How to Achieve Sustainability in the eCommerce Business?
Most businessmen are focused on bringing down the overheads and making the most of reduced general and transaction costs in the eCommerce sector. However, there is another field where the seeds of success must be planted, and that is sustainability. Some would say that carrying electronic sales already serves as a way of limiting an environmental impact, but fleets of delivery vehicles and large-scale warehouse operations still pose a major source of CO2 emissions.
A breath of fresh air
This carbon footprint problem has been recognized by stakeholders and influencers, and eCommerce companies strive to implement sustainable practices in all segments of the supply chain. The areas of warehousing, delivery and transport are the three biggest challenges. The scope of the task may seem intimidating, but remember that sustainability pays off in multiple ways. First of all, it gives you a chance to decrease energy consumption and optimize business costs. Also, businesses with an environmental appeal tend to acquire more customers.
Now, although eCommerce businessmen have embraced the amazing blessings of the digital age, they mostly cannot do without brick and mortar facilities. There is no need to own a shop which stores large quantities of items, but warehouse operations are still paramount. Unfortunately, they can be a big profit drainer, as they require a hefty amount of resources. One of the options is to hire a specialized company with its own facilities, manpower, and vehicles, and let it conduct the demanding warehouse processes.
Source of profit gains
Namely, some firms allow you to outsource the warehousing and reduce the costs dramatically. This involves everything – from sending and storing inventory, to packing and delivering. Entrepreneurs who eliminate these tasks are able to turn to other, profit-generating activities such as marketing and customer service. Of course, it is always preferable to opt for services that feature energy-saving facilities, less polluting vehicles, eco-friendly packing, and other solutions. So, chose your 3pl warehousing provider carefully, take the business efficiencies to the next level, and turn the fixed costs into variable ones.
Another benefit is that you do not need to assess the amount of physical storage needed by predicting an expected volume of inventory. This helps you avoid wasting money on storing excess merchandise. Otherwise, when you end up with more than you need in your own warehouse, you have to offer items at discount prices and sell them in bulk. At last, by going for outsourcing, you can steer clear of costly expansion of operations due to the growing demand, are able to use fewer vehicles, and lower the number of trips they make.
Yes, same-day deliveries delight customers, but their effect on the environment is devastating. Alas, many organizations employ “last-mile” logistics, organizing the delivery process directly from a port or freight. Such a tremendous pressure on organizing the supply chain is to be avoided if you seek to reduce the carbon footprint. One of the ways to make this a reality is to locate the warehouses in areas that enable fast delivery to the customer base: Poor planning brings forth traffic congestion, infrastructure damage, more CO2 emissions, and other detrimental outcomes.
Ahead of the curve
Do not wait for others to get ahead of you, and make your business more environmentally-friendly and future-proof. Apart from the aforementioned implementations, many striking innovations are just around the corner, and should allow us to go an extra green mile. Take the example of ground robots and drones that are being tested, novelties that will cultivate a true revolution in the industry.
Dan Radak is a marketing professional with ten years of experience. He is a coauthor on several websites and regular contributor to BizzMark Blog. Currently, he is working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies.