For ecommerce businesses, shipping is perhaps second only to quality products as the most important thing to get right. Shipping and Handling of Texas, an order fulfillment and warehousing service out of Houston, say that going slack on shipping is a sure way for any ecommerce venture, big or small, to fall behind the competition. This is because the fastest possible shipping is what customers, by this point, have come to expect.
But it could just be that where shipping is concerned, there is another thing that is coming to be valued more and more. This thing is sustainability. It is no secret that visibly displaying your commitment to sustainability is one of the surest ways to boost things like customer loyalty and brand appreciation. Companies sometimes considered among the prime culprits of environmental damage are even more so expected to show some kind of commitment to sustainability.
A Slow Change?
However, while food companies have been harping on about the sustainability of their produce for years, and while nearly all car manufacturers have made some kind of commitment to doing away with gas-powered vehicles, this general trend towards more sustainability has perhaps come on a bit slower when it comes order fulfilment processes. There is a very simple reason for this – speed remains the top priority for most ecommerce shoppers.
However, this is not for a second to say that order fulfilment has not seen a shift towards more sustainable practices or that ecommerce shoppers are entirely uninterested in this. This is certainly not the case. The entire process has only been slower. By offering a sustainable shipping service and making sure to advertise this fact, you are sure to garner a lot of green-minded customers. Nevertheless, you cannot sacrifice speed. That is still the most important thing.
Sustainable and Fast – Is It Possible?
Yes! As it happens, it is possible to offer a sustainable delivery service while still fulfilling your obligation towards speed and efficiency. A lot of the technology which makes order fulfilment fast and efficient is not environmentally harmful. We are talking here about all the software innovations such as tracking services, auto-fulfilment, route planners, and the apps that can be used by drivers. The actual process of driving an order to its destination though is still a CO2-producing one, and there is a carbon footprint involved at the packing stage too. It is here that consumers would perhaps appreciate a bit more transparency about the efforts to make these processes more sustainable.
Furthermore, sometimes the very processes that would improve your delivery speed actually make things greener too. For example, with effective route planning, it is possible to avoid the driver routes that are long and yet contain relatively few drops-offs. If a driver needs to drive less to make more drop-offs, then that is not only good for the environment, but it means more people get their parcels faster too.
With packaging, the same principle applies. There is no reason why using more environmentally sustainable materials in packing needs to be a compromise on packing quality. Consider Amazon’s sleek brown cardboard packaging These parcels are not only innovatively shaped to hug the product closer – which looks great and involves less material – but they are also far from the type of packages that seem to be mainly composed of loads of plastic.
It should be said that there might be a few tricky tradeoffs between efficiency and sustainability in some areas but even then, it is a change worth making. Customers are more environmentally conscious than ever, and they will appreciate it.