Ecommerce is becoming an increasingly popular way to make money online. However, it also tends to produce the most carbon footprint in the digital age.
Whether sustainability is part of your core values or not, it would help to be eco-friendly.
For one, doing so allows you to win the support of eco-conscious consumers. Second, it enables you to do your part in saving the environment.
That said, we have listed seven ways to make your e-commerce business more sustainable.
Implement Sustainable Shipping
The shipping part of an ecommerce business is one of the things that make it not the most eco-friendly way to do business.
Since e-commerce is becoming more convenient, more and more products are being shipped. The downside, though, is that shipment contributes to pollution.
With that said, if you want to have sustainable business practices, you should try and look at how your shipping situation should change.
Do your research about a shipping company’s eco-friendly programs. That way, you can have greener options throughout the entire shipping process. Try to stick to ground shipping whenever possible as well.
Switch to Sustainable Packaging
Aside from shipping, packaging is another aspect of running an ecommerce business that has a massive effect on the environment. All that plastic and such can add up pretty quickly, which is why sustainable packaging is becoming increasingly relevant.
It will help if you look for suppliers of eco-friendly packaging solutions. Aside from that, you should also try and reduce the amount of packaging needed to protect your items. That means using the right size of box for the things you’re shipping.
Luckily, businesses are taking steps to practice sustainable packaging. This includes using biodegradable plastic and reusing old paper bags.
Sell Eco-Friendly Products
If you want customers to perceive your ecommerce business as environment-friendly, consider selling eco-friendly products.
Of course, there’s no pressure to do so right now, especially when you’ve already purchased your inventory. It would only be wasteful to get rid of your current stock to make room for greener products. However, it’s still a worthwhile solution.
Transitioning to a green ecommerce business can take a while. But that doesn’t mean it should be perfect.
Nonetheless, if you want to know how to lessen your business’s environmental impact, why not start by looking at the effects of the products you have?
With eco-friendly products, you know that your products won’t be harming your customers, the environment, and more. It’s also another way to attract a younger crowd who are much more eco-conscious, so that’s another group you can market towards.
Minimize Swaps and Returns
We’ve talked about how your shipping can have an impact on the environment.
One part of using more sustainable shipping practices involves minimizing swaps and returns as much as possible. Thus, you should look at your return policies and rework them if needed.
You want to have a fair return policy for your customers, but you should also reduce the back and forth of delivering items. Aside from reworking your return policy, you should also ensure that your product descriptions are straightforward. That way, people get exactly what they paid for, so there are fewer compulsions to return the products.
Distribute Your Inventory
When you’re shipping your products, air shipping often creates quite a bit of emission that can increase air pollution. However, more people are used to getting the fastest shipping possible, so sometimes it’s inevitable. It would be even more so if you had an international customer base.
You can reduce your shipment’s carbon footprint through proper inventory planning. Instead of constantly shipping out products from one place, consider distributing your inventory.
This means shipping a set number of products to a distribution center. Doing so shortens the travel time you need to deliver a product.
This is ideal if you cater to international customers. For one, it ensures that your customers won’t have to wait long to receive their orders. Second, a shorter travel time means you are producing less carbon footprint.
Source Material From Local Suppliers
Another way you can be more sustainable is by looking at where you source the materials you use for your products. The best choice of the source material would be one that is from local suppliers.
If you’re manufacturing your products, this step can be a great way to make a massive shift towards sustainability.
The travel (and thus, the shipping) of your materials to you will be much shorter if you use a local supplier. Going local is also an excellent way to support the local economy.
Choosing a local supplier also makes it easier for you to see the quality of your supplies since you can quickly go to them and see for yourself.
Develop Recycling Policies
Recycling is always a great initiative. That’s because it ensures you have an active approach towards the waste you produce when running your ecommerce business.
If you haven’t yet, consider working on developing recycling policies when you can. You should also use recyclable materials for your products and packaging while you’re at it.
You can work with recycling centers near you so that you can expand your network to support your shift towards sustainability.
These sustainable business practices can help you align your core values. Plus, it allows you to win the support of eco-friendly consumers. So, if you want to run a sustainable e-commerce business, consider following the tips in this post.
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