“Sustainability is no longer about doing less harm. It’s about doing more good.” – Jochen Zeitz


One of the significant consumer behaviour trends that every ecommerce business needs to be aware of in 2021 is the rising awareness of “environmental and sustainability matters”. 


For a business, being environmentally conscious and eco friendly is no longer only symbolic of their social responsibilities – it is much bigger than that – it is a consumer demand that the business needs to fulfil to grow sales and revenues. 


Consumers today are making their choices by supporting brands and businesses that show commitment and concern towards the environment and conservation.They believe in environmentally friendly sustainable lifestyles and like to be associated with brands that have a positive impact and help people change the world for the better.  


The Covid pandemic has highlighted the need for environmental conservation and long term sustainability even further, and that has prompted both consumers and businesses alike to adopt more holistic and sustainable practices.   


Get to know the Conscious Consumer



Consumers today are ready to take social responsibility and realise the need to balance the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future generations to meet theirs.


They are aware and like to be mindful of the environmental impact of all their actions – which makes them realize that the modern lifestyle needs some tweaking so that we can sustain the planet’s finite resources! Growing social responsibility and their belief in the mantra of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle has played a significant role in their changing shopping habits. 


The environment conscious consumer is ready to go the extra mile to reduce the carbon footprint left by his lifestyle. His sustainable choices are reflected in the choice of their food – how it is grown and packaged and makes its journey from the farm to the table, to the way his clothes and furnishings are manufactured and shipped, to the materials used in making the accessories he uses…. just to name a few. 


The level of consciousness is growing amongst all consumers irrespective of gender, but is significantly more among consumers in the millennial and Gen Z demographics. Technology adoption and the higher digital engagement of this group of people also has a role to play in their behaviour. They are always connected and have access to information on all products and services at their disposal. 



The wellbeing of the environment and sustainability of the world in general is very important to them and they are ready to pay a premium for such ethically sourced products. Consumers are not shy of opening up their wallets for environmentally friendly products or items made with sustainable ingredients as long as it is doing some good for the world and the community. 


How to be a more Sustainable Brand



With consumers ready to embrace various social causes and looking for goods that align with their values, merchants must also be ready to make the necessary changes. For a brand and business that wishes to grow and win followers, values like sustainability and environmental consciousness are no longer a choice but a business imperative for success. 


Share your values




The brand’s values, belief and commitment to the cause must be authentic and come across prominently in every aspect of the business. It’s time to highlight a brand story that customers can relate to, a website that clearly states what environmental and social practices are being adopted and blog posts and social media content that consistently reflects the same ethos. 


If your ecommerce business has already adopted such environmentally friendly practices, that should be highlighted on the website and is sure to have an influence on the buying choices of the customers.  


Extend your range



Keeping the current trend of environmental consciousness in mind, how about introducing a new range of eco friendly products to your current range of offerings? The market is ready and customers are likely to appreciate your business values and lap it up when offered with a sustainable alternative.


Sustainable brands make consumers feel responsible and happy about their purchase and this can create an emotional connection which strengthens customer loyalty.


Be transparent about your practices




Providing information and details from where you are sourcing your products from and how such procurement is helping the community and the environment is necessary. Providing links (where possible) lets visitors to the site understand the causes you support and the opportunity to help the cause if they so wish. Such transparency helps in building consumer trust and relationships. 


Rising consumer awareness extends to every aspect of the brand they are supporting and nothing passes just on face value. They are ready to check the authenticity of the claims made and the brand’s involvement in giving back to communities and the earth. 


Invite consumers to join 




Millennials like to participate in experiential engagement. Offering them to join you in your community service and environment friendly programmes (if they resonate with them) is a great way to involve them and make them a part of your brand’s journey, one that is sure to build a relationship beyond a one-off purchase. 


Packaging Matters




Transporting goods between locations requires packaging, but making sure that it is done optimally and cutting down waste shows your commitment to the cause. Reduce the use of plastics and opt for biodegradable materials or promote reuse and recycling of packaging materials to stay in line with sustainability goals.


Shipping Matters




Being aware about the carbon footprint associated with a transaction and aligning with logistic and delivery partners who share the same values of environmental consciousness can be a good first step.


Also tie up with last mile delivery partners who deliver on bicycles or other low emission modes of transport so you can appeal to those who are passionate about the cause. 


In Summary


  • Environmentally conscious shopping is in, and eco friendly practices and sustainability are the buzzwords that cannot be ignored. 


  • Such consumer demands are directing companies to operate in a more sustainable and ethical way. 


  • Adoption of some of the above mentioned changes will surely help your online business in riding the trend and earning some new following and audience. 


  • Keep your focus on a product offering that is authentic, ethically sourced, environmentally friendly or aligns with the proclaimed value of your brand genuinely.  


  • By creating a more sustainable product, not only could you do your part in securing the future of the planet, but also help you stand out in this crowded marketplace. 


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