By Erin Wawok



eCommerce has been extremely helpful for consumers and brands throughout the pandemic. While it was already gaining popularity, the adoption of eCommerce skyrocketed. Post-pandemic, people will continue to partake in online shopping more extensively than before. 

While eCommerce offers benefits like convenience and ease, it can have a serious impact on the environment. 

Following COVID-19 the next crisis consumers will focus on is the environment. Younger shoppers are particularly concerned about sustainability and environmental impacts. They care about what brands they shop from are doing for the planet. 

Green commerce is a key emerging part of eCommerce. Here’s what you need to know about it. 

What is Green Commerce?

“Green commerce” is a broad term that refers to environmentally conscious business solutions. It may involve eco-friendly shipping options, recyclable packaging, renewable energy, and other operational changes that are more sustainable. eCommerce is known for having a negative impact on the environment, and green commerce is about mitigating that impact. 

Consumers Care About Green Commerce

Green commerce is good for the environment, but it’s great for business too. Consumers are beginning to care more and more about sustainable choices, and over half say they will change their purchasing behavior to “reduce the negative environmental impact” according to a study by the National Retail Federation with the IBM Institute for Business Value.

Young consumers are especially concerned about the environmental and social responsibility of a brand. 80% of Gen Z shoppers believe that brands should improve people’s lives. Gen Z consumers consider a brand’s ethics before purchasing, which means they will be evaluating the “greenness” of your eCommerce. 

Green Commerce is Profitable 

Making the move toward green commerce will not just make the planet and consumers happier, it will also help your brand. Consumers are more willing to pay a premium for green commerce. According to a partner at New York City investment house, Fred Wilson, green commerce and sustainability innovation will be very profitable over the next 10 years. 

Shoppers will demand environmentally conscious practices and transparency from brands. Meeting these expectations is essential for profitability and customer loyalty. 

Ways to Get Green with Your Commerce

Here are a few of the top changes your business can make to become greener:

Sustainable Packaging

Packaging puts a huge strain on the environment, and it’s one of eCommerce’s biggest contributions to the climate crisis. Consider ways to make your packaging more sustainable. Some ideas include:

  • Reduce packaging. Many cosmetic products are in resealable, plastic containers but then also packaged in printed cardboard. Find ways to eliminate unnecessary packaging. 
  • Use recycled materials. Rather than using only brand new plastic, cardboard, etc, try to use items made from recycled materials. 
  • Use recyclable/compostable materials. Additionally, look to use materials that can be recycled by the consumer. Give them a helpful reminder when your packaging is recyclable. 
  • Try an edible coating on fresh produce. 

Sustainable Supply Chain

Consumers are demanding to know about the origin of the products they buy. They want to know how they are made and where they came from. Evaluate your supply chain for ways to be greener. Can you incorporate renewable energy? Can you source more local ingredients? Remember, consumers will pay a premium for environmentally and socially conscious products. 

Another part of supply chain sustainability is transparency. Sharing information about your brand’s carbon footprint and what you are doing can help to attract consumers. 

Green Shipping 

Eco-friendly shipping can take a bit longer, but it helps the planet and can demonstrate your values to your audience. Offer a green shipping alternative that customers can choose for their less urgent purchases. Additionally, allow your shoppers to bundle purchases into fewer deliveries. Don’t forget about your shipping packaging as well! Use recycled materials, recyclable/compostable items, and minimal packaging. 

Give Back 

Donating to charities and organizations committed to fighting the climate crisis is another way to demonstrate your commitment to sustainability. This only works if you also walk the walk with the practices above, but it is a powerful way to attract customers. Customers will be more inclined to support a brand that dedicates some portion of each purchase to a cause they care about. 

Get More Time to Go Green

Consumers care about green commerce, and brands need to as well. By making some of the changes above, you can reduce your carbon footprint and meet the growing consumer demand for sustainable business practices. 

Of course, going greener takes time and dedication. If you spend too much time dealing with operations for your multichannel eCommerce store, you won’t have any time left for green commerce. Listing Mirror is here to give you more time to go green with our #1 multichannel eCommerce software. We’ll simplify the process of growing your business with listing management, order fulfillment, inventory syncing, and warehouse management. Try it out for yourself with a risk-free 14-day trial. Click the button below to get started!

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Erin Wawok

Erin is the Co-Founder of Listing Mirror.