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Consumers care about sustainability in e-commerce
E‐Commerce » Trends | 22.07.2015

Why sustainable delivery makes business sense


Consumers care about sustainability – and it’s had a significant impact on the way retailers source and sell their products. In cross-border e-commerce, it’s increasingly important to make sure delivery is as sustainable as possible too.

Research from Nielsen, for example, suggests 55% of global online consumers are willing to pay more for products and services from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.

And by promoting their sustainability actions through marketing programmes, the retailers included in this Corporate Social Responsibility study achieved 5% more sales over the previous year.

...even saving a few pennies per package can have a significant impact on operational cost.

So deluging consumers with direct mail, catalogues or magazines that aren’t relevant – or to old addresses – has the potential to cost a retailer more than simply missing the intended target. It creates a negative impression when a reputation for sustainability clearly matters.

And when it comes to parcels, unnecessary packaging and extra mileage caused by missed deliveries can both count against a retailer’s sustainable credentials.


The impact on cost

But there’s another strong business reason to get these right. In it’s Checking all the Boxes report, customer service performance analyst Stella Service, explains that proper package fit not only leaves a better impression with shoppers, it “saves retailers money on shipping costs and reduces the possibility of damaged products.” Even saving a few pennies per package can have a significant impact on operational cost, it explains.

There are even more considerations for retailers operating internationally. Conscientious consumers might expect retailers to show that items aren’t making other unnecessary journeys – even when these are happening behind the scenes.

But again, improvements made for the sake of sustainability, are also likely to have a positive impact on operational costs too.

And by considering the following questions – and adjusting delivery processes accordingly – retailers’ financial departments, consumers and the planet might all sleep a little easier:

  • Are you using the most efficient route to each market?
  • Are returned goods being sent back only to cross the same border to another customer a few days later?
  • Are returned catalogues and other mailings travelling all the way back to HQ, just for the data to get processed and the paper to get pulped?

For more on Asendia’s sustainable delivery services and solutions, go to