How to Reduce the Environmental Impact of eCommerce

From 2014 to 2021, worldwide eCommerce retail sales grew from $1.3 trillion to nearly $5 trillion, a whopping 270 per cent difference. By 2024, eCommerce is expected to account for almost 24 per cent of all worldwide retail sales.

At the same time, the environmental impact of eCommerce is increasing. In 2019, between shipping and road transport, eCommerce was responsible for 19 million tons of CO2, which is expected to grow to 25 million tons in 2030. Packing and returns are also contributing to greater amounts of landfill.

Consumers are beginning to demand brands and manufacturers address the environmental impact of eCommerce. In one survey, over half of US and UK consumers said they wanted eCommerce retailers to reduce packaging while using more recycled materials.

Here are some ideas for moving towards a greener digital marketplace.

How to Reduce the Environmental Impact of eCommerce

The good news is that taking steps to reduce the environmental impact of eCommerce doesn’t mean overhauling your business. Moreover, it’s good for business. A study found that 74 per cent of Canadians consider sustainability an important factor when making a purchase.

Specifically, 62 per cent of Canadian customers said they’d pay more for products packed using sustainable materials.

Also, when customers order multiple items, each item often gets sent separately from different warehouses. For greener delivery options, you can offer customers the option to hold shipments until everything is ready to go in one package.

Reviewing return policies can also decrease the environmental impact of eCommerce.

Because so many retailers make returns with eCommerce easy, a third of shoppers over-purchase, decide what they want after the items have been delivered, then return what they don’t want. To discourage this, some retailers charge customers to return items by mail but free in-store.

That being said, not all returns are due to over-purchasing. Many consumers struggle to find properly fitting clothes online, for example. In fact, over 70 per cent of returns are due to getting the wrong size, fit, or style. Better size guidelines, product descriptions, and even augmented reality can help customers make better purchasing decisions.

Efficiency Means Sustainability

Marketsupport offers auditing solutions for eCommerce as well as AI and data analytics to drive efficiencies. Having a full understanding of how your products are doing will lead to less waste, decreasing the environmental impact of eCommerce. Combining more sales with better sustainability is a win-win!

To book a consultation, call 1-877-421-5081 or visit our new website today.

« Back to Blog