Running an online store in today’s online climate is a challenging prospect. The e-commerce space is incredibly crowded and very competitive, and it’s often difficult to stand out from everyone else to your customers. With so many options available, people tend to choose the most convenient option unless a brand is able to differentiate itself in a way that motivates a customer to purchase from them.
Success in the e-commerce space is dependent on connecting with customers and showing them why your brand is different and how you align with many of their personal values. One of the best ways to stand out to customers is to practice green e-commerce.
What is green e-commerce?
Green e-commerce involves any company in the e-commerce space, that makes efforts to both offset the carbon footprint of their business, and also reduce their overall environmental impact. This can involve a number of different approaches that all work together to make a company’s online business more environmentally friendly.
E-commerce is one of the largest contributors to packaging waste, in addition to having a massive carbon footprint caused by the thousands of data centers around the world needed to power e-commerce sites. This waste and energy consumption crisis means that a shift needs to occur in e-commerce towards greater sustainability and environmental awareness.
Why make a move towards green e-commerce?
The primary reason to take steps as an e-commerce site towards a more green business model, is to reduce your impact on the environment. It is undeniable that the current way many businesses and individuals function is damaging to the environment and is unsustainable in the long run. It is essential that everyone do whatever they can to preserve the environment and ensure that our planet remains as healthy as possible. This also serves as a great goal for an entire company to get behind, both as employees in their personal lives and as an overall business.
While sustainability is reason enough on its own for a e-commerce business to prioritize sustainability, there are benefits that a company can experience beyond that! Being a business that values sustainability is a great way to stand out in the crowded e-commerce space, as more and more customers are seeking those values in the businesses that they patronize. Many customers place a high value on companies that align with their personal values and care about more than just making a profit. Taking steps towards sustainability both benefits the environment, and can be a great marketing tool that can help elevate your brand.
How do you get started?
One great way to make your e-commerce site more green is to utilize sustainable packaging when mailing out orders to customers. There are more and more options becoming available for recyclable or compostable packaging that look great and protect your products in transit, but won’t end up in a landfill. Packaging of online orders is a huge contributor to the amount of waste that is created every year.
Brands can also look into creative ways to reduce their online carbon footprint. Every site on the internet creates a carbon footprint from the power used to run and access it, to the data centers where it is hosted. There are a number of options for helping reduce that carbon footprint, that are a great way to signal to customers that your brand cares about making a difference in any way it can. Green e-commerce doesn’t just depend on customers shouldering the load, but it involves all of a brands decisions and how they choose to operate. By exploring the many options available, you can eliminate many of the hidden carbon impacts that running an e-commerce site can cause.
The best way to stand out in green e-commerce if you have a Shopify store is to install EcoCart. EcoCart gives your customers the opportunity to offset the carbon footprint of their order from your store with a donation to one of our verified carbon offsetting projects. It’s simple and easy and is a great way for people to get started in changing their lifestyles to improve the environment. It also signals to your customers that you are committed to sustainability as a business. This will motivate customers to choose your site again in the future because they care about having the option to make sustainable choices while enjoying the convenience that e-commerce offers.
Green e-commerce is in so many ways the future of how the internet needs to function. Brands need to look for ways to provide value to customers while also being environmentally responsible and putting the planet first. The customers have spoken and sustainability is an important value that they want companies to have. Green e-commerce doesn’t have to be a burden of restrictions and expenses placed on a brand. It can be a fantastic tool to make a difference in the world and rally your employees and customers around a common goal of making the world a little bit better.