It’s every entrepreneur’s dream to build an eCommerce brand that every customer loves.
There are multiple ways of boosting sales and acquiring customers – even small merchants know how. Yet, it is not a sustainable business model if customers aren’t buying into your brand or that they find your organizational culture and values contradictory to theirs – and a ‘breakup’ follows.
Believe us - you can make a change before that happens.
Global consumers are embracing social causes, thus are increasingly aware (than ever) of how a business operates and how a product is made. This has given rise to many concepts in academia and across multiple industries that share one thing in common:
Green consumerism is a state of mind to pave the way for a sustainable future through purchasing eco-friendly goods and services. A green consumer not only concerns about what he or she buys but also the way he or she lives.
60% of participants revealed that they are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products. (Source: GWI Zeitgeist)
- What does this mean?
Green consumerism is something brands can ground on and leverage to attract with sustainable eCommerce practices.
Here’s a big win-win!
While you join the world to cultivate a healthier planet, you win the hearts and minds of your customers as they appreciate and recognize your efforts in doing the ‘good’ things.
Fulfilling social responsibilities is thus key to business success under the influence of green consumerism.
So how can brands go sustainable from the inside out?
To build a brand that is loved by every customer, it’s important to first comprehend what eco-steps they expect eCommerce brands to take.
According to GWI Zeitgeist, equal proportions – 52% of participants think brands should create products with less packaging and with recycled packaging. The availability of affordable eco-friendly products comes as the third important eco-friendly measure, which is followed by the use of natural ingredients and reduced use of chemicals in products. The rest emphasizes a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR), as in the transparency in sustainable practices, the contribution to the community, and the fulfillment of corporate philanthropy through charitable moves.
Derived from the results, here are 3 dimensions that brands can invest in becoming more sustainable:
1. Packaging-wise: From Recycled / Biodegradable Materials to Reduced Use of Packaging
Our lives are surrounded by plastic due to its versatile usability, with plastic waste coming as a destructive byproduct.
According to the UNEP, we produce about 300 million tons of plastic waste every year, which is almost equivalent to the weight of the entire human population.
As more than 99% of plastics are produced from chemicals derived from dirty, non-renewable resources, the annual, drastic plastic waste is undisputedly a nightmare for Mother Earth.
One of the most common single-use plastic products accounts for the packaging of consumer goods, thus hinting at an opportunity for eCommerce merchants to take responsibility and bring positive changes by reducing the use of single-use packaging and using biodegradable or recycled packaging materials.
2. Product/Service-wise: From Design and Production to Shipping and Returns
It takes time to plant a deep root of corporate sustainability.
Product and service – something comparatively tangible from the customers’ POV - are two promising directions to consider. For instance, you may reduce the use of chemicals and introduce the use of natural ingredients when designing your products, and you may consider adopting eco-friendly shipping practices to meet higher standards of sustainability and profitability.
With little doubt, eCommerce shoppers are focusing more on sustainability and ethicality - from sourcing, manufacturing to order fulfillment and more.
Take products that are ‘fair trade organic’ certified as an illustration, consumers are willing to buy regardless of the higher prices - not just for their physical health but mental well-being, as in to show support in achieving sustainability and greater equity in trades.
3. The Brand as a Whole
Getting your customers to buy your products and wholeheartedly adore your eCommerce brand is a matter of brand building – a brand that does the right things and is loved.
Touch on social issues, take charitable initiatives, partner with socially responsible companies, and the list goes on - the core lies in showing care and contribution to the community.
After all, try to cultivate a sense of community with a shared goal of building a better, greener future hand in hand with your customers.
Green brands are the brands of the future – yours can be one of them.
Statistics from GWI: https://blog.gwi.com/trends/green-consumerism/