Statista predicts that global online sales will grow to $6,388 trillion by 2024. In comparison, it reached $4,280 trillion in 2020. But do we realize that every order from an online store affects the environment? Ecology is becoming an increasingly important aspect of our lives and is seeping into different areas of our lives, including business.
Here are some ideas to make your e-commerce more environmentally friendly.
As it turns out, every year more and more consumers are looking for information about the impact of their purchases on the environment. This is indicated, among others, by the phrases typed by users in search engines. Below are examples of the most frequently typed ECO-words from 2020 and their percentage increase compared to 2019.
An online store run in a sustainable manner benefits not only the environment, but also the seller. A brand that acts ecologically builds trust among consumers and creates a positive and modern image. Customers very often pay attention to the ecological aspect of business and this is often a factor that affects their purchasing decisions and their loyalty to the brand.
Go to the green side
Even If you don't sell green products, you can also take care of other important e-commerce processes that have an impact on the environment. It's a good idea to incorporate eco-trends into your business, starting as early as the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday opportunities. Here are some ways to sell sustainably and responsibly:
Ditch the plastic packaging and tape and choose environmentally friendly materials that are recycled or biodegradable, such as: cardboard, paper, and sugar cane packaging. You can use what's called hay, which is fully biodegradable wood wool, or skropak ("crisps" made from cornstarch) to fill the package.
Also, make sure that the package is as close to the size of the product you are sending. Disproportionate shipments take up cargo space unnecessarily.
You can also take a creative approach to going green - create personalized packaging and have a positive impact on your customers' shopping experience.
It is an integral part of the order which we cannot resign from. However, it is worth looking closely at the good changes and ideas that will help the environment to breathe.
More and more courier companies are implementing pro-ecological solutions such as deliveries by electric vehicles, bicycles or optimized routes. It is also a good idea to make it possible to pick up the parcel in special points located as close to the recipient as possible.
Another important aspect related to the parcel is free deliveries and returns. Such convenience, although extremely convenient for customers, generates an increase in parcel and waste transportation. It is worth taking this subject seriously and making your customers aware of it. Lack of free delivery and returns does not have to mean that the offer is less attractive. It is enough to create a proper returns and deliveries policy, with benefits for a consumer, e.g. extended time for returns or interesting communication about the status of a shipment.
What is important - first of all reduce the number of unnecessary returns by placing reliable information in the product description - precise dimensions, colors, composition, etc. The more factual data you have, the fewer returns you will make. The more factual data, the less mismatched orders and thus less returns.
If you are storing your products in a warehouse, ask yourself if there is anything you can do to reduce harmful activities. Perhaps some of the space is undeveloped and is actually sitting empty. Lighting, maintaining the right temperature - these all consume significant amounts of energy. You can start with the simplest thing, such as replacing light bulbs with energy-efficient ones like leds, or investing in renewable energy sources like photovoltaic panels. It is also advisable to monitor your energy consumption on an ongoing basis and react to changes as they occur. Such a change is good for the environment, but also for your wallet.
The most eco-friendly way would be to completely abandon the storage of goods and implement a logistics model, which is dropshipping. This is a good solution for the environment, because it omits one stage of shipping goods - from the wholesaler (or manufacturer) to your warehouse. In this case, the order is sent directly to the customer.
Talk, write, and communicate about all of your environmental efforts. It is extremely important that your customers know that they can trust you on this issue. Remember that in the competitive e-commerce market, your store needs to stand out for something, and perhaps environmentalism will be one of those points. Inform your audience about how you run your business and thus encourage conscious consumption and eco-friendly attitudes. Maybe you'll inspire more people to take a more conscious approach to shopping.
It is worth analyzing the business not only in terms of sales itself, but also how it is managed and promoted.
Cooperation with contractors, wholesalers or even communication with employees - all this requires appropriate tools. Why emit unnecessary carbon dioxide, if you can meet remotely, for example via video conference? Why print invoices and contracts every time, when you can circulate them online - send, receive, accept and even sign them?
An electronic invoice sent to an e-mail can successfully replace a paper version (also from the legal side). A newsletter is one of the electronic equivalents of flyers, information brochures or coupons.
And what about storing various types of data, files, applications, accounts, etc.? It is worth moving all the data to the cloud and resigning from your own, physical servers. This will save you the cost of the servers themselves, but also their secure storage and cooling. According to Accenture, migrating public data to the cloud could reduce CO2 emissions by 59 million tons per year, which is equivalent to taking 22 million cars off the road.
Knowledge, awareness and creativity - the combination of these three aspects in business brings many benefits and ideas. They can not only affect more sales, but more importantly contribute to environmental protection.
A large role in this area is also played by technology, thanks to which entrepreneurs can abandon non-environmental attitudes in favor of digital solutions.
Do you need an efficient sales platform? Our experts will be happy to advise you on optimal solutions. Make an appointment for a free consultation.