Why eCommerce Brands Should Use Sustainable Packaging

Why eCommerce Brands Should Use Sustainable Packaging

You’ve already ditched using plastic straws and bring your own reusable totes to the grocery store each week. But why is your eCommerce brand still using those bulky cardboard boxes and other wasteful shipping supplies?

For many online eCommerce brands, this is a total conundrum. You want to do the right thing for the environment, but you still have to have professional packaging that gets items to the customer without damage.

The good news? There’s a ton of eco-friendly alternatives out there. But the kicker is that you have to know where to look for them and the various reasons you should make the switch.

To help you out, our CAKE team of experts has put together a great guide with further details. Here are four reasons why eCommerce brands should consider sustainable packaging.

1. Sustainable Packaging is Better for the Environment

We know what you’re probably thinking...that we don’t even need to put this on this list because it is so obvious, right?

But the element that you might not realize is in the data. For example, only 14% of all plastic packaging is recycled each year. And a recent study announced that the eCommerce industry used almost 2.9 billion pounds of plastic shipping packaging in 2019. That’s before the massive online sales boom of 2020 created by the global pandemic!

Keeping those figures in mind, you can see why switching to recyclable or biodegradable packaging over plastics can greatly impact the environment.

2. It’s What Your Customers Want

Another reason to consider sustainable packaging for your eCommerce brand? It’s what your customers want to see. This study revealed that 70% of all consumers think it is important that a brand is eco-friendly.

As a business, it is essential to always listen to the needs of your target market. While all brands should consider making the packaging switch, it is extra important if you’re anywhere near the health, wellness, beauty, or fashion industries.

Consumers in these markets are more aware of which brands utilize sustainable practices and which ones do not. If you’re advertising on your website that you offer recycled packaging or are taking steps to be more eco-friendly, your customers will notice and choose you over a competitor who isn’t putting in the same effort.

3. Sustainability + Free Shipping = Winning Recipe

Here at CAKE, we’re always trying to help our clients evolve and adapt to achieve that winning recipe for success. In this case, it is two-fold: Pairing sustainable practices with free shipping is a surefire way to achieve the sales you’re looking for.

While most people say they would rather choose a sustainable business over one that isn’t, they’re really looking to save money when it comes down to it. Most consumers readily admit that they’re happy to choose green packaging when available, but not if it means they have to pay more to do so.

In this case, eCommerce brands need to be aware that it should be an all-or-nothing approach. Don’t try to offer customers the opportunity to go green or save money on shipping, but rather take full strides to ensure the eco-friendly option is the only choice. Better yet, if you can, make that option low cost or free, too.

4. Create Return Processes That Reduce Waste

Another big contributing factor is shipping returns. When someone buys an item from your online store and doesn’t like it, that container it arrived in is probably wasted. Or when an item isn’t signed for or claimed upon delivery, and it returns to your warehouse.

By having a clear return process that reduces waste, you can help keep shipping excess to a minimum. One idea? Give customers the option to donate the item to a local charity and send proof for a refund. Or route unclaimed deliveries to a ShipStation location for pickup later by the customer.

Where to Find Eco-Friendly Packaging

The good news? Finding sustainable packaging for your eCommerce business isn’t as difficult as you might think. There are quite a few cutting-edge materials manufacturers out there who see the value in offering this type of product to online brands.

Specifically, we recommend EcoEnclose. They’re absolute experts in all things eco-friendly shipping supplies, making them a great choice for any business looking to utilize greener fulfillment methods. From padded envelopes to mailers, cards, shipping boxes, and inner packaging, they have an excellent solution to help your eCommerce brand reduce waste.

CAKE Can Help with All Your eCommerce Needs

Are you ready to start changing your approach to eCommerce marketing, including the role of sustainability? We would love to help. Please contact our CAKE team of experts today for more details and to start the conversation.