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Sustainability in eCommerce: Catering to Green Consumerism

Sustainability in eCommerce goes beyond trends. How you conduct business now matters to your customers because it has become the new standard. Customers are growing more conscious of the global impact of the goods they use and the ethos of the brands they favour. Due to the growing consumer demand for sustainable products, many companies are forced to reevaluate their operations, materials sourcing, product development processes and supply chain to ensure that they produce eco-friendly products that appeal to consumers.

What do green consumers want?

Consumers are increasingly considering sustainability and environmental wellness when making decisions, according to a Deloitte poll and report by Statista on consumer attitudes and behaviours.
– 8 out of 10 consumers now factor in sustainability when purchasing items.
– 44% of the users indicated that recycling packaging and eco-friendly shipping practices were important while shopping.
– Currently, 66% of consumers are more concerned with sustainable business.
– Regarding what products they choose and which platform they use, 88% said environmental factors were somewhat critical.

What responsibility does it place on brands to serve ethical consumers?

The “Paris Climate Act” is being pleaded for by nations because of the rising awareness and increased worry about climate change. Users believe brands should make the necessary changes, not consumers.
– Sixty-six per cent of consumers indicated they would be more likely to purchase from a company if it offered carbon-neutral shipping at the same price as conventional shipping.
– According to one-third of respondents, “greener” products would soon start to be sold on e-commerce websites.
Although everyone has been raving about how dependent consumers are on convenience, we now live in an age of rapid commerce, where customers anticipate their orders to arrive within a day or two. The most important query is, what would a consumer select? Fast delivery for convenience or environmentally friendly shipping techniques? Convenience would be the response, right?
As a result, the misunderstanding currently arises from the fact that 88% of them, as previously said, want to purchase sustainable goods and want eco-friendly activities but with ease of access and minimal financial strain. It is up to brands to cater to them. You can start by adopting sustainable practices and maintaining your SDG goal score to stay ahead of the competitive market.

How can a customer journey be created to encourage sustainability?

Layers make everything more effective, right? So why not use a multi-layered strategy to encourage sustainability?
The strategy entails establishing a unified customer profile, including internal, social, and environmentally friendly information, and utilising the product set and catalogue the client desires to purchase. This layer examines key performance indicators (KPIs) such as clickstreams, historical purchases, wish lists, requested product items, online and in-store transactions, gift purchases, visits, and customer basket analytics.

1. Establish a sustainable supply chain to cut down on carbon emissions

The carbon footprint of an e-commerce business also includes the supply chain significantly. There could be enormous savings here, and several companies have already started:
Shipment improvements: Send as many products in a single package as you can.
Changing packaging: Avoid using Styrofoam and use recycled and recyclable materials as much as possible.
Collaborating with a green delivery service: Environmentally friendly delivery services are being offered by more and more logistics organisations. Some people even drive electric cars.
Return strategy optimisation includes emphasising in-store returns, replacing items without requiring customers to return the original product, and reusing or refurbishing returned goods.
To fulfil the commitment to source a significant portion of total consumption with environmentally friendly materials by 2025, India launched a sustainable project called “SURE”—a “resolution firm,” according to AEPC. Sustainability has become a crucial component of exports in global marketing.

2. Consolidate orders to cut back on carbon emissions

 When it’s feasible, combine several orders into a single shipment. Customers will also gain from receiving all their orders at once, and you may boost your brand’s green credentials by emphasising the advantages of waiting a bit longer.

3. Promote your eco-friendly initiatives

 Informing your customers about new brand initiatives will help you maintain the sustainability of your eCommerce activities. You can introduce the idea of sustainability through your brand. Your brand is how you interact with your clients; through that, they form an opinion of you.
Consider incorporating sustainable practices into your company’s goal, launching a campaign to promote environmental protection (there are so many dedicated days now for this purpose; how about using them for good?) or donating to a social welfare charity.

4. Make your product mix sustainable

Another effective step is to add new products with a sustainability focus to your inventory. You might update current items or alter your supply chain to lessen the environmental impact of your products. Your company may stand out on the market and achieve your sustainability goals in eCommerce by marketing these products. On the good side, that is supported by numerous eCommerce marketplaces.

5. Build awareness around it to attract new customers

By offering informative information, you may encourage your audience to adopt sustainability. Using Amazon’s customer engagement feature, you can email your consumers and spread the word about the concept or product.
Update your social media profiles so that you can inform your clients about your eCommerce sustainability efforts with relevant news and material. This way, shoppers who haven’t heard of sustainable purchasing have an easier time accessing it.

6. Resell used products to contribute to a circular economy

The circular economy encourages product reuse by allowing them to be transferred to a second or third owner after their first owner has finished using them. Then, new products can be made from recycled ones.
Many Gen Z and Millennials are pioneering the concept of second-hand stores, where you can resell the goods for less money. Typically, people throw away their things as they grow tired of them, particularly in the fast fashion industry. You can resell your goods on websites like eBay, Wish, Etsy, and even Amazon, which sells refurbished devices.

To sum up

Both buyers and sellers continue to prioritise sustainability. Customers demand that the brands they support give the environment top priority and actively look for methods to improve it. Implementing a mix of sustainable measures into your eCommerce business and marketing efforts allows for significant growth opportunities.
Views of the author are personal and do not necessarily represent the website’s views.
Mr. Punit Sindhwani, CEO, PaxcomPunit Sindhwani has over 25+years of experience in the Technology and IT industry. Punit is currently the CEO of Paxcom, a SAAS-based software which provides complete eCommerce automation solutions from creating and managing e-stores (or marketplaces) to advanced data analysis, exponential revenue growth, managed warehouses and supply chains along with ensuring happy customers. He is a strategic leader with a proven track record in managing fast-growing software development companies in Capital Markets, Payments, Health care, Data Analysis and Data and Image Compression.
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The CSR Journal Team