8 Tips for More Sustainability in E-Commerce Shipping

8 Tips for More Sustainability in E-Commerce Shipping

Sustainability in online trading is the topic of the hour. parcelLab has compiled tips and tricks on how companies can ensure greater sustainability in logistics with often simple means. […]

Sustainable logistics relies on resource–saving use in the delivery and collection of goods – keyword returns. However, the eco-friendly promise starts earlier, namely at check-out and when ordering products. Education is the big keyword here, as a majority of German consumers often consider stationary shopping on site to be more sustainable than an online order.

parcelLab has compiled tips and tricks on how companies can ensure greater sustainability in logistics with often simple means:

1. Educate about CO2 footprint of the order

By displaying the CO2 footprint of the order, companies can show their customers that their sustainability efforts are not just pure marketing. Many customers may not be aware of the environmental impact of their online order, so the brands that educate them about it stand out favorably.

2. Offer CO2 compensation at the checkout

If customers know their CO2 footprint, shippers should make it as easy as possible for them to offset it – for example with a donation for an environmental project or a contribution to offset CO2 emissions. Reward those customers who decide to do so with discounts or loyalty programs.

3. Check packaging sizes

Often small items are sent in much too large packages – in the worst case, the cavity is also stuffed with plastic wrap. This not only means unnecessary packaging waste, but also that the shipping service provider can accommodate fewer packages in his van. Anyone who ensures that suitable boxes are available for the respective products prevents DHL, Hermes & Co. from only transporting air from A to B.

4. Give choices in packaging

Packaging cannot be completely avoided in online trading. But branding creates additional burdens for the environment. Give your customers the opportunity to opt for non-branded packaging at check-out and communicate the benefit to the environment.

Also make sure that sustainability notes such as “recyclable” are always attached to the packaging. In addition, the boom in unpackaged stores could also boost online retail. Optimize your logistics in such a way that plastic packaging, for example around garments, becomes unnecessary. This also guarantees the customer a more pleasant unpacking experience.

5. Package inserts not included in the package

Package inserts are one thing above all: waste paper. Most customers carelessly throw them away. Instead, include the information in your shipping communication, where the open rate is over 80 percent. In this way, you reduce paper waste, ensure attention and can tailor the content even better to the interests of your target groups.

6. As few delivery attempts as possible

Every attempt to deliver more unnecessarily pollutes the environment. A dedicated track-and-trace page, which customers can access at any time and query the shipping status of their parcel in real time, influence the delivery window or specify a storage location, helps to protect the environment. Proactively sent shipping information that informs you on which day and in which period the parcel carrier will ring at your own front door increases the likelihood that a delivery attempt will work the first time. If you also offer customers the option of redirecting parcels, you will save the shipping service provider unnecessary journeys and the environment CO2. And the customers can make sure to have their order in their hands as soon as possible.

7. Use dispatch communication for information

Ikea had the innovative idea to encourage children to use packaging as a toy. This example should go to school. The shipping communication is ideal for informing customers about sustainability and recycling and ensuring that everyone knows how the packaging can be disposed of or, ideally, even reused.

8. Make returns paperless

The enclosed return label is replaced by the paperless return, because more and more delivery points only need a barcode and no printed label to accept a return. This has countless advantages – not only for the environment. Because if the customer registers a return in the webshop to generate a barcode, the retailer can, for example, decide in real time where this return is currently most useful to him and have it addressed accordingly. However, since this process is still new for some customers, dealers have to explain it well. Here, too, dispatch communication by e-mail, SMS or in-app messages is suitable as a channel.

“Consumers spend more money at companies where they feel they are in good hands and that are in line with their own ideas about sustainability,” says parcelLab co-founder Anton Eder. “With the help of Operations Experience Management, companies can use points of contact with customers to position themselves as sustainable.“

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