Sustainability is a Growing Concern for eCommerce Brands

Recent research shows that customers today care more about sustainability than ever before. According to a report by global professional services company Accenture, 72 percent of respondents are choosing to buy more environmentally friendly products than they did five years ago. Further, more than 80 percent of those surveyed expected to purchase even more of these types of products in the next five years. 

While companies may have felt they had to choose between profits and sustainability environmental responsibility in the past, changing attitudes mean that being sustainable is just good financial sense today. Fortunately, ShipHero is here to help with sustainability and other eCommerce trends of 2022.  Unfortunately, sustainability in eCommerce is tough to achieve. However, it is possible to take incremental steps that will eventually bring about significant impact when you adopt certain practices. 

Keep reading to learn about the future of eCommerce and discover how we can help your brand achieve its goals.

Understanding Sustainability in the Business World

Sustainability is the future of eCommerce for 2022 and beyond. A broad term, business sustainability refers to ways of doing things that avoid depleting natural resources. The goal is to promote environmental balance over the long term while still meeting short-term needs and objectives for your company. In the past, eCommerce activities have had a negative impact on the planet, often resulting in additional packaging waste and greater CO2 emissions. The good news is there are ways for eCommerce brands to achieve improved sustainability without compromising when it comes to Client Support or product quality. 

eCommerce & Sustainability Pain Points The Future of eCommerce in 2022 and beyond 

When it comes to the eCommerce landscape of 2022, sustainability is driving innovation, and for good reason. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, shoppers are increasingly viewing the world through a more global lens, and savvy brands are listening. Here are just a few reasons to focus more on sustainability in the coming months.

Return Packaging Costs

When it comes to returns, the benefits of sustainability extend far beyond client satisfaction. By adopting more environmentally friendly returns practices, brands can save money on packaging and shipping costs. Third-party returns management solutions are one of the top eCommerce technology trends because they allow brands to optimize the reverse supply chain while limiting the effect of returns on the environment. Additionally, the use of augmented reality in eCommerce can enable clients to try out different items virtually prior to ordering. For example, offering shoppers access to a virtual fitting room may help reduce returns on clothes and accessories over the long haul.

Unsold Inventory

Of course, it’s impractical to think your company can prevent returns all together. According to the National Retail Federation and Appriss Retail, retailers got back nearly 17 percent of the merchandise sold in 2021. Depending on your business type, creating a resale marketplace may enable you to promote sustainability while finding a new home for some of your gently used merchandise. Known as the circular economy, this system involves giving products a second life by listing them on resale marketplaces or peer-to-peer networks. It’s especially popular with buyers from Gen Z who may have less money to spend purchasing goods new.

Client Perception

Shopper satisfaction is just one reason that sustainability is among the top eCommerce trends of 2022. According to a study by the Sustainability Institute, online shopping results in more than 2 billion tons of waste on an annual basis. While companies are probably aware that Millennials and Gen Zers care about sustainability, they may be surprised to learn that these groups can have a significant impact on the buying decisions of their Gen X parents and Baby Boomer grandparents. According to a report by First Insight, 90 percent of Gen X buyers are willing to spend an extra 10 percent or more for products that are considered sustainable. With social media continuing to drive the sustainability movement, companies that don’t adopt new practices may find themselves getting left behind. 

Long-Term Price Increases

Inflation and supply chain issues are impacting consumers and companies alike, raising prices on everything from electric bills to computers. In the past, brands often held the false belief that being sustainable was more expensive. However, times have changed, and these days adopting sustainable practices like chatbots can actually save you money by reducing labor costs and boosting productivity. 

One of the biggest benefits of chatbots in eCommerce is that they allow brands to provide superior customer service without bloating budgets. Not only can chatbots answer questions at all hours of the day or night, but they also help companies save on the cost of power and office supplies. As a bonus, businesses can save time and money that would otherwise be spent locating, hiring, and training customer service workers without sacrificing the quality of Client Support. 

Sustainability is among the top eCommerce trends of 2022 and will continue to be a concern. By listening more closely to consumer wants and needs and prioritizing eco-friendly practices, businesses can do their part to help the environment without seeing their bottom lines suffer. 

Talk to our software experts today and learn more about how our warehouse software is built for eCommerce brands to stay safe and optimized for the modern supply chain. 

Aaron Rubin, Founder & CEO


About the author:  Aaron Rubin is the Founder & CEO of ShipHero. He is responsible for planning and executing the overall vision and strategy of the organization. Rubin’s greatest strengths are leadership, change management, strategic planning and a passion for progression. He is known for having his finger on the pulse of ShipHero’s major initiatives, his entrepreneurial spirit, and keen business acumen. His leadership of ShipHero is grounded in providing excellent customer service that drives improved business operations. His passion for ShipHero comes from the culture and his ability to have an impact on the lives of employees, customers, partners, and investors.

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