How Click & Collect is delivering greener e-commerce

17 Dec 2019 Katherina Appelgren New Feature , Sustainability

The climate crisis is no longer something that we can, or should, ignore. Climate scientists from around the world have come to the unanimous conclusion that climate change is being caused by humans. If we do not introduce mitigation and adaptation strategies on a global scale, and in a timely manner, things are only expected to get worse. 

On a more optimistic note, it is during times of fear and unrest that the greatest push for change occurs. We are no longer willing to be complicit in the degradation of our environment and the responsibility falls on all of us to do what we can to be a part of this positive shift. No matter the scale within which we are operating, as businesses and service providers within e-commerce, there are things we can do to drive us towards a more prosperous and secure future. 

As leaders of our field, we are in the privileged position to not only drive the change, but to give consumers what they want in the same breath. It is becoming increasingly important for consumers to know that the choices they make are helping them to reduce their carbon footprint. Offering a more sustainable delivery alternative is not only becoming necessary in order to retain customers and win over new ones, but also in order to ensure our planet is able to sustain us in the future. 76% of shoppers say they would shop with an alternative retailer if they couldn’t find the delivery options they needed. Not only that, but it has been proven that customers spend more when they choose Click and Collect – around 15% or £7.50 more per order. So in addition to driving the change towards a sustainable future and giving consumers what they want, Click & Collect helps drive sales. It’s a “win-win-win” strategy.

49% of shoppers say they are willing to spend more to support eco-friendly practices

It’s no secret that the growing demand for deliveries – and speedy deliveries, at that – puts a strain on our environment as it requires finite natural resources and contributes significantly to the CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere. This is why addressing the impact of delivery is the next area of focus for Gen Z, the increasingly dominant demographic for online shopping. It is incumbent upon us to build their priorities into our strategies. According to a 2018 Nielsen report, 49% of shoppers say they are willing to spend more to support eco-friendly practices – even though Click & Collect rarely costs more than the alternative delivery options – and this number will only increase. More than half of Gen Z surveyed (53%) say they are planning to use direct home delivery less in future, so the time to implement the necessary changes is now.

Giving customers the option to have their order delivered to a convenient and reliable pickup location allows them to ensure that they are making the “greener” choice, whilst also ensuring that their delivery won’t be missed. “By choosing companies using greener delivery methods you can show that the consumer demand to cut emissions is there”, Mina Suleiman from Friends of the Earth, says. 10% of all deliveries fail the first time which means there are excessive journeys being made to the same location for no reason. “If you have a ‘click and collect’ location within walking distance of your home or work this can also cut down on the number of miles driven by each van”. It’s not just convenient for the consumer but with deliveries going to one place, emissions are instantly reduced.

The reality of the present day is that the fast fashion industry and its detrimental effects on the environment are unlikely to go anywhere any time soon. Understandably, the low price points of fast fashion brands continue to appeal to consumers but with the shift towards a more environmentally-conscious mindset, customers are looking for easy changes they can make that will lessen the negative impact of their shopping habits. Until the general public is willing to spend more time and money on sourcing ethically-produced goods, switching up their chosen delivery method at no extra cost to them is a step in the right direction and allows them to feel good about their choices.

At a time when the demand for convenience, affordability, and sustainable alternatives is at an all-time high, offering Click & Collect allows us to deliver on all three counts while at the same time increasing profitability. The message is clear: if, as an e-commerce business, you don’t act by offering sustainable options – your customers will act by abandoning their carts. 

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