immersive customer experiences that bring better brand and product understanding and better service to those browsing online. In fact, close to 50% of consumers say they would pay extra for a product if brands could offer more immersive shopping experiences.

China has long been the global trendsetter in the e-commerce field and it’s fair to say what happens here defines the way forward. With more than 638 million Chinese engaging with livestreams and shopping online, livestream platforms are now a critical engine driving e-commerce growth. Ahead of this year’s Singles Day sale, one of China’s top live streamers sold a staggering US$1.7 billion worth of goods within the first 12 hours, attracting more than 250 million views.

As more small businesses build their e-commerce presence, China’s live commerce successes are now being replicated elsewhere in the region. The intent to shop on social media platforms is going up, as high as 88% in countries like Thailand.

2. Dig deeper: Consider subscription models 

Shopping online may have lowered the barrier to making a transaction but engaging with your customers so they keep coming back for more can be tricky. Consumers are inundated with a sea of product information every day. A simple search of “camera” on Google yields over 1 million results, and let’s not forget the programmatic advertising that consumer are explored to once the search occurs In short, consumers are easily distracted.

Subscription models can help increase returning customers. When it comes to e-commerce, small businesses in Asia are also capitalizing on this trend. Just look at the popularity of monthly wine hampers in Australia, beauty boxes in Korea, and premium fruit baskets in Japan.

All of this is being fuelled by consumers’ increasing disposable income and pent-up desire to live life to the fullest during the pandemic. Prolonged lockdowns have meant that receiving little moments of joy through the post regularly helps to break through the monotony of not being able to travel. If retailers can capitalize on this and find a way to have their customers sign-up for a subscription, it can become a stable stream of revenue.

3. Supply chains: Agility and resiliency will be key 

In the old days, e-shoppers’ focus sat squarely on price. But in today’s on-demand economy, where instant gratification means the world to consumers, personalized delivery services such as when and where the product should arrive and whether it can be redirected to a locker if they’re unavailable to pick it up are critical to driving sales. 

Companies therefore need to build more robust delivery services and resilient supply chains to meet consumer needs. It’s no exaggeration to say that your e-commerce success depends on how strong your supply chains are. Just look at how many times ‘supply chain’ has been mentioned in earnings calls among S&P 500 companies this month – a whopping 3,000 times.

This need is particularly pronounced with COVID-19 restrictions still in place in many countries. For example, a well-known South African footwear brand relied on FedEx during the lockdowns, as they were facing difficulties driving sales via their local retail outlets. By leveraging FedEx transportation solutions and technology expertise, the brand was successfully able to expand to new international markets beyond Africa, and double their global distribution network.

What does that mean for retailers like you? Collaborating with a reliable logistics company that can flex its network to reach your customers in whatever circumstances is critical. You earn an extra bonus point if your consumers save on delivery costs. And that’s exactly where we’ve been investing in – fast and convenient international delivery services at attractive prices. 

This holiday season is set to be another epic one for small businesses and e-commerce merchants. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link so make sure that logistics support is your point of strength. Make this a time of festive cheer for your customers and your business. 

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