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Sustainability in E-commerce

Sustainability in E-commerce
Sustainability in E-commerce

Table of Contents

Suggestions for online retailers

Greener shipping options

Remove plastic packaging

Use reusable packaging

Stop discarding returned products

Do not offer free returns

In Summary

Everyone loves shopping online. It’s easy to select items, add them to a cart and make payments online. The convenient experience of shopping online is what makes it so satisfying. You can sit on your couch, be floating on a life-size rubber duck, and shop from the comfort of your home. The catalog of products online is extensive and leaves you with an unending craving wanting for more. However, this joy comes at the cost of the environment.

The environment is becoming a topic we are often under-informed about or are quick to look away from, despite debilitating weather conditions and an uprising in forest fires. Amazon’s recent reports state that it emits carbon dioxide equivalent to that of a small country. Additionally, a third of the waste being excavated in America is due to the packaging that comes from mountainous e-commerce sales.

Our online sales keep increasing exponentially. It’s been predicted that the shopping retail market will be doubled by the year 2028 [AA1] as shoppers will place their orders from the convenience of their homes and via the internet. Younger age groups have already been restricted due to the recent pandemic and they rely on online media, sales, and shops for all their needs. Regardless, we need to remember that carbon emissions are vastly being emitted due to online packaging distributors. It’s imperative and vital at this stage that online shopping be made sustainable for the environment and inadvertently our sake. It would help shift our communities’ focus toward eco-friendly decisions and hopefully, help give our planets a few more years.

Suggestions for Online Retailers

The following tips will help retailers make conscious decisions about their brand and product distribution.

Greener Shipping Options

Companies like Green Courier and DPD are known to offer environment-friendly options. They use bikes and electric vehicles to help deliver parcels. Delivery services must optimize their modes of delivery. They’re encouraged to make inter-city deliveries eco-friendly. Recently, DPD was awarded the Green Apple Award for taking strict measures and implementing policies that have made their delivery services sustainable and rewarding.

When companies make critical decisions to change their actions, it encourages their customers to make conscious decisions and take steps to reduce their carbon footprint. The company can even go a step further and offer fully green delivery services, too.

Remove Plastic Packaging

Usually, online goods arrive in plastic packaging. Zara is an example for other companies. They opted to eliminate their paper and plastic packaging and began shipping all their products in recyclable cardboard boxes rather than expend on individual packaging. It has drastically minimized their carbon footprint. The buyer has the option to store or recycle their packaging as per their needs.

Use Reusable Packaging

Using reusable packaging is a great way to make environmentally friendly decisions. Ted Baker, decided to send their parcels in cardboard boxes that come with a card slip. The label goes on the slip and is removed, while the inner box can be reused or repurposed.  If the buyer wants to return his parcel, they can use the same packaging that Ted Baker can use for a new order, and simply add on a slip with their new label.

Stop Discarding Returned Products

Amazon reportedly throws out products that are returned to them rather than try and resell them. Unfortunately, Amazon is not alone when it comes to discarding perfectly unused goods. Companies find it cheaper to throw away products than encourage more people to buy them.

Naturally, these goods end up in landfills. Companies must try and sell these products because they’re contributing to the waste being collected and that doesn’t give a good message to buyers trying to be eco-friendly.

Do Not Offer Free Returns

Returning products to retailers is costing them $60 billion per year. Fashion retailers experience the most returns.  The environment is being affected, too, by these returns. Unfortunately, 5 billion pounds of waste is primarily due to goods and products being discarded by retailers. This means up to 15 million tonnes of carbon emission is being produced annually. To make this more comprehensible, this is the amount of trash 5 million people in a year produce.

Often, retailers offer their customers the option to return their shipments free of cost. What this means is that people buy more than they intend to. Barclay card did research that revealed that people often buy twice as much to return unwanted products. A simple solution would be to remove the option of free return. That would compel buyers to make conscious decisions when buying online.

In Summary

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Read WPC16 for more interested information .


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