Are consumers ready to reuse?

OOM Earth
OOM Earth
Published in
3 min readJan 20


In one of our previous posts, we discussed the three types of reuse models. Here, we’ll take a closer look into the pre-fill model since this is the newest concept of the three.

Pre-fill presents itself as the most convenient method for consumer adoption and participation — consumers buy their favorite products as if it were any new product, requiring no change in purchase behavior. The biggest hurdle is getting consumers to return their empty bottles and jars. So does this model actually work? Will consumers actually save up their empty bottles and return them rather than chucking it in the recycling bin?

Let’s take a deep dive with a real world example of consumer adoption:

Naked Frankie Spotlight

Naked Frankie retail location in Glendale, CA

Naked Frankie is a green beauty retailer located in Glendale, CA, that offers clean, non-toxic beauty and personal care products in eco-friendly packaging. All its liquid-based products are sold in pre-filled reusable bottles that customers can return when they are done with the product.

Naked Frankie sells personal care products in reusable bottles that customers can return for reuse

Consumers Are Ready

While its pre-filled reuse model is uniquely new and different from other existing reuse models in the area, mainly bulk refill stores, Naked Frankie garnered an incredible amount of interest from the local community. Within 12-months of launching, Naked Frankie saw 43% of all reusable packaging returned from the customers. What’s even more incredible is that all of this was organic behavior — they didn’t provide any marketing to their customers.

Consumers Become More Loyal With Reuse

What stood out over time was the unique consumer behavior that naturally increased the bottom line value for the business:

  1. Customers who participated in the reuse program were more likely to explore other products from Naked Frankie, yielding 1.5x average cart size
  2. When customers returned the packaging, they organically made repeat purchases from Naked Frankie, resulting in 3.8x lifetime value
  3. Customers who return their packaging stay in the reuse program. Once customers return their packaging 2+ times, their retention rate increased up to 90%
Customers can return their used packaging to the retail store

What made Naked Frankie successful in drawing customers into the new pre-fill model? They implemented two notable features into their model:

  1. Providing convenient access points to return their packaging, offering curbside pick-up and physical drop-offs at their retail locations
  2. Rewarding them with educational and financial incentives for the returns

These two concepts are crucial for consumer adoption.

Compared to throwing out or recycling packaging, reuse inherently adds additional work for consumers. Their mindset needs to shift to a rewarding experience they enjoy doing. The fundamental pieces to change perception is to 1) Offer the most convenient consumer experience and; 2) Incentivize consumers by providing positive reinforcement of their new behavior so that they can easily and willingly incorporate returns into their daily lives.