Sustainable marketing for e-commerce: Strategies and best practices

95% of millennials on the Carousell app feel purchasing pre-owned items is more sustainable, with 50% of survey respondents feeling strongly about it. In line with a slew of environmental awareness days across March and April, we’ll cover why it’s important for local businesses to start leveraging on the benefits of sustainable marketing.

What are some notable environmental awareness days?

  • Global Recycling Day (18 March)
  • World Water Day (22 March)
  • Earth Hour (26 March 8.30pm – 9.30pm SGT)
  • Earth Day (22 April)

In the majority of Carousell’s markets, both those under 35 and over 35 are equally motivated to use Carousell as the environmental impact is lesser than purchasing first-hand. With Carousell being known to be the largest classifieds marketplace in Singapore for second-hand goods, selling on Carousell already provides a baseline for your business as environmentally-friendly. 

 

What is sustainable marketing?

Often used interchangeably, green marketing and sustainable marketing are almost the same thing. Green marketing encompasses bringing awareness to environmental issues and how a certain lifestyle – and the case of e-commerce, a product/service available online that contributes to that lifestyle – can help protect the environment. Sustainable marketing takes it further and expands it into issues outside of the environment like social and economic impacts.

 

How does it benefit your business?

  • You’re actually helping the environment. Big respect.
  • You’re seen as a modern and progressive business
  • Improves your reputation for being a trustworthy and ethical business
  • Your business will find long-term growth

Sustainable marketing best practices and strategies

Create environmentally-friendly products 

From materials, reducing your carbon footprint in the manufacturing supply chain, to using eco-friendly packaging and delivery options. Source them ethically and use recycled materials whenever possible. This process should be made known to your target audience, as it shows you provide transparency and it also serves as evidence that you’re truly thinking of the environment. 

Be genuine and transparent in reflecting sustainability

Sustainable marketing doesn’t work if it’s not authentic. It’s easy to flaunt the term “sustainable” and “eco-friendly” in your marketing messages. However, don’t be surprised by how savvy online consumers can be – many environmentally-conscious consumers take the time to do research into whether a brand is truly practicing what they preach. Imagine finding out a business that claims to be sustainable isn’t actually what they seem. You run the risk of losing the trust of consumers, and you know how trust works, it’s not easy to earn it back. Be transparent with little details like what materials you use and spell out the advantages for each environmentally-conscious decision you make for your products. 

 

Think long-term

Many who are conscious of the impact of their purchases on the environment are those who have been exposed to some form of environmental education, based on the information they consume from various sources. Be it traditional media, social media or even word-of-mouth, it all started from somewhere. In order for your consumers to fully comprehend how your businesses’ sustainable practices are good for the environment, it is important to firstly educate them. After all, it goes without saying that for a customer to convert, they need to understand how the product helps to achieve their objective. 

 

Don’t be mistaken by how much media coverage over climate change can fluctuate. It is not simply a “trending topic” that pops up once in a while. Climate change was always an issue, and isn’t ever going away (in our lifetimes, at least) so as more people start to be conscious of their purchasing decisions, so does the need to improve your business strategy for the long-term. Taking your business online is already a good step forward in building sustainable practices as it lowers your carbon footprint from offline advertising. Play your cards right, and you will no doubt find long-term value in sustainable marketing. 

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