Sustainability for eCommerce: 3 solutions for your business

Sustainability for eCommerce: 3 solutions for your business

Sustainability awareness have long been a trend in eCommerce.  It refers to digital brands conducting business while considering their environmental impact. Consumers want brands that are aligned with sustainable eCommerce, this means changing things at every stage of your business, from reducing single-use packaging, and offsetting carbon emissions, to giving back to the planet.

Importance of sustainable eCommerce

Why should your brand transition to sustainable eCommerce? Well, a recent survey found that 72% of shoppers globally are buying more eco-friendly products than they did five years ago, and 81% plan to increase this consumption over the next five years. Also, 41% of consumers are actively seeking out brands that have strong social and environmental values, and support brands that align with their own beliefs. Brands that focus on their sustainability efforts can therefore gain a competitive advantage over their competitors, with consumers willing to pay 20% more for their products.

Below are three solutions to consider when introducing sustainable eCommerce practices to your business.

1. Use sustainable packaging

81% of consumers believe that companies use excessive packaging when shipping products. To solve this problem, you should have packing boxes in a variety of sizes that suit the size of the product that you are selling. Doing this will reduce the amount of protective packaging wasted inside each order. In addition, try to use compostable, biodegradable, or recyclable packaging. Reducing the amount of plastic is a key initiative since 77% of shoppers think that plastic is the least eco-friendly packaging material and 41% of shoppers avoid it when they can.

2. Join a carbon offset programme

Although signing up for a carbon offset programme can help to cover the unavoidable emissions your company produces, it should not be considered as a solution to having unsustainable business practices.  By investing into a programme that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, you should be able to balance out the carbon dioxide produced when your products are created. To cover the cost, brands can add in software solutions such as Shopify’s Offset, which allows shoppers to pay an optional offset charge during the checkout process.

3. Have circular economy practices

The circular economy involves reusing, repairing, recycling and refurbishing materials as much as you can. In the eCommerce space, there are a variety of ways in which you can implement this. Examples, include IKEA who run a buy back and resell service to reduce furniture waste and Patagonia who have been on a journey to have zero waste and reduce carbon emissions. Other examples from SMEs include Refunk and FiltraCycle. ReFunk is a furniture upcycling platform that seamlessly connects freelance Upcyclers with customers to fuel the circular and gig economies in the furniture sector while FiltraCycle have recycled 360,000 cigarette butts, saving the environment from damaging waste with the mission of intercepting thousands of tonnes of pollution from damaging our environment. If your brand is not able to do this, then you could also turn to marketplaces like eBay where you would be able to sell used and returned merchandise.

How can our eCommerce team help?

With more consumers environmentally conscious, it is important for brands to implement sustainable eCommerce practices as soon as possible. If you are curious about how the BDO Eaton Square eCommerce team can help your brand succeed, click here to learn more about our digital service offerings or fill out this form for a free consultation.