Your 2022 Sustainability Guide for E-Commerce
With new technology, changing customer behavior, and unexpected occurrences, e-commerce is constantly changing. There have been some significant shifts in retail and online purchasing over the last several years, and these will have an impact on the world we live in going forward. Incorporating a shopping tab into all of your social media channels gives a new and exciting way for customers to buy products that interest them. As a result, your clients will not have to waste time looking for a specific item on your website. Instead, they are instantly linked to the location they desire. As a result, your customers will have a better experience and you will see an increase in sales as a result.
Looking ahead to the rising trends of 2022 is one method to keep up with the market. Here are some emerging e-commerce trends to keep an eye on and, if possible, integrate into your store. This guide has been specially designed to help you understand how you can integrate sustainability measures into your E-commerce business.
The Future of E-Commerce Is Sustainable
The EU aims to bring greenhouse gas emissions to half the existing amount by 2030. Online merchants can play a significant role in achieving this 55% goal, given the explosive expansion of international e-commerce. In the year 2022, every ambitious online shop should have sustainable e-commerce at the top of its priority list. The first obstacle for many people is figuring out where and how to begin their journey toward environmental stewardship. E-commerce can be made more environmentally friendly by following the advice in this blog. We have got you covered from inspecting your supply chain to decreasing your carbon impact and green shipping options.
In addition, we will provide some findings from our in-depth study of 2021 consumers. With this information, you will learn more about what your clients want and need, as well as what your rivals are working on. Let us get started with a cup of Fair-trade coffee.
Everyone Benefits From Sustainable E-Commerce
If you are thinking about going green, maybe you should not base your decision on how it would help your company. However, the truth is that it does happen. As a society, we are more aware of the environmental impact that all enterprises have on our planet than ever before. Your business's reputation will improve as a result of your efforts to go green. Then, how?
Customer Happiness and Loyalty Can Be Improved with this Strategy
You show that you care about the environment by running a green e-commerce business. It shows that you are actively participating in the conversation and that you are not only interested in making money. Increasingly, consumers are looking for firms with good environmental credentials when they shop online. Most notably, individuals in the age groups of Millenials and Generation Z (sometimes referred to as "Zoomers"). A whopping 59% of millennials and zoomers polled in our 2021 consumer research expect online retailers to provide environmentally friendly delivery alternatives by 2022 and beyond.
Stand Out from the Crowd by Being a Leader
Despite the obvious demand, we found that only 1% of shops will provide green delivery services in 2021, despite the high level of interest. There is a clear opportunity for your firm here, and you should seize it. First and foremost, turning green is a great idea. Secondly, 74% of online customers say that green delivery is a key factor in their purchasing decisions. You never want to overlook a 15 percent increase in customers who choose to shop at a retailer that offers green delivery over one that doesn't.
It is Time for You to Take the Lead
Sustainable E-commerce saves you money. The fact that recycled packaging is becoming more cost-effective is not the only reason for this. It is much more cost-effective to increase client pleasure and loyalty by being long-term. It can cost anywhere from five to twenty-five times more to acquire a new customer than to keep a current one. Customer loyalty may be built quickly through sustainable company practices.
The Initial Steps to Establishing a Long-Term Online Business
As a first step toward becoming more environmentally friendly, here are four things you should do in your business.
Perform a Supply Chain Audit
Being aware of where and how your products are made is essential to ensuring their long-term viability. To get a clear picture of your procurement and supply chain, do a complete audit: Including all the components of your products, how ecologically friendly they all are. To what extent are they reliant on transportation once they and their constituent parts have been produced?
Refrigeration, specific packaging, and time-sensitive delivery requirements all have environmental implications. Identifying long-term prospects is easier once you have done your audit. Cutting down on transportation costs by working with local suppliers or obtaining products made from more environmentally friendly materials are two examples.
However, defending human rights is an essential aspect of creating an environmentally-friendly society. Keep in mind the labor practices connected with that region while checking the source of your goods and inquire if you have issues.
Make Sure your Packing is Up to Par
This probably is not the most environmentally friendly way to ship a pair of sunglasses. Please allow me a moment to vent my frustrations? If you have ever had to deal with big packages, I can attest that it can be quite a headache. Not to add, it is a complete waste of time and effort. Whether it is brown paper or strange polystyrene packages, the stuffing is never appealing.
Making e-commerce more ecologically friendly is as simple as using less packaging and opting for greener materials. 41% of those who took our poll said that internet purchases should come in packaging that could be recycled in its entirety. Among Gen Z and Millennials alone, this percentage soars to 71%.
It is not enough to focus on the outer package when it comes to your environmental initiatives. Because paper consumption is predicted to quadruple between 2010 and 2060, why not switch to electronic invoices?? For example, you could use thermal printers to cut costs by reducing printing ink usage, condense products by eliminating extraneous packaging, use biodegradable labels, or reuse packaging altogether.
Choose Eco-Friendly Shipping
It is possible to lessen the environmental impact of your shipping by using carbon-neutral or carbon-neutral couriers. To give just a few examples, UPS and Hermes provide carbon-neutral delivery; DHL uses bicycles and electric vehicles; DPD has committed to a 14 percent reduction in C02 emissions per parcel; FedEx has committed to carbon-neutral operations by 2040, and Royal Mail has reduced their carbon emissions by 31.9 percent in 2020.
Customers want CO2-neutral delivery, according to our research. On the other hand, they are not eager to fork over too much money, especially on larger purchases. On orders over €50, 42% of respondents said they would not pay more for CO2-neutral delivery, rising to 47% on items above €150. This should be taken into account when determining you’re pricing for both new orders and returns.
Make Changes to Your Return Policies and Procedures
In the long run, returns have a significant impact on the planet. The amount of carbon dioxide emitted is more than doubled. To reduce the number of returns, make sure that all of your product descriptions are correct and contain additional sizing information.
The introduction to sustainable e-commerce in 2022 and beyond has come to an end. We hope that you now have the information and inspiration you need to begin decreasing your environmental footprint. So many ways to improve your sustainability plan may be found as an e-commerce retailer.
Generation Z and Millennials are becoming more aware of the environment, according to our consumer research. Make sure that you keep an eye out for advancements in the green sector as your firm grows, as well as how attitudes and expectations change. Assess your current condition and identify any short- and long-term environmental gains you can achieve. Then devise a strategy for making it happen. Remember to highlight your commitment to the environment on your website, in your packaging, in social media posts, and all other aspects of the customer experience. E-commerce buyers are increasingly looking for ecologically friendly and ethical businesses. Why do not you do everything in your power to make sure you are the one they pick?
Phil Akhzar is the founder & CEO of Arka. Arka is a packaging company that provides custom and unbranded eco-friendly packaging at competitive prices.