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How to Keep Up with the Rise of Ethical Ecommerce

Do you test on animals? Did you really need to use such a big box? Where has this been shipped from? How and where was this product made?
These are all questions brands are being asked every day about how ethical your brand is. Without an answer, you may find your sales dropping and consumers looking elsewhere.
With environmental concerns becoming progressively more prominent in modern society, an increasing number of people, particularly millennials, are paying close attention to the ethics of brands. As this post will explore, it’s more important than ever to focus on consumer activism and keep up with the ever-growing rise of ethical ecommerce.

Increased consumer awareness

Back in 2015, Nielsen asked over 30,000 consumers from 60 countries what shapes their opinion of a brand and, subsequently, influences their shopping behaviour. The report concluded that, across the board, consumers were willing to pay a considerable amount more for sustainable products. Since then, the rise of ethical ecommerce has continued to grow. It’s not just recycling and veganism that’s seen a rise in recent years. An increasing number of consumers are only purchasing products from brands that are proven to be ethical. Beauty brands that aren’t cruelty free, for instance, have experienced boycotts in recent years and companies without effective recycling policies have received numerous complaints.

What does it mean to be ethical?

Before you can start to transform your business into an environmentally-friendly, ethical brand, you need to understand exactly what it means to be ethical. With today’s environmental concerns, there are a number of ways you can boost your business and appeal to even the most concerned consumers.

Work on your packaging

One of the easiest and most noticeable ways you can make your business more environmentally-friendly is to improve your packaging. Cutting down on the amount of packaging used will reduce the amount of waste, particularly non-recyclable waste, that consumers have to contribute to the environment. Unfortunately, for many businesses, using no packaging is simply impossible. So, if you do need to package your products, try to use recyclable and previously recycled materials.

Check your suppliers

You may think you’re doing everything you can to make sure your business is ethical and environmentally-friendly, only to be dealing with a supplier that tests on animals or underpays their workers. Whether your ecommerce business is in the food, beauty, service or clothing industry, it’s important to check your suppliers and ensure you’re only working with businesses that align with your values.

Reduce your shipping

Working with suppliers around the world may benefit you financially, but the constant shipping of products from overseas has a detrimental effect on the environment. Of course, it’s not always possible or feasible to work with local suppliers. However, by reducing the distance your products need to travel, you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint and work towards being an ethical brand.

Employ an open & honest policy

Reducing your packaging, working with ethical suppliers and cutting down your shipping miles are all great steps. But you won’t see an increase in sales if no one knows about it. An open and honest policy will let everyone know about the work you’re doing to become more ethical. It will also add a trust factor, as customers won’t be worried that you’re withholding information.
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Mike Reid

Web Master Web Designer & Developer

Bachelor Information Technology (E-commerce) Diploma Applied Science (Agriculture)

I buy domain names and develop them as themed web sites for sale to interested buyers. My ‘Domain Name’ portfolio represents a collection of business/blog themes that interest me. Many themes are of a sustainable, environmental or social justice nature.

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