How an optimised e-commerce solution can drive sustainability

If you’re not planning to make your e-commerce operations more sustainable, it’s high time to brace yourself for what your business might lose.

Research shows that 85% of people have started to practice sustainable purchasing behaviours over the past five years.

Also, more than a third of global consumers don’t mind paying more for sustainable products and services. In a world where consumers are becoming ever more conscious of the environmental impact of their choices, businesses need to find ways to operate sustainably or risk losing their customers.

One way to do this is to optimise your e-commerce through options like virtual retailing solutions. Your business can significantly reduce its carbon footprint by making small changes to your online operations. 

Read on as we explore how an optimised e-commerce solution can drive sustainability in your business. 

What is an optimised e-commerce solution?

An optimised e-commerce solution is an all-in-one retailing solution that makes your online store more sustainable. It can help you to avoid overproduction, reduce packaging waste, and even minimise returns.

What’s more, it can help improve your overall customer experience, which can lead to fewer abandoned carts and happier customers who are more likely to return to your store in the future.

There are many different types of optimised e-commerce solutions on the market. One example is virtual retail solutions, which allow customers to view products in a virtual environment before purchasing.

Another example is live chats, which allow customers to ask questions and receive advice before purchasing. This helps to ensure that customers are happy with their purchase and are less likely to return it.

How can an optimised e-commerce solution drive sustainability?

When you embrace retail solutions to optimise your e-commerce, you are more likely to make your business sustainable. You will drive sustainability in the following ways:

Fewer returns

E-commerce returns are common, with data suggesting that the return rate for online retailers is 20% higher than in brick-and-mortar stores. These returns can make it challenging to achieve sustainability in your online business.

For instance, every returned product will leave a trail of emissions from the factory to door, and vice versa. It might be challenging to repurpose some returned products, meaning they’ll end up in landfills. Not forgetting the additional packaging.

An optimised e-commerce solution can help you reduce your return rate. For example, virtual retail solutions let customers view products realistically before purchasing. This will help them to make an informed decision and choose the right product for their needs, reducing the likelihood of returns.

Fewer trips to and from stores

Although the world has moved more towards online shopping, many people still prefer to visit physical stores. In a Retail Dive’s consumer survey, 49% of consumers admitted that they prefer buying from physical stores because they can get the product immediately.

The problem with this is that every trip to the store generates emissions. These emissions come from the cars or public transport used to get there and the store’s energy use.

An optimised e-commerce solution can help you reduce the number of trips to and from stores. This is especially true if you use retail solutions that allow you to recreate in-store experiences online. How do you recreate this experience?

One of the best solutions you can embrace is e-commerce live chat. This retail solution will help you meet and engage your customers at their most preferred place using video or text.

It will ensure that customers better understand your products’ features before buying them. They will be more confident in their online purchase, which reduces the likelihood of them coming to shop at a physical store. As a result, you can help to reduce emissions from unnecessary store visits.

The right product chosen

One of the main reasons for e-commerce returns is that customers end up buying the wrong product. For instance, for fashion products, 72% of returns are preference-based, meaning that the product doesn’t fit the consumer’s style or size. Choosing the wrong product affects sustainability because it leads to more return emissions.

An optimised e-commerce solution can help you reduce the number of customers who buy the wrong product. For instance, retailing solutions like a virtual showroom can help customers make informed choices. A virtual showroom will give customers a realistic view of products, allowing them to gauge whether they’re the right fit for their needs.

This means that customers are less likely to be disappointed with their purchase and more likely to choose the right product the first time. As a result, you can reduce the number of returns and make your online business more sustainable.

Advice / Consultation

Online customers are more likely to make the wrong buying decisions if they don’t have access to adequate advice or consultation. This lack of guidance often leads to returns, which negatively impacts sustainability.

An optimised e-commerce solution can help you provide your customers with the right advice and consultation. Are you curious about the best retail solution to offer such advice?

The best answer lies in having online sales assistants. These are just like your salespeople who guide customers in your physical store. The virtual assistants will guide your shoppers through their buying journey, so they buy the product that suits them best.

With this retail solution, you can engage with customers in real-time, helping them to make the best purchase decisions. The personalised conversations between your customers and the online assistants eliminate the need for unsustainable store visits or returns.

Storey has the retailing solutions you need to drive sustainability

The e-commerce world is rushing to adopt sustainability as one of its fundamental values. If you’re wondering where to start to avoid playing catch up, start by leveraging an optimised e-commerce solution. The retail solutions discussed in this article can make your online business more sustainable without sacrificing customer satisfaction or conversions.

Storey can help support sustainable e-commerce for your business; from virtual showrooms to trained online sales assistants, we’ve got you covered.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help you take your online business to the next level of sustainability.

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