Sustainable Packaging in E-commerce
As a business having sustainable business practices is not just a nice to have but essential, in fact, it is becoming a standard business practice. The awareness around waste and plastic waste in particular is growing with environmental documentaries, government initiatives, corporate pledges, and shocking stories of plastic-induced wildlife tragedies. This concern is particularly applicable to those engaged in e-commerce, as the extent to which people are ordering online has increased and the associated packaging that goes with online deliveries. Shipping is an essential aspect to an online shop so the manner in which these items are packed and shipped can have a huge impact on the environment and customers are increasingly aware of this.
Eco-friendly or sustainable packaging is the sourcing, development, and the use of packaging solutions that have minimal environmental impact.
The answer to the question of whether customers really want sustainable products and packaging is YES! 57% of global internet users say that they would pay more for sustainable or eco-friendly products and 61% say that they would like to change to a brand that is more environmentally friendly. This means that if your business can show some eco-sensitive credentials then you are probably going to be more interesting to customers than your competitors. Therefore, choosing eco-friendly packaging alternatives is not only good for the environment but it is also good for attracting and retaining customers.
We have focused on packaging as it is the easiest way for any e-commerce store to become more eco-friendly; shipping is at the heart of e-commerce so there are multiple different materials being used to pack and ship items.
The choice of what aspect of packaging and shipping to change to being eco-friendly depends on the specific industry, location and resources available. There are a number of options which online businesses can explore;
*Ship items in bulk
*Offer carbon-neutral shipping
*Provide packaging that can be reused for another purpose
*Offer a returns programme for empty containers
*Reduce the size of the packaging and therefore limit the packaging fillers
*Use biodegradable mailers
The choices vary considerably from business to business. The above list are the most common ways in which to implement sustainable packaging solutions. If these still seem interesting but slightly daunting to implement then consider working with a sales and management consulting firm who can look at what options are best for your specific business. No matter which options you choose or how small you start in using eco-friendly practices the advantages are significant.
We have already pointed out that increasingly customers are looking for sustainable options and are factoring in sustainability practices when choosing where to shop.
Reducing packaging materials and waste are a major part of sustainable packaging, which means that less space is needed to store products and packaging and by implication your storage costs should also decrease. It could also mean that there is more space to store more products in your existing storage space. And when implemented correctly, they lead to more efficient storage, so you can limit the space required to house your products (thus lowering storage costs), or open up additional space to store more merchandise.
Shipping smaller packages is one of the suggested ways to introduce sustainable packaging practices which can lower shipping costs. Alternatively, depending on the product shipping in bulk means that you could send multiple items together also reducing the cost of shipping multiple small items.
Whichever practices you choose to implement what is clear is that the demand for sustainable packing is something that is on the rise. It may be better to get ahead of the trend and have a step up on your competitors.
How the London Bridge Project Can Help to Deliver Success
The London Bridge Project (LBP) is a leading sales and management consulting firm that provides both amazon consulting services and amazon sales support for businesses looking to grow exponentially within the biggest marketplace in the world. We offer a complete end-to-end service for Amazon based businesses, which includes providing valuable insights into Amazon sales data and a pipeline of under-explored opportunities within your niche.
If you would like to learn more about how the London Bridge Project can help your online business, make sure to contact a member of our team today to discuss your requirements.