eCommerce has seen incredible popularity in the past few years. This widespread growth has driven many eCommerce sellers to become green brands. Should you consider becoming an eco-friendly brand?
What is “green eCommerce”?
Green eCommerce, also called sustainable, eco-friendly, or simply green eCommerce consists of brands selling goods and services online while considering the environmental impact of doing business and working to reduce this impact where possible.
Why become a green brand?
Here are a few reasons why you should consider becoming an eco-friendly brand:
- Fundamentally, we only have one planet Earth that we all inhabit, and it’s up to all of us to be good stewards of our environment, protecting and sustaining for not just ourselves, but future generations.
- Consumers today want more than just quality. They also want brands and products that align with their personal values. Shoppers are more purpose-driven and increasingly buy with the environment in mind. Eco-friendly brands project a more positive perception and are enjoying greater customer loyalty. Brands that are environmentally and socially conscious are increasing in popularity.
- Overall, eCommerce is not the most environmentally friendly business model, with practices like dropshipping eating up non-renewable resources. Becoming a green brand has the potential to offset this.
Ways to become a green brand
- Selling green products. One of the most impactful and visible ways you take your brand green is to sell eco-friendly products. Are your products made from sustainable materials? Can you find a supplier that uses a smaller carbon footprint? Make a plan for how you can begin integrating more sustainable products into your sales offering or if you are just getting started in eCommerce, build your business model around being more green.
- Recyclable or biodegradable packaging. The amount of solid waste created by excessive and imperishable packaging is massive. More shoppers expect companies to reduce their shipping materials and switch to recyclable packaging. A high percentage of consumers are even willing to pay more for this.
- Offer carbon offsets. All shipping creates carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. eCommerce companies can use online tools to calculate the carbon footprint of each order. This can then be offset by donating that amount to verified carbon offsetting programs that are actively reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.
- Less waste through reduced errors. While shipping an item to a customer is impactful on the environment, a customer returning that item and then shipping them a replacement is significantly more environmentally impactful. Automated as many aspects of the order fulfillment process as possible. Also, displaying this commitment prominently on your website. While this will cause your customers to expect fast and accurate order fulfillment, they will appreciate your dedication to being eco-friendly.
- Green dropshipping. While standard dropshipping isn’t particularly eco-friendly, you can implement methods to make the dropshipping process greener for your brand. Develop and implement a plan to follow the three key Rs of waste management in your dropshipping: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. With careful thought, these can be implemented to varying degrees across your entire order fulfillment, supply chain, and dropshipping process.
The bottom line
Being an eco-friendly brand has advantages for your eCommerce business. It not only helps protect our environment, but also increases loyalty among purpose-driven customers. There are many ways to become a green eCommerce brand, such as selling green products, using more recyclables packaging, offering carbon offsets, reducing waste in fulfillment errors, and implementing green dropshipping. Becoming a green brand will continue to be an important aspect of eCommerce in the years ahead.