Nowadays, consumers are more environmentally aware, so there’s no reason why businesses do not start making an effort to protect the green on earth. Consumers now become to prefer environment-friendly products. Therefore, e-commerce businesses, especially Shopify merchants, should not ignore this trend. By going green, online store owners will have opportunities to gain trust from their customers and build an ethical reputation. In this article blow, HappyPoints will state the importance of going green and provide methods to facilitate this trend.
Table of Contents
1. The importance of going green
Due to the fact that customers are now having preference over eco-friendly products, it is crucial for Shopify merchants to adopt green practices and sustainability proposals in their businesses. Green E-commerce will bring out several undeniable benefits that you can’t imagine:
Applying environmentally friendly approaches into your Shopify business will significantly improve your brand’s reputation. If Shopify merchants act responsibly in the time of climate change, customers will feel more motivated when they consider purchasing your products. Perhaps they feel good about supporting businesses that pay attention to protecting the environment. By facilitating green practices, Shopify shops can greatly improve their reputation.
When your Shopify store goes green, customers are likely to support it without hesitation. Therefore, high-quality traffic will be generated for your site, and you’ll get more sales easier. For example, you own a handmade cosmetics online store with craft packaging, but your visitors prefer products from high-end brands with fancy packaging. They don’t care about your environment message. Therefore, although you build a high-quality blog with keywords put in the right places, all those efforts seem meaningless with the wrong type of traffic. As a result, your conversion rate stands at zero is inevitable. Make sure your “green strategy” fits your target audience. If your stores get high traffic but no sales, what are the reasons and solutions for this? Find out more here.
Protecting the environment
Green E-commerce is not only beneficial in terms of profit aspect that a brand can make, but it also plays an important role in turning our world into a better place. For instance, Panda Sunglasses is an E-commerce startup that has taken advantage of sustainable material: Bamboo. They use FSC certified bamboo – a sustainable material that is totally kind to the environment – to create their sunglasses’ frames. Besides, Nau is another online store adopts green practices. Their apparels are also made from environmentally friendly materials, such as natural fibre and organic cotton. These green activities of E-commerce merchants are likely to alleviate the consequences of global warming and change the situation. There’s no reason why Shopify merchants don’t follow this trend. If you – the Shopify store owners – are interested in going green but consider what type of product would fit, you will need to research more to find your niche.
Reducing costs and expenses
It is true that Green E-commerce will also reduce your business’s overall costs and expenses. When you utilize eco-friendly materials, they are likely to save you a large amount of money. In addition, as you don’t want to increase the pollution level of the environment, you will have to come up with a better idea of effective shipping. This means you will decrease the amount of fuel that you have to consume during the shipping process. Thereby, you can significantly reduce the cost of fuel and transportation.
2. Methods for Shopify merchants to turn into Green
As the importance of Green E-commerce is apparent, it’s time for Shopify businesses to start taking actions. In fact, there are several ways to implement:
When it comes to the environmental influence of E-commerce, the packaging aspect is undeniably the significant part. Customers often place an order online and then wait for delivery, online shopping involves a lot of shipping. To protect the products during the shipping process, merchants might opt for packaging. Businesses mainly use plastic, bubble wrap and cardboard boxes for packaging. According to an article on eco-friendly packaging on jumpseller.com, in the US, more than 165 billion packages getting delivered per year, demanding over 1 billion trees to be utilized for making cardboard boxes.
As the awareness of their environmental impact is raised, Shopify merchants should make an effort to adopt green packaging strategy. Renovating packaging not only allows your business to mitigate the carbon footprint but also to stand out and reduce transportation costs.
It is fortunate that the green movement spreads quickly around the world, with many companies are now participating in using green packaging. For example, computer giant Dell has been taking advantage of using bamboo packaging instead of traditional materials. The company said that bamboo could be easily recyclable and reduce environmental influences. Dell’s contribution to green packaging was a part of its Global Green Packaging Strategy, initiated in 2008. It helps to promote a healthier planet.
Besides, Alibaba – one of the most famous names in the E-commerce market, including customers in their recycling program. They encourage customers to leave junk packaging boxes at specific locations. Company’s staff will pick up these boxes later for the purpose of reusing and recycling. By doing this, the landfill will no longer receive the number of containers.
Shopify store owners should also join the green movement now. There are many more sustainable alternatives for packaging that Shopify merchants can use.
This is also known as plant-based plastics, which are made from renewable biological resources. For example, only with the waste products from the production of corn can you possess an incredibly sustainable material for packaging. It is also very easy to grow. In contrast with traditional plastics made from fossil fuels, plant-based plastics are much more beneficial to the environment. One major benefit of bioplastic is that it is less difficult to be decomposed, compared with traditional plastics. As it will take a long time for traditional plastics to disappear, using bioplastics will reduce the waste greatly and will be a wonderful source for eco-friendly packaging.
– Biodegradable packing peanuts (starch-based packing peanuts)
As styrofoam contained in traditional packing peanut can take more than 100 years to biodegrade, starch-based packing peanuts come in handy. This type of packaging is as powerful as the conventional one, but it only takes a couple of minutes to be melted in water. Biodegradable packing peanuts are really important to minimize environmental impact. Agricultural wastes are the main sources for this alternative packaging, which means it is much safer for the environment. Besides, it can be an excellent option for fragile goods that require considerable protection.
– Natural fabrics
Because plastic fabrics involve various chemicals such as polyester, rayon and nylon to create, they are no way near the sustainable ways of packaging. There are also crude oil and intensive industrial process included in the making of plastic fabrics, which are labour-intensive and time-consuming. In contrast, natural fabrics from plant and animal fabrics, which are more environmentally friendly materials. Traditional fabrics can stick around for around 30 to 40 years, but natural fabrics such as cotton rags and wool only take several months. Wrapping them up with cotton or burlap can protect your products from scratches during the shipping process.
– Cardboard wrap
This material basically works the same way as the plastic wrap. However, it’s less harmful to the environment than the plastic one. Cardboard is useful for green packaging, we can easily recycle and reuse it. In addition, cardboard provides the versatility that plastics do not have. For instance, cardboard can become the material for building your dog’s new nest or a dollhouse.
While online shopping helps to cut down on emissions, it comes as another cost for the environment through fast-shipping. Customers often expect their products to be delivered as fast as possible. Although rush delivery is convenient, it poses a threat to our environment. With a large number of gasses emitted from delivery trucks on the road, the level of pollution will be increased greatly. Therefore, Shopify businesses should come up with solutions that enable eco-friendly shipping.
– Green shipping option
It is necessary to involve customers in the green shipping movement. Shopify merchants can offer them the option of green shipping at checkout. This kind of shipping can be slower, but it is much more environmentally friendly. If there is no time pressure, this method is really effective for making the shipping process greener. An example of green shipping is delivering products by bicycles. Using bicycles may sound slow and inconvenient. However, as the shipping location is not really far and there is no time limit, Shopify store owners should consider trying this method. Green shipping option puts the responsibility of protecting the environment into the hands of customers.
– Shorter distance shipping
It is the distance that determines the amount of carbon footprint emitted into the environment. Therefore, the shipping option where customers can pick up their orders at their convenient places is really useful. Delivering the products at customers’ doorstep is not helping regarding green E-commerce shipping. Let the customers pick their own shipment at nearby locations and give them promotion codes or discounts in return. By doing this, your store will not only help save fuel cost but also build more responsibility in customers’ eyes.
In addition, Shopify merchants should pay attention to applying green practices into their business. If you want to know whether green packaging and shipping are suitable for a niche market or not, refer to Happypoints’s blog here.
In this time of global warming, it is important for Shopify merchants to follow the Green E-commerce trend. By adopting green practices into your Shopify business, it is likely that customers will feel more motivated to support and follow you. Not only Green E-commerce helps to raise the revenue for your store but also contributes to our healthier planet.
If you are interested in more E-commerce information, as well as tips to develop your E-commerce website, please refer to our Blog section!