FREEPHONE 0800 083 7807

LSPS Ltd
61-70 Harrison Close ,
South Wigston ,
Leicester , LE18 4ZL
Email:

How online retailers can minimise waste


photo-1592500305715-aa0a73023178Over the past few years, there has been a dramatic increase in people shopping online. This shift from traditional retail shopping in a physical location to e-commerce is continuing to grow and become the main type of retail for many people. Although online shopping can be more convenient for people, unfortunately, it can create more waste, mainly due to excess packaging. Consumers are aware of this and becoming increasingly eco-conscious when choosing which brands they buy from. 
Here we discuss how online retailers can minimise waste
 
What are the benefits for retailers minimising their waste

Minimising the waste their company produces does not only benefit the environment. There are many other benefits as well. For example, ensuring the customer knows you have made a conscious effort to reduce waste will help promote your brand and reputation. In addition to this, using less packaging will also cost your business less money in the long run. If a brand takes it time to produce the perfect packaging for their products, they can also use this as a brand-building exercise. For example, branded packaging is more likely to get shared on social media, meaning that your packaging can also act as a form of advertising and can lead to valuable user-generated content. 

Always use recyclable material 

This may seem obvious and is something the majority of online retailers are already doing however brands should consider every element of their packaging and make as many of these elements recyclable or biodegradable. Although cardboard is easy to recycle, ensure any plastic can be recycled and try and avoid polystyrene. Despite polystyrene technically being able to be recycled, in many cases, they have to be disposed of separately which causes an inconvenience to customers. If they place in the normal bin it will inevitably end up at the landfill, whereas if its placed in the household recycling bin it can, in fact, slow down the recycling process. 

Think about the size of the packaging 

Where possible, have the packaging fit to the size of the product. Not only does this help produce left household waste to your customers, but it will also save the business money and lower emissions at the same time. If made to measure packaging is not possible, aim for as close a fit as you can. If customers are ordering something small, try and ensure the packaging can fit through a letterbox. This can help improve the customer experience as it means their products can easily be delivered safely without them needing to be home to receive the parcel. 
When shipping costs are calculated, they are based on dimensional weight. This makes it in the businesses’ interest to ensure their packaging is kept to a minimum.

Consider the contents of the packaging 

It is not only the outer layer of packaging a business must consider. What other types of packaging will the customer receive? Some companies are now using more sustainable materials such as bamboo-based materials instead of plastic and polystyrene. 
In addition to this, can you brand the packaging in any way? As discussed earlier, branded packaging can help improve the customer experience. People are likely to share their purchase on social media if the packaging is as exciting and high quality and the product they have purchased. They are also more likely to recommend your brand to friends and family if they have had a great online shopping experience with them. The online shopping experience doesn’t end once a customer checks out. The product and packaging are just as vital. 

Have a retail waste audit

On a regular basis, carry out a retail waste audit. You can even hire someone to undertake this for you if you are a big company. The audit will involve making a list of all the types of waste, and measure the amount of waste. From there, a plan can be put in place to reduce the amount of waste created. 

Make recycling easy for the customer 

Every business should be recycling. However, they also have a responsibility to ensure their packaging can easily be recycled as well. Make it clear on the packaging that it can be recycled to encourage your customers to do so.

Donate damaged products 

Waste from online retailers does not just come in the form of packaging. It is inevitable that some of their products may end up being slightly damaged and not a high enough standard to send to customers. When this happens, businesses should consider ways to ensure these damaged items do not just get thrown away. Could they be donated to a charity shop? Sold at a discount on your store? Or give them away to members of staff? Any of these options is better than them immediately ending up at a landfill.

Implement an effective inventory management system 

If your products are perishable, it is vital you have a robust inventory management system in place. Having one will ensure more of your products are sold before they reach the end of their sellable life. If the stock is managed correctly, less waste will be created.

Train your staff 

All members of your staff need the training to ensure they understand the importance of reducing waste and giving them the tools to be able to carry out their jobs with a waste-free mindset. Have training sessions so all staff knows your policy. Incorporating ways to significantly reduce waste should become an integral part of your business's culture and therefore your employees much be advocates of this.

Waste is inevitable, however eco-friendly eCommerce is certainly achievable. By taking these steps for how online retailers can minimise waste, businesses will reap the benefits of not only environmental gains but also financial ones.  Customers are also left happy as they have less waste to get rid of and have a great perception of that brand in the future. The steps described above may take a bit of time to implement but they are not difficult things to incorporate into the day to day operations of the business. Therefore, it will not take long for a business to see the difference they are making.

To find out more about how we can help you with your waste disposal and recycling needs, please contact us on 0800 083 7807 or visit our website for further information. 

No comments :

Post a comment

Latest Articles

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook