Is e-commerce a sustainable business model

The rise of sustainable eCommerce

Sustainability in online shopping: What consumers look for when shopping online

Environmentally friendly shipping options

A commendable development is emerging in sustainable shipping options. If they had a choice, 86% of Germans would be more likely to opt for environmentally friendly shipping. However, it must be noted that the price plays an important role for ⅔ of the respondents. If there were additional costs for environmentally friendly shipping, then many online shoppers would rather stick with standard shipping. “Only” one in five Germans is willing to pay more if they can help protect the environment. However, the surcharge should not be more than 5%. Climate-neutral shipping solutions are offered by DHL GoGreen, DPD Total Zero or GLS ThinkGreen, with which byrd also works.

Even if it is important to offer express deliveries for some product categories and this can be advantageous for consumers, as an online retailer one should emphasize that it is not ecological to choose this shipping option. This way you show your customers that you are paying attention to this topic and thus additionally strengthen your brand.


Avoidance of packaging waste

In addition to packaging, what else does sustainable shipping include? Right, there shouldn't be any unnecessary garbage. Almost all German online shoppers now pay attention to this. Sustainable packaging is a higher priority for both brands and consumers - now more than ever.

In fact, implementing sustainable packaging is no longer an option - it is a necessity.

Many of us grew up with the terms “reduce, reuse, recycle” in our vocabulary. Nowadays it is important for your company that you reflect the same values. Not only to help the environment, but also to increase brand loyalty among environmentally conscious consumers. This can be achieved, for example, by using recycled material.

Implementing sustainable packaging takes some research. You need to figure out which packaging design can best complement your brand. An example of this would be Sheyn, a Vienna-based jewelry studio that specializes in simple but elegant design. Used for shipping Scheyn an eco-shipping box made of 80% recycled material. This transfers the unique design to the packaging and in return the customer has an unforgettable unboxing experience based on environmentally friendly packaging. Sustainable packaging design that focuses on reusability can have a positive impact on your customers' brand loyalty.


Another example of stationary dealers would be to design your packaging with a different purpose in mind.

For example, H&M has a shopping bag that turns into a clothes hanger. Not only are these bags made from less material than traditional H&M plastic bags, but the paper is also 80% recycled.

H&M knows that its audience is made up of people between the ages of 18 and 35, who care about the environment and who appreciate reusable packaging solutions.


Handling of deliveries and returns

If your customer is not at home much or doesn't have a neighbor who accepts the deliveries when they are absent, orders very often go straight back to the warehouse of the retailer or the respective logistics company. The numerous returns emit a lot of CO2 emissions and thus pollute the environment. To prevent this problem, you could, for example, refer to deliveries to a packing station.

In addition, you should draw attention to the responsible handling of individual returns. In order to avoid returns, the information in your online shop should be as clear as possible. For fashion brands this means that fashion colors should be translated into clearly understandable German and size information should be narrowed down in more detail: Off Taupe becomes Light gray, out Nude becomes beige or Skin color, the hint “is bigger” or “is rather tight” works wonders for clothing. In the case of technical products, the explanation of functions and possible special features makes it easier for customers to assess.
A useful side effect: With additional information, search algorithms get more lining: The result lists become more diverse, the “gray jacket” also appears when a search for “blouson in taupe” is carried out.