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E-Commerce Eyes a Sustainable Future


Environmental concerns have led to changing their shopping habits with consumers placing greater value on sustainable online marketplaces and products. As green consumerism slowly gains popularity in India and the world over, people are more likely to shop with retailers offering more environmentally viable alternatives.

A Green Future 

As consumers become increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their lifestyle choices on the planet, they buy more consciously. Brands and businesses in turn take efforts to provide consumers with more sustainable options. E-commerce too is eyeing a sustainable future as green consumerism not only aims to protect the environment but can also provide for additional revenue and higher profits.

Over the years, the industry has witnessed a massive growth in the number of consumers preferring and purchasing green products. According to a global survey by Bain and Co., nine out of 10 people are willing to make the switch, to go green if they had an affordable eco-friendly option.

What is slowly changing is that in recent years and now during the pandemic, green consumerism has picked up. Consumers are more aware while making purchases and prefer green options, becoming drivers of change that the e-commerce marketplaces are happy to cater to. This can be seen from the growing number of sellers offering products meant to cater to this segment of online shoppers.

Making the Shift

By offering small incentives, online marketplaces are also encouraging customers to think more environmentally consciously. Products that follow eco-friendly production processes or ones that involve recycling and safeguarding the planets’ resources are preferred over others.

Examples of this demand can be seen from the upward trend in the purchase of ayurvedic medicines, natural dyes, natural textiles, organic foods, herbal cosmetics, etc.

Having a choice of eco-friendly toothbrushes, soaps and detergents, bags, and clothes, consumers are on the lookout for not only great quality and reasonable prices, but also for eco-friendly brands.

The number of customers caring about environmental stewardship and socioeconomic justice is on the rise and they are turning to e-commerce platforms. Some online reports indicate that this holds especially true for millennials. No surprises here, given that they tend to prefer being more conscious of their brand choices looking for brands that align with their values.

Catering to this, e-commerce sites now offer exclusive sections that offer green product catalogues offering not just environmentally friendly products but also assuring environmentally safe delivery and packaging, avoiding wasteful or non-recyclable packaging and replacing it with degradable/recycled materials. A few upcoming Indian e-marketplaces emerge as environmentally-conscious organizations, listing sustainable products in categories ranging from toys to personal care products to electronics too.

Given that the Government of India has already taken the initiative by imposing many rules and regulations regarding environmental preservation under the NAPCC, e-commerce marketplaces have successfully marketed green ideas more intensively making people more aware and knowledgeable.

The result of eyeing a sustainable future for e-commerce through green consumerism is a whole new breed of green-minded consumers who keep themselves healthy, as well as contribute to preserving the planet by keeping it healthy for the next generations.

As a sector, e-commerce is growing at a fast pace. But, so is its environmental impact. All the packaging material – cardboard boxes and plastic packing material often find their way to landfills or worse, the sea.

Increased awareness and thought to this have given rise to the ability of e-commerce to take notice of the issue and cater to the demands of the green consumer while eyeing a sustainable business for the future.

(The author is CEO & Co-Founder – Primarc Pecan Pvt Ltd and the views expressed in this article are his own)

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