Sustainability matters to people–particularly to Millennials. A Neilsen poll of over 30,000 people found that 66% of consumers– and 73% of Millennials– are willing to pay more to support companies who commit to sustainable, environmentally-friendly business practices. With Millennials set to overtake Boomers as the largest living generation in 2019, it’s crucial for businesses to pay attention to this growing trend.
In this day and age, it’s more important than ever for online stores to reduce their carbon footprint - not only to use as a selling point, but because it’s the right thing to do for our planet. And let’s face it. From gas-guzzling delivery trucks to layers of wasteful packaging, ecommerce isn’t exactly the most environmentally-friendly business model out there.
Going green may seem like a daunting task, especially if you’ve been in business for a while. The good news is that the more this trend catches on, the more opportunities there are for online stores to minimize their environmental impact. And this comes with the added bonus of gaining customers’ trust.
So, what are some easy steps your ecommerce business can take to become greener?
Sell Greener Products
When choosing suppliers, give first priority to companies who use sustainable materials and ethically-sourced products. From clothing to furniture to health and wellness products, any online retailer would do well to choose eco-friendly product sources whenever possible.
Minimize your environmental impact by working with suppliers who share your value of sustainability. It doesn’t have to happen overnight, especially if you already have a store full of products - but the more steps you take in this direction, the more you’ll reduce your business’s carbon footprint, leading to more marketing opportunities for your business.
Sustainable Web Hosting
One energy-saving opportunity that’s often overlooked is choosing a sustainable company to host your website. Servers require power 24/7 and must be kept cool at all times. Needless to say, it takes a staggering amount of energy just to keep them going - the vast majority of which comes from fossil fuels.
Lucky for us and the planet, there are green hosting companies out there that are committed to energy efficiency, reducing power consumption, and offsetting the huge carbon footprint it takes to keep online businesses up and running. Look into supporting one of these companies to further support your commitment to greener business practices.
Greener Packaging Options
For today’s environmentally conscious consumer, there’s nothing more frustrating than receiving an online purchase with lots of plastic and excessive packaging to go along with it. Show your customers you’re serious about reducing waste by choosing eco-friendly packaging materials. Some easy options include biodegradable fillers, soy-based inks, and anything reusable like fabric or recycled cardboard.
Also, be sure to display your commitment to green on the packaging materials for customers to see. After all, you won’t make an impression if they don’t know about it.
Making Sustainability a Core Value
Adopting sustainability as a company value is a win-win-win for your business, your customers, and the planet we all call home. Customers are paying attention, and they strongly prefer businesses with eco-friendly practices. Any company who fails to recognize this will eventually fall behind. Taking the right steps to go green - and making sure your customers know about it - will give your business a competitive advantage to help you stay ahead of the game.