It’s no secret that consumers want high-quality products. In fact, 89 percent of consumers in one poll shared that what matters most when choosing which products to buy is the overall quality of the product.
While the caliber of a product continues to hold the top-ranking deciding factor for most consumers, more and more shoppers are on the lookout for environmentally friendly options. Seventy-two percent of respondents also shared that they were actively pursuing more eco-friendly options than they were five years ago, and 81 percent shared that they expected they would be buying even more sustainable products over the next five years.
What’s more, consumers are changing their buying habits to match these values. Seventy-three percent of shoppers across the globe are changing their purchasing habits, making more environmentally sound purchasing decisions.
OceanX is dedicated to helping brands meet their sustainability goals. This article will take a look at the importance of eco-friendly fulfillment and how OceanX is helping its brand partners make it happen.
A Push for Sustainability in eCommerce
The push for sustainable practices is here to stay, and it’s not just statistics that are painting a clear picture for eCommerce retailers about the future of sustainability. These are just a handful of examples of online brands implementing sustainable practices for a brighter future:
- Worn Wear is a brand established for Patagonia enthusiasts looking to keep clothing out of landfills by trading in their used Patagonia clothing for brand credits for new or used Patagonia merchandise.
- Rêve En Vert is a new luxury retail platform that’s been designed to help consumers locate sustainable and ethically-sourced goods, with a focus on limiting environmental impact.
- 4ocean is an online retailer of jewelry, clothing, and reusable goods that promises to pull one pound of plastic waste out of the oceans and waterways for every purchase. They have full-time crews working to remove plastic waste and educate the public about single-use plastics.
Brands are increasingly creative about their approach to sustainability. While these kinds of measures are important in reducing landfill waste, finding sustainable brands, and improving the environment, there are just as many ways that online retailers, eCommerce brands, and direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies can make eco-friendly choices in their existing practices. Sustainability goals can be all-encompassing, focusing on metrics like:
- Ethically sourcing raw materials
- Understanding manufacturing and packaging processes
- Reducing transit emissions
- Safe labor practices
- Reducing waste
- Practicing green waste processes
OceanX is helping its partners implement sustainable products and processes throughout the fulfillment process to protect the planet and connect with consumers.
Environmentally-Friendly Packaging is Key
Inc. reported that sustainable packaging is one of the most influential factors a consumer considers when choosing eco-friendly products. In fact, 55 percent of U.S. consumers shared that they were “extremely concerned” or “very concerned” about the environmental impact of product packaging.
And while consumers have fears about the long-term effects of excessive or harmful packaging, online retailers should take note that choosing environmentally-friendly packaging and sharing these choices with consumers can have a positive major impact. Inc. shared that 47 percent of consumers polled stated that they would be more likely to shop with a particular brand if they used sustainable packaging, even more than companies that use ethically-sourced products or brands that work to reduce fuel emissions.
OceanX understands its impact as a third-party logistics (3PL) partner to impact the packaging choices that online retailers make. The OceanX team is on the front line, observing firsthand how packaging is used and where waste is happening. Additionally, we work to help our clients understand how they can refine their packaging processes to use less packaging while still preventing product damage in transit.
In the world of DTC and eCommerce shipping, packaging replaces the experience of walking into a brick-and-mortar store. The OceanX team will share valuable insights to deliver memorable, exceptional, affordable unboxing experiences that are sustainable and smart for the environment.
In one instance, OceanX helped a client reduce their number of U-Line box sizes from 10 to 5, then connected the client with a packaging manufacturer to make custom boxes that used less packaging, reduced client costs, and cut down on overall emissions related to packaging.
Safe Disposal of Spoiled Products
Those not in the health, beauty, and wellness eCommerce industries may not realize that some of these products can be considered hazardous waste, and cannot be disposed of in a regular landfill. These products may even be harmful to the environment or to a person’s health if burned with general landfill waste.
Potentially hazardous products include sunscreen, deodorant, shaving foam, aftershave, hair dye, nail polish, perfume bottles, and more. This can prove to be an issue for retailers who sell these kinds of products once they surpass their shelf life.
As a 3PL partner, OceanX is proud to help brands come up with environmentally-friendly disposal methods to handle expired or spoiled products. OceanX researches safe waste options to properly and sustainably dispose of spoiled goods and shares the pros and cons of each disposal method to help brands make the best choice to meet their sustainability goals.
In many cases, OceanX’s clients send expired products to a waste place that uses these disposed goods and expired products to make concrete. What’s more, OceanX provides clients with documentation and transparency about these processes so brands can feel good about sharing their sustainability practices with consumers.
Limiting Transit Emissions
eCommerce retail creates fewer transit emissions compared to in-person shopping at brick-and-mortar stores, but that doesn’t mean that eCommerce is without a negative environmental impact when it comes to greenhouse gasses. City Logistics reported that eCommerce retail creates 36 percent less emissions, but much can still be done in the way of limiting the impact of transit emissions once orders leave the distribution center.
Consumers want—and even expect—faster shipping than ever before. In fact, 65 percent of customers are willing to pay more to get faster delivery. But at the same time, consumers are more vocal about choosing brands with sustainability initiatives. This creates complexities in the fulfillment process when trying to balance speed with sustainability.
OceanX provides clients with a variety of shipping options and a robust network of shipping partners. This allows brands to choose shipping options that are not only the best fit for their customers but also align with their sustainability goals and initiatives.
OceanX has three fulfillment centers spread across the country and a modern, intelligent order routing solution to expedite the shipping process and limit transit emissions. In one example, OceanX has partnered with a regional carrier that specializes in serving the highest populated zip codes on the West Coast. This partnership gives OceanX’s client a host of advantages: 1-3 day delivery windows, reduced transit emissions, and low shipping costs for the brand.
For Sustainability, Communication Is Key
At OceanX, we understand that sustainability is not a one-size-fits-all process. We work closely with you to understand your unique sustainability goals, then serve as your experienced partner and your eyes on the ground to help refine your fulfillment processes to meet these metrics and save you money in the process. It’s an ongoing partnership built on communication, centered around your customized metrics.
Whether it’s reducing your packaging count, lowering transit emissions, or helping you navigate a complicated supply chain, OceanX is as committed to sustainability as you are. Not only that, our fulfillment centers are equipped with electric forklifts and our technology solutions offer predictive analytics to reduce waste. Ready to learn more about how OceanX can hone your sustainability practices and better your bottom line? Connect with us today!