Tapping Into the Eco-Friendly Market as an eCommerce Business

Consumer habits have changed dramatically in the wake of COVID-19. The global pandemic — coupled with the rising cost of living — has accelerated the shift towards minimalist, eco-friendly consumerism.

Since people are being more careful with their purchases, eCommerce businesses need to provide even better value for money to compete with the likes of Amazon, who’ve seen a steep increase in profits year-on-year since the pandemic took hold.

Widening your scope to cater to a market of eco-conscious consumers requires relatively little investment and could increase sales. So how can you gear your products and services to an eco-conscious audience?

How to Make Your eCommerce Store Eco-Friendly

Positioning yourself in front of people who care about the planet isn’t a new concept — many businesses recognise the importance of tailoring their offerings to green-minded consumers. The biggest task is standing out in a crowded marketplace of increasingly cautious customers.

To get you started, here are a few ways you can adjust your business model to make a difference to the planet and your bottom line:

  • Sustainable Materials for Your Products

This will vary depending on the kind of products you’re retailing, but the principle remains the same — spending a little extra on sustainable materials or ingredients for your products will help drive sales and secure a return on your investment. You’ll have a new angle to promote your offerings to a larger audience and you’ll also be doing your bit for the environment.

Producing a limited run of sustainable merchandise is a great way to get started. All materials perform differently, and you may be met with surprising or unexpected results. Starting small will help you see how your products perform in the real world before committing to a greater investment.

  • Eco-Friendly Packaging

It’s easy to get wrapped up in developing your products, but research shows that sustainable packaging options are important to consumers concerned with their environmental impact. Single-use plastics are despised by the majority, so it may be time to change your packaging strategy if yours isn’t up-to-date with the latest consumer trends.

Consider using recycled, recyclable, compostable or biodegradable packaging to secure your shipments. Materials like paper, corrugated cardboard and Kraft paper are ideal, but you can take things a step further by using a carbon-neutral packaging supplier specialising in sustainable packaging.

  • Greener Delivery Services

In the lightning-fast pace of eCommerce, convenience is everything. Getting your products from your warehouse to your customers should take as little time as possible, but this profoundly impacts the environment. Fossil-fuel powered vehicles release carbon into the atmosphere, and with millions of deliveries to make every day, the environment suffers greatly.

Delivery companies like DPD are leading the charge, making their delivery services as green as possible. They’re rolling out fleets of electric vehicles and smarter delivery strategies to minimise pollution. By partnering with companies such as these, you can reduce your business’s environmental impact.

How to Promote a Sustainable eCommerce Business

Marketing your eco-friendly credentials is just as important as using sustainable products and packaging in the first place. If your customers aren’t aware of your efforts to make your business sustainable, they’ll opt for a greener competitor.

Promoting your sustainable brand is simple — it’s all about the execution:

    • Use Online Resources — Creating a blog or answering customer questions via an FAQ section on your website is an easy way to build trust with potential customers. Include ways customers can safely and responsibly dispose of their packaging to show you really care about protecting the planet.
    • Initiate Comparative Marketing — Many brands use comparative marketing, showing how much plastic packaging could be saved by choosing their products over their rivals’. It’s a brave step to take that could have some pretty serious implications if you get it wrong, but stick to the facts and it can be an incredibly effective marketing tool.
  • Splash Out on Customised Packaging — Custom packaging isn’t bad for the planet if it’s crafted using eco-friendly materials and non-toxic inks. Use your packaging as a force for good by encouraging people to recycle or include a catchy hashtag to your packaging to promote online engagement.

Fierce competitors and picky customers can put pressure on the performance of your business. If sales are dwindling and resource-rich rivals are ringing alarm bells, remember that every brand has the opportunity to do more to protect the planet. Opting for a sustainable approach has the potential to reignite your business while reducing your carbon footprint, benefiting potential customers and the planet.

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