I am passionate for eco-friendly products. The husband jokes that if you want to sell something to me you just need to make it eco, and you are done. This is not the whole true, because even with eco-friendly products I am quite picky, but you would have my attention for sure. I suppose that looking for eco-friendly is my way of reducing complexity in choices (which makes all customers happy), and gives me more energy to focus on more important issues as I can decide much quicker.
Barry Schwartz made this point nicely in his video from 2006, where he explains the paradox of choice and how a lower number of choices actually can make life easier and more satisfying. Because some choice is better than no choice, but more choice is not always better than some choice. Disclaimer: the video is 19:50, but worth the time.
So I am always looking for places to get ecologically sound products to choose from. If I am to spend my money on new stuff, at least I want to make sure that I do some good with it. So it will be either bio or fairtrade. And the side effect is that I have a limited number to choose from and nevertheless I will not get the later “I could have done even better”-moment described by Barry.
For retailers of ecological products this could be an interesting marketing approach. Stop to to only target people that are looking for your products anyway (but do make it easy to find you, because they will be looking), and focus on telling the right story to those that are looking for one specific product, but getting lost in the choices. A potential customer wants to buy new table cloth, offer him an ecological table cloth, which will make her even proud of his choice and showing it off to her friends. Provided your eco table cloth is as attractive as the non-eco one next door, the prolonged “feel-good-and-be-free-to-tell-people” factor might be the cutting edge.
Just ask my friends how many already had to listen to the advantages of bamboo clothing when remarking on my new shirt.