We are all, to a greater or lesser extent, conscious consumers. Businesses know that in 2020 and beyond, sustainability sells.
For starters: 43% of consumers in the UK are more likely to shop with a rival retailer if they are offered a greater range of sustainable delivery options.
Moreover: 21% of consumers surveyed by Unilever said they would actively choose brands if they made their sustainability credentials clearer on their packaging and in their marketing
If before it was the impending regulatory control on packaging, plastics and emissions from governing bodies forcing their hands, now it seems most brands and retailers are actively harnessing the growing appetite for sustainable options from consumers, particularly when buying online.
Many notable companies have made small changes behind the scenes, whilst others are favouring more radical, comprehensive overhauls of their operation or offering. Could it be that radical policies, such as completely removing the option to return products, are the only impactful option for businesses seeking to reduce the weight behind their environmental footprint?
We've collated our top options for eco-friendly ecommerce and sustainable best practice. They're not completely radical, but they do make a difference, and will help you towards the heightened environmental stewardship we should all be taking on:
Plastic is cancelled, and any materials that either can't be recycled or re-used should be too. When it comes to the packaging you're using for each order, there are some brilliant options for more sustainable materials. Our personal favourite come from The Better Packaging Company, who offer a wide range of bags, labels and tapes, all made from 'waste' material.
Their honest approach and consistent drive towards improvement and bettering their efforts is remarkable.
With some intuitive design and a smart product tie-in, you can add to the overall experience your customers receive by making the packaging itself a part of the product. HangerPak have developed this very simple, but effective way of ensuring their packaging doesn't get trashed immediately after opening:
Similarly, check out Puma's Re-Suede shoe line. Made entirely from recycled materials and delivered in a rather smart looking shoe bag. This smart bag saves ‘’8,500 tons of paper, 20 million megajoules of electricity, 1 million litres of water, 1 million litres of fuel oil, 500,000 of diesel oil and 275 tones of plastic’’. Respect!
Save with Shipping
Companies can reduce the amount they are shipping and polluting by implementing a few different measures that encourage your customer to consume more consciously:
- ‘Click and Collect’ Many brands (like our client Oliver Bonas below) are implementing a ‘Click and Collect’ scheme where customers are able to purchase their items online, then collect them at a brick and mortar store. This not only saves the need for postal packaging, but also saves on the pollution caused from the transportation of goods from A to B.
- Customer discounts/rewards: Offering rewards to customers who purchase more than one item per order will encourage customers to buy all at once, rather than separate items in separate orders. This saves the customer money, promotes more conscious shopping and reduces the pollution caused by shipping each individual item.
We've also seen Zero Waste Cartel's awesome bamboo toothbrush initiative. You have to buy a minimum of 10 at once... This asks you to plan ahead, or link up with family, friends and neighbours.
Re-think your packaging with RePack
RePack provides returnable packages made of durable and recycled materials, that, when empty, can be fold into a letter size and returned to a postbox, anywhere in the world free of charge.
RePack reduces CO2 emissions by up to 80%, helping improve your customer experience, generating new sales with a sustainable twist.
Consciousness through Creativity
no issue allows you to design your own branded tissue paper to protect your products. Create a design and show off your brand with eco-friendly packaging - too beautiful to throw away!
Fix your Warehouse Operation - Paperless Picking
We couldn't finish this piece without mentioning something very dear to our hearts. If you're still printing pick lists, not only are you leaving the door open to serious warehouse mistakes, inaccurate stock, mispicks, wrong items to the wrong people, no visibility, bad experience, unhappy staff, papercuts....
You're also wasting paper when you could have the same (better) information on mobile devices!