Ecommerce Trends Series: Make your ecommerce eco friendly
One of the top emerging ecommerce trends we have seen mentioned frequently over the last year is green commerce.
What is Green ecommerce?
Green ecommerce involves any company in the ecommerce space, who makes efforts to offset the carbon footprint of their business and reduce their overall environmental impact.
Why Make the Move?
We are glad you asked! Increasing the visibility of climate change has been at the forefront of consumers' minds thanks to international events such as COP-26. This has led to cost and convenience no longer being the only factors that today’s consumers consider when they shop both in-store and online. As the effects of climate change continue to worsen, most consumers expect to see at least some sustainable practices from businesses they choose to use.
Changes to the way we shop, due to restrictions caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic, have increased the number of goods packaged for shipping and boosted the number of couriers and trucks on roads. These factors have also further pushed green commerce to prominence as a top ecommerce trend.
“In an international study of 6000 consumers Nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents said they’re currently buying more environmentally friendly products than they were five years ago, and 81% said they expect to buy more over the next five years.”
Presenting yourself as an environmentally friendly seller can help you stand out from the crowd by giving you a competitive edge. With so many online competitors, people tend to choose the most convenient option, unless a brand can differentiate itself in a way that motivates a customer to purchase from them instead. Success online is dependent on connecting with customers and showing them why your brand is different from the rest. One way to do this is by aligning your values with the values of consumers, and green commerce is the perfect place to start.
As online shopping continues to grow in popularity, the need for environmental sustainability becomes more apparent. In protecting the environment, you may also see the reputation of your brand improve, which will allow you to grow while staying green. It improves customer satisfaction, increases customer retention, helps drive growth, and can lead to higher revenues. It simply makes economic sense.
Green commerce can involve several different approaches, all of which work to make a company’s online business more environmentally friendly. Check out our tips below to get an idea of what you can do to help incorporate green commerce into your online business:
Your Shipping Practices
Ecommerce is one of the largest contributors to packaging waste. This is because the growth of online shopping has led to a boom in ecommerce packaging, leading to excess and non-recyclable materials being left to waste in landfills. So, as an ecommerce merchant, one of the most impactful steps you can take is to revamp your packaging and shipping practices.
There are now more and more shipping packaging options available that use compostable, recyclable, and reusable shipping materials. Some suggestions to minimise packaging waste include:
- Using recycled boxes to ship items in.
- Swapping conventional courier bags for biodegradable or recyclable ones.
- Use paper cushioning or biodegradable packing peanuts to keep your goods safe instead of bubblewrap or styrofoam.
- Find alternative methods to get goods shipped in a more eco-friendly way.
It may not always be as cost effective compared to traditional packaging, but it will have a positive effect on your bottom line and it also just feels good!
Offer in store pick up
You can vastly reduce the effects of shipping by offering a Click and Collect option because this means less packaging and less need for couriers. This option works extremely well if you are in a high foot traffic location.
Click here to learn how to easily add Click and Collect to your Storbie site.
Sell products that can be recycled, reused, or upcycled.
Ask yourself, are your products made from sustainably sourced materials? If not, offering some eco-friendly options can really help you in going green.
- Offer more sustainable and eco-friendly product ranges
- Find a more ethical supplier for the raw materials or one that has a smaller operating carbon footprint.
- Use materials that are recyclable when creating your products
Embrace Digital: Go Paper Free
Going paperless and recycling in the workplace have almost become industry standards. Here are some of our suggestions to help you go paperless:
- Only printing or using paper for note taking when it’s really necessary
- Do not use physical flyers or pamphlets for marketing and advertising
- Use a digital option rather than printing/using paper
Communicate your Efforts
Consumers want to buy from businesses and brands that have a clear commitment to sustainability. If you are not communicating this on your website or on your marketing channels, your customers and potential customers are never going to know what you are doing to help. And even if you are just doing it because it’s the right thing to do, it doesn't hurt letting your customers know that your business is a sustainable option.
- Communicate your green commitments by adding them to your Home page, About Us page, or product descriptions.
- Have a sustainability policy on your website to communicate the positive changes your business is making
- Reiterate this in social media posts
The latest studies highlight how important sustainability is to shoppers and how sellers should consider their environmental impact. Whether it is choosing recycled packaging or selling products from sustainably sourced materials, we can all do our bit to help our natural environment.
Sustainability is more than just a marketing gimmick, it’s a movement that consumers are demanding. Online shoppers are more purpose-driven than ever before and to stay relevant and competitive, you must be too. So, not only does green commerce help to raise the revenue for your store but it also contributes to a healthier planet.
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