E-commerce is the way of retail today. Your consumers buy many, and for an increasing share of the population, most of their goods online. And even if they shop in-store, they’re doing online research to learn about your goods and your company before they make their purchases.
Eco-friendly and sustainability aren’t just buzzwords in the e-commerce sphere. Savvy consumers are demanding this information from brands, and seek it out either via the product packaging or online via rich product detail page content. For brands to win their market share, they must understand the value of sustainability and take steps to prioritize eco-friendly practices.
This article explores how eco-friendly products and packaging can grow your brand’s e-commerce success. Read on to learn more.
Defining Eco-Friendly in E-Commerce
There is no universal standard for eco-friendly products and packaging. However, there are a few fundamental principles your brand can follow to create more sustainable goods and packaging.
Eco-friendly products should:
- Be safe for the customer and the environment throughout its entire lifecycle
- Reduce emissions during manufacturing and transportation
- Use renewable and/or recycled materials for production and packaging
Investing in eco-friendly manufacturing, product materials, and packaging can result in significant returns for your e-commerce sales. Sustainability affects every aspect of your brand and your business in this market where online shopping dominates the retail space.
Below we explore six ways eco-friendly products and packaging can grow your e-commerce success.
1. Attract Customers
Shoppers want to buy from brands that share their values, including a concern for the planet’s health. A recent study found that more than a third of consumers will choose brands that prioritize sustainability, even if they must pay more for those brands.
The same research noted that 85 percent of shoppers have shifted their buying habits toward increased sustainability. These trends carry significant weight for brands trying to win their market share. Across industries and demographics, consumers care about sustainability. They want to know they’re investing in brands that work to care for the planet and those who purchase their products.
2. Safeguard Your Customers (and the Environment) Against Toxic Chemicals
An eco-friendly approach to manufacturing and packaging can provide significant financial benefits to your business. But market advancements shouldn’t be the only motivating factor for you to prioritize sustainability.
Eco-friendly products and packaging safeguard your shoppers against toxic chemicals created in traditional manufacturing practices. Unregulated manufacturing produces harmful chemicals that consumers unwittingly bring into their homes. And while there’s no way for brands or manufacturers to know every possible chemical risk, you can mitigate chemical harm with eco-friendly practices.
By prioritizing eco-friendly production and packaging practices, you reduce the risk of harm to your customers, your employees, and the environment.
As you determine your manufacturing practices, raw material choices, and packaging design, you have the power to keep consumers, team members and our planet healthy. A safeguard from toxins and the adverse side effects of those chemicals promotes better health and well-being for everyone involved. That should incentivize brands across industries to consider what they can do to transform their e-commerce practices to not only advance their business agenda but to make a lasting difference in the lives of their consumers.
3. Elevate Your Brand Identity with Sustainable Packaging
Eco-friendly packaging has come a long way from boring brown recycled mailers. When you choose sustainable packaging for your goods, you elevate your brand identity.
Your dedication to an eco-friendly approach strengthens your branding. Not only are shoppers drawn to brands who care about sustainability, but eco-friendly packaging acts as its own marketing tool. This is especially apparent in retail and food packaging, which acts as a physical, interactive extension of your brand. Your packaging design can communicate that your brand values sustainable practices, and the proof is in the shopper’s hands.
E-commerce branding and marketing happens primarily online. But your packaging allows you to engage with consumers with tactile marketing campaigns. Even after a shopper has made their purchase, eco-friendly packaging emphasizes your brand identity. It makes a lasting statement –– one that sticks around much longer than a recycled brown box.
Remember, shoppers seek out planet-friendly brands even as they shop online. Capitalize on eco-friendly packaging to communicate your values to customers during their unboxing experience.
4. Lower Return Rates
Returns should be expected in an e-commerce market, especially when you consider the potential for damage during transit. However, as brands rethink packaging with a more eco-friendly approach, packaging design can aid in safe, secure shipping. Sustainable package design can promote intact delivery, increasing customer satisfaction and reducing your return rates.
5. Improve Margins
Higher customer satisfaction, fewer returns, better customer perception: all these contribute to improved margins for your business. And when you’re operating an e-commerce business, your profitability affects your ranking on retailer sites like Amazon and Walmart. Items with low profitability are often delisted to make room for brands that sell.
Eco-friendly practices positively affect sales and profits which allow you to retain your position on the digital shelf and increase your e-commerce success.
6. Reduce Shipping Costs
Eco-friendly product manufacturing and packaging universally reduce shipping costs.
Concentrated products, like laundry detergents, soaps, and even potting mix, weigh less, and their packaging is compact by design. Less weight and less product volume translate to lower shipping costs as less fuel and space are required to move the product from manufacturing to the retailer.
When brands use less plastic to package their goods, the item is less likely to break, and production costs less. Additionally, compact packaging reduces the need for plastic packaging like bubble wrap to protect items. Eco-friendly packaging practices allow brands to spend less on unnecessary “filler” packing materials while cutting transportation costs.
Streamlining shipping through eco-friendly practices can save your business thousands in shipping and logistic costs alone. Reduced spending on the front end allows you to invest those resources back into your brand so you can continue to grow through eco-friendly practices.
Sustainable products and packaging are essential to compete in your market, regardless of your industry. Eco-friendly practices not only benefit your consumer, your team, and the environment; they can be effective marketing points to draw customers to your brand.
Consumers want –– and often demand –– eco-friendly products from brands that promote sustainability. Investing in tools and resources that help you prioritize sustainability empowers you to grow your e-commerce business and win the market.
If you’re ready to explore the benefits of an eco-friendly brand, connect with the 1WorldSync team today. We have the solutions you require to shift toward sustainability starting now.