Green business used to be a fringe concept. It has now become mainstream. Polls by GreenBiz have highlighted the shift towards sustainability in modern business in recent years. Their data showed that in 2019, 85% of Fortune 500 companies published sustainability reports. GreenBiz also found that the number of companies with sustainability goals had increased by 28% between 2013 and 2018.
The focus on sustainability has largely been driven by growing concerns by consumers. A global survey found that 55% of customers in 60 countries were willing to pay more for eco-friendly products. Studies found that 78% of millennials said the same.
These findings have coincided with a growing number of eco-friendly e-commerce companies. Some of these green online retailers are driven by a sincere social mission. Others are trying to capitalize off of a growing demand for eco-friendly products.
Unfortunately, the sudden demand for eco-friendly goods and services has not made it easy for sustainable brands to succeed. Sustainable businesses need to develop cost-effective online marketing strategies that align with their social mission.
The good news is that sustainable e-commerce businesses can succeed if they take the right steps. Some prudent marketing strategies for eco-friendly e-commerce brands are listed below.
Reach online consumers through eco-friendly search engines
Most businesses with an online presence recognize the benefits of reaching customers through Google, Yahoo and Bing. These three search engines collectively account for around 95% of all global search engine traffic.
However, there are other search engines out there. Many of them have a more specialized focus. Some of them specialize in offering eco-friendly search engine services.
Ecosia and Blackle are two search engines with eco-friendly missions. Ecosia uses a portion of its advertising revenue to plant new trees. Blackle has taken innovative measures to reduce its carbon footprint.
The benefits of advertising on eco-friendly search engines are twofold. You can demonstrate your commitment to sustainability. You will also reach a more targeted group of customers that share your commitment, which means you might have higher conversions and find customers that are willing to pay more for sustainable options.
Make regulatory compliance a priority
Green companies are not exempt from regulatory sanctions. You need to make sure that you don’t make any mistakes in this regard.
This is particularly important for companies in the CBD field, which has strict consumer age requirements. This necessitates using services for confirming a customer’s age.
Use green SEO
Green SEO should be a core focus of any sustainable e-commerce company. There are different definitions, but most marketers agree that green SEO involves focusing on search engine keywords with sustainable elements. For example, an eco-friendly printing company might target the keywords “green printing company” or “sustainable printing services.”
Green SEO will help you reach a more targeted market. It will also help you avoid competing directly with non-sustainable competitors with deeper pockets.
Provide well-rounded branding messages on social media
Social media should be a central aspect of any e-commerce companies marketing strategy. Sustainable e-commerce brands are no exception.
However, sustainable businesses need to take a different approach. They need to focus on both emphasizing the benefits of the product and the sustainable aspects of their business model. This can be a difficult balance to strike, but it is necessary.
Be transparent about limitations in your sustainability commitment
Lots of companies are advertising themselves as green businesses these days. Some of them are genuinely doing their best to lower their environmental footprint. Others are making very small tweaks or not making any effort at all. These posers just want to take advantage of the growing interest in sustainability.
Consumers are becoming skeptical about some of these companies. The last thing that you want to do is be exposed as a fraud in the eco-friendly marketplace.
The best way to avoid this is by being as transparent as possible. Some companies have started telling customers that not all of their products are eco-friendly. Customers will be willing to forgive this as long as you are open and honest.
Consider making some donations to eco-friendly causes
Your pledge to be a sustainable brand will be more believable if you collaborate with other eco-friendly organizations. You might want to make donations to sustainable nonprofit organizations. Some companies have done this and found it was more lucrative over the long term because they increased their market share by reaching eco-friendly consumers.
A sustainable e-commerce model requires detailed planning
Green e-commerce companies are in greater demand than ever. However, they still face some challenges. As a green entrepreneur, you need to take all reasonable measures to succeed. The steps outlined above should help increase your odds of success.