PUDO Parcels

PUDO networks: a how-to guide

Courtesy: parcelandpostaltechnologyinternational.com

There’s growing talk about PUDO networks and e-commerce delivery, but what do you really need to know? PUDO experts Artur Kikuła and Marek Różycki (Last Mile Experts) discuss how to set up a PUDO network

Earlier this year Deutsche Post announced it will expand its network of DHL Parcelshops. There are already about 10,000 Parcelshops across Germany, supplementing the post’s network of post offices.

Parcelshops are PUDOs (pick up, drop off) points, hosted in a retail outlet. Along with Deutsche Post’s post office and Packstation (parcel locker) networks, the German giant is ubiquitous in its home country.

Other postal operators are embracing PUDOs as a way to offer a denser national network of parcel collection points.

What are the main considerations in setting up a PUDO network?

In an era of intensive e-commerce growth, sellers and consignees alike are looking for complementary forms of sales, delivery, shipment and pickup, as well as return of purchased products. In other words, omnichannel commerce.

The main goals for the various actors in this space include: building new or expanding existing distribution channels on the seller’s side, meeting the customer’s (consignee’s) preferences, reducing operating costs, and developing a better last mile infrastructure on the logistics operator’s side.

Bearing the above in mind, one solution that benefits all the participants is access to an out-of-home PUDO and/or APM (locker) network.

LME’s Artur Kikuła was instrumental in developing InPost’s network of around 7,000 access points in Poland.

He believes that to build and implement a well-functioning network of PUDO points you need, inter alia, skilful planning of processes, application of appropriate tools (both hardware and software), defining capacity needs taking into account seasonality, optimal location analysis, system integration and setting of standards.

The hardest part is building enough stable access points to give proximity (within 12 minutes or 1km [0.6 miles] walk for the consignee) and the appropriate conditions for access to the point, such as customer car parking.

“It’s all about convenience,” stresses Fabian Düx, head of DHL Parcel Europe’s PUDO and locker network. “Primarily for consignees, who can pick up or drop off their shipments more easily without having to physically meet the courier, but also for retailers who operate the network. Hence, when designing a PUDO network, it needs to be ensured that processes, systems and tools are easy to use for the end customer and shop operators.”

So who can benefit from building their own or using an existing closed or open (carrier agnostic) PUDO network?

• Individual customers, who get more choice in the last mile and easier access to drop-off locations for returns;

• Small sellers, who have a flexible shipment of their packages from PUDOs or lockers, without having to wait for the courier to show up, and the possibility to offer their customers a wider range of delivery channels in cooperation with a logistics operator;

• Big sellers/distributors/producers/transaction platforms that can build their own PUDO/APM networks or use existing partner points, delivering their products by their own means of transport or by using logistics operators;

• Courier companies and postal operators who, thanks to access points, can develop their logistics network, activate new sales channels and optimize their last mile costs and delivery times while increasing customer satisfaction. They can also use points as local hubs for the temporary storage of shipments in urban/local distribution or as a pickup destination for advised items;

• Partners (usually retailers) co-creating the PUDO network gain additional customer traffic as part of their core business.

Given the above, it is not a question of ‘if’ but rather ‘when’ access points will become available in all major e-commerce markets. Düx confirms: “A dense and convenient PUDO network is becoming a must-have requirement for e-tailers who choose their logistics partner.”

Therefore, out of the home is actually a must for better home delivery. Of course, postal operators are usually in pole position to leverage their extensive branch networks for this purpose, and we find it strange that many still don’t.

PUDO Lockers

PUDO: What it is, and How it Can Make Your Delivery Process More Efficient

PUDO might not mean much to most people, but it could be the answer to some of the most common problems bothering consumers.

Even with advanced route optimization software helping businesses substantially reduce delivery drop windows, recipients can’t always be present for deliveries and service appointments. Roughly 5% of all deliveries don’t arrive on the first attempt, with each missed delivery costing retailers on average nearly $18.

Factor in how failed service appointments take an average of 4.5 days to reschedule, as well, and these failed attempts substantially increase costs. This is exactly where alternative collection and drop off options can step in and make a critical difference to your ecommerce fulfillment and returns process.

What does pick up and drop off (PUDO) mean?

Alternative Pick Up and Drop Off, often shortened to PUDO, is a designated location where customers can come to collect parcels, and drop off items as part of the returns process. Typical drop off and collection sites include lockers accessible by PIN codes, as well as local stores and retailers.

Why redirect to PUDO?

By sending packages to a wide network of locations, retailers and logistics providers are able to batch numerous orders together, drop items off faster, and store them safely until collection. The meaning for consumers is lower average wait times than if orders were sent directly to the door. It also means that people can collect or drop off packages at convenient places already on their daily commute, near their home, while going to school, or even when doing their weekly grocery shopping.

Another advantage is that packages aren’t left outside, where the elements may damage the contents, or other people may take them without permission. Consequently, the alternative collection and drop off model offers consumers a balance between speed and peace of mind.


When it comes to returns, the process is slightly different: Consumers are typically sent a pre-printed label to affix to the original package, and after booking a drop off return via the courier or the retailer, they can then either leave their package at a designated store counter, or can drop off in a locker for collection.

Consumers need flexibility

The upshot here is that rather than wait at home or the office for a collection to take place sometime in a designated window of time on a given day, or going to drop off their item at a specific store, consumers are given the flexibility to select the drop off point that works for them, and go there whenever suits their schedule.

Another benefit is that when the returns point is located inside a brick-and-mortar store, the customer does not need to commit to a particular time, and instead can just drop in and drop off when convenient for them. Whenever they do come in, their package’s return label will be scanned and verified by a member of staff. After drop off, as far the customer is concerned, the rest will take care of itself.

Choices make the difference

Choices are key when it comes to PUDO. When consumers are given only a few collection and drop off locations, it may be that none of them are particularly convenient for them. But when they are able to select from a wider number, then the chances that one of them might fit into their schedule increase significantly.

Factoring in the decline of local post offices, it’s even clearer why consumers value collection and drop off locations. With the United States postal service closing offices in fringe locations in rural settings, and an average of two post offices in Britain being closed each week, consumers increasingly seek alternative ways of receiving orders.

Benefits for retailers, couriers

Spreading resources more evenly reduces overall stress. Retail fulfillment will become even more localized as organizations and couriers will continue to leverage multiple sites to fulfill orders and reduce time to delivery.

Lockers are the way ahead

With 20%+ of all ecommerce orders being returned, logistics providers are looking to include diverse options, including secure drop off and collection lockers in places such as gas stations, and face-to-face service at convenience stores, local shops, supermarkets, and nearby branches of major retailers.

The practice has exploded in recent years. For example, one recent industry report identified more than 2.4m parcel and locker locations worldwide, including post offices. In the US alone, the smart locker market is expected to grow from $677 million in 2021 to $1,644 million by 2028.

Driving growth is the convenience of drop off and collection lockers, with over 78% of respondents in one US consumer survey finding them at least somewhat useful. And in the UK, parcel locker manufacturer InPost has forged diverse partnerships and placed lockers in transport hubs, shopping centers and supermarkets, in a bid to fit PUDO into consumers’ daily routes.

8 advantages of redirecting orders to alternative pickup or dropoff points (PUDOs):

  1. Eliminate the cost of missed pickup or failed delivery attempts
  2. Reduce expenses by delivering orders from multiple customers to a single location
  3. Eliminate customer frustration from missed or delayed deliveries
  4. Provide end-customers more flexible, convenient delivery options
  5. Streamlined, swift returns for e-commerce retail to make the customer experience stress-free
  6. Cut out delivery exceptions
  7. Potentially reduce the number of delivery drops per truck, thereby increasing efficiency
  8. Reduce carbon emissions by batch delivering to hubs rather than to numerous addresses

Offering The Right Alternative PUDO Options

There are numerous variables for deciding which drop off and collection sites will be offered to each customer, including:

Distance: Display all alternative or PUDO locations within a given radius (e.g. 3 miles) of the customer’s location.

Number of locations: Display the 5 sites closest to the original destination address.

Distance and number of locations: Display the 5 sites within a 3 mile radius of the original pickup location.

By redirecting potential missed deliveries, businesses can easily offer better customer experiences – and reduce the heavy cost of missed deliveries.

How PUDO can deliver better fulfillment experiences

For the consumer, drop off and collection networks offer a local, convenient and secure way to collect or drop off items without all the waiting at home, instead being able to work their collection or return into their daily schedule.

For retailers and couriers, reducing last mile delivery costs by eliminating failed attempts to deliver items, instead batch-delivering them to familiar hubs, is a real boon.

PUDO is becoming increasingly prominent in today’s world, so it’s important for retailers and logistics providers don’t drop the ball and plan properly in order to maximize this fulfillment method to meet modern customer expectations.

Frequently asked questions

Can I track a PUDO parcel?

PUDO parcels can be tracked the same way as other parcels that are out for delivery using real time tracking software services.

What is PUDO Shipping

PUDO is a fulfillment and returns method whereby customers come to a designated site to collect items, or leave them as part of the returns process. Services are often provided by local stores, supermarkets, high street retailers, and smart lockers accessible by PIN codes.

E-Commerce Returns

Here’s what actually happens to all your online shopping returns

Courtesy: https://restofworld.org/2022/shein-online-shopping-returns-what-happens/

Here’s what actually happens to all your online shopping returns

Huang Qing, the Shanghai-based creative director of athleisure label Voice of Insiders, meticulously accounts for each design choice. His high-tech garments are cut from material woven with seaweed fiber and colorfast nylon spun with marine collagen. Then, after an item is shipped, that’s likely the last time he’ll see it — even if it is returned. “It’s too frustrating to bring it back [to China], too much back-and-forth,” he told Rest of World.

Huang, a niche designer, faces the same dilemma as thousands of Chinese clothing suppliers who sell on marketplaces like Amazon or via an ultra-fast-fashion giant like Shein. Four Chinese manufacturers told Rest of World that they are left scrambling to dispose of the garments however they can, often allowing online shoppers in the U.S. to keep clothes they’re trying to return as a cost-saving measure — and to avoid a logistical nightmare.

Some said they meet in WeChat groups to share tips on where to move items. Others said they directly returned and unsold items in bulk to markets in Africa through a trader or request they be destroyed. For Huang, unless the product is a bestseller, he considers most returned items dead stock. Added pandemic-related supply chain issues — soaring freight rates, worker shortages, and lengthened shipping times — have ensured that other options aren’t worth the time and expense they require.

As online buying ballooned during the pandemic, so did returns. In the U.S. alone, returns during 2021 of fast-fashion clothing jumped by 22% from the year before, according to the retail analytics firm Edited, which tracks over 4 billion distinct items for sales across 140,000 retailers. Shipping costs often exceed the value of the ultra-low-priced garments, with the cost of some routes up more than seven times early pandemic levels in 2021. Tax exemptions and bulk shipping, which ease the journey for garments moving into the U.S., disappear when the time comes to receiving returns.

For shoppers, returns via a giant e-commerce retailer app like Shein’s, making a return is a simple process. In the Shein app, there are a dozen options to choose from in order to explain the reason for a return — “don’t like it,” “ordered wrong,” “arrived damaged” — and a further handful of options to describe exactly which ways an item doesn’t fit. Once the return is approved, the company issues shoppers a printable shipping label. That’s the end of the headache for shoppers, analysts say.

“The fashion industry, for a long time, has been able to hide from the right hand what the left hand is doing,” said Elizabeth Shobert, vice president of marketing and digital strategy at e-commerce analytics firm StyleSage, referring to the asynchronous processes of sales and returns. “The pileup in the supply chain in the last six months or so has really brought this to light.”

To examine supply chain limitations, Rest of World spoke with manufacturers in China, including a supplier for Shein and the head of the largest organization of Amazon manufacturers in the industrial province of Fujian, visited a clothing market in Nigeria, and tracked Shein returns from the U.S. Through the course of reporting this story, a reporter purchased and returned four items from Shein, while using Apple AirTags to track the returned garments’ journey.

The first garment, a trendily cropped, scoop-neck black cardigan ($14.86), was refunded within five hours of initiating the return in Shein’s app by the customer service arm in Hong Kong, which told the reporter to keep the clothing. The second, an army-green minidress ($9.36), made it to the returns stage: instructions in the Shein app directed it be mailed to an address outside of Newark, New Jersey. Rest of World used the AirTags to track the progress of the third and fourth items, the third a muted coffee-brown knit with raglan sleeves ($19.99), and the fourth a ribbed cotton dress ($9), through the returns process.

Refunds for the three items were issued as soon as the items were scanned into a New Jersey warehouse, which shares an address with a Chinese furniture company called Loye. (A Shein spokesperson said in an email that the company did not own the New Jersey warehouse or have any relationship with the furniture company but does operate a warehouse in Los Angeles.)

Over the month of January, the two items with AirTags attached sat for approximately two weeks at the New Jersey warehouse before making their way by vehicle through the U.S. Postal Service to suburbs of California and Florida respectively. Both appeared to be at residential addresses — the last received signal before the AirTag pings disappeared. The spokesperson for Shein did not directly answer written questions around whether returns in the U.S. were resold to new customers in the country.

 Shein App

According to Shobert, returns cost retailers about two-thirds of an item’s original selling price. That means the $20 sweater purchased by Rest of World could cost a company $13 to take back.

“They have basically built their profit model — that if they have to throw away all that’s unsold, it’s calculated into their model,” explained Juliana Prather, chief marketing officer at Edited.

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American consumer spending through the holiday season at Shein alone increased nearly fivefold since 2019. By mid-2021, the Chinese fashion app had almost surpassed Zara and H&M combined to account for the largest share of the American fast-fashion market. “So on one hand, that creates incredible power but [also] incredible focus on getting [products] out there,” Prather said.

The spokesperson for Shein did not answer a question about whether unsold stock was calculated in the company’s profit model, saying in a written response that they do not disclose “proprietary business data.” They also declined to share what percentage of the company’s orders are returned. Without specifying the amount of stock, the spokesperson told Rest of World, “Many returned items that cannot be restocked are donated to local charities” or sold to a wholesaler.

Left with bales of clothing, manufacturing companies headquartered in China coordinate bulk shipments of garments from the U.S. and China to destinations in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia, a Rest of World analysis found via company listings on Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce platform. Two Guangzhou-based suppliers told Rest of World that they resell a combination of unsold inventory and defective items. When Rest of World pressed the two Chinese traders for details on the international shipments they coordinate, both cut off communication, and one took down its Alibaba page altogether.

"They have basically built their profit model that if they have to throw away all that’s unsold, it’s calculated into their model."

In Lagos, Nigeria, a seller at the busy Katangowa flea market showed Rest of World denim garments from China hanging in his stall, and others he identified as returned clothes from the U.S.

“These are mostly European secondhand clothes and Chinese factory rejects,” said Ernest Okeke, who runs a clothing stall in the market. “Some are returned from Europe and America.”

Colorful bales of clothing arrive by the hundreds weekly at Apapa Wharf at the Port of Lagos in Nigeria, home to the country’s two biggest seaports. WhatsApp group chats, populated by these traders and local Nigerian sellers of all kinds, sell items ranging from children’s clothes to branded running shoes.

Once garments are returned to a factory, China-based traders step in and buy them to shift on to the Nigerian market, he said. “The factories even sell these clothes to traders on credit because they want to dispose of them quickly,” he said. When some clothes stay too long in the stall, Okeke and other traders team up with the dozens of tailors in the market to refashion them into a new design or recut them into baby clothes, for example.

Okeke himself normally spends a few weeks each year shuttling from Lagos to Guangzhou, China, acquiring and shipping denim pants and shirts back to his home country. During the pandemic, the Chinese government limited travel by Nigerian traders to China, leaving him to rely on shipping.

There were more than 1,600 listings for Shein suppliers on Alibaba at the end of January, and ten of the first 30 listings also advertise as sellers of used, secondhand, or bulk wholesale clothing. Some of the pages offer to ship Shein goods in bulk, while others include photos of piled, Shein-branded plastic bags. Shein told Rest of World that  the company’s suppliers are not authorized to sell Shein products for any purposes aside from fulfilling Shein orders. “Shein only orders what it can sell,” the spokesperson wrote in an email. “We prohibit suppliers from selling oversupply, to prevent the production of counterfeit material, of which all overstock is.”

Many Chinese sellers have set up private WeChat groups. In these group chats, they ask if retailers want to buy unsold items in bulk, or if anyone has a contact for warehouses, at times in places as far as Italy or Mexico. Ada, a manufacturer in Zhejiang who produces homewares, handbags, and pet clothing for sale outside of China on Amazon, joined these groups in early 2021. She asked to be identified by her English first name, out of concern over Amazon’s scrutiny of Chinese third-party sellers.

Retailers who sell on Amazon can choose to have the e-commerce behemoth manage their logistics with their in-house team. “There’s a setting where you can choose to have all of your returned inventory destroyed,” said Ada. She chooses this option most frequently. Another alternative is to have the Amazon warehouse evaluate the item’s resale potential, but she would have to pay Amazon for storage space for those items until they resold.

 Andrew Esiebo/Panos Pictures/R​edux

In an effort to avoid destroying returned items or sending them to landfills, some U.S. retailers turn to companies that specialize in reverse supply chain management by returning goods from shoppers to sellers.

For a fee, these companies offer to optimize the money-losing headache of returns. Adam Vitarello, co-founder of Optoro, which manages returns for companies such as Target and American Eagle, says his company’s U.S.-based clients restock 90% of their returns, and most of the rest, which Optoro tracks through its platform’s reuse rate, is diverted to secondary channels like eBay, leaving about 4% headed to the landfill.

But they rely also on the same overloaded infrastructure that the rest of the e-commerce global supply chain runs through once a sale is made. One of Optoro’s logistics partners is UPS, which hired nearly 100,000 new workers during the holiday season to keep up with high online shopping volumes. Rest of World’s AirTagged returns appeared to travel via the U.S. Postal Service, which has experienced unprecedented delays during the pandemic, due to high volumes, worker shortages, and increased labor costs.  Shein confirmed that the U.S. Postal Service is among its own logistics partners.

As the pandemic drags on, the strain on shipping and labor capacity is only heightening: Huang said he expects his shipping costs to increase by upward of 20% in 2022. He said that he knows there are other clothing makers who destroy their unsold and returned inventory but also said, “No matter what, we will try our best to use the value of these clothes until the end.” Even if he can recoup just a small amount, it’s better than sending them to the landfill, he added.

Huang had explored a business relationship to recycle his returns with FirstMile, an American e-commerce shipping and fulfillment organization, but the fees were too high — nearly $200,000 a year. Despite having a comfortable profit margin, he still doesn’t know if he has enough goods to justify the costs. “Even though I thought this [idea] was beautiful,” said Huang, “we decided not to go through with it.”

Discreet Shipping

The Ultimate Guide for Discreet Shipping

Courtesy: https://www.easyship.com/

Key Points:

  • Discreet shipping is great for sending items confidentially without anyone knowing the contents of the package
  • USPS, UPS®, and FedEx offer discreet shipping services at no extra cost
  • Vape products, high-value items, and adult products are common items that use discreet shipping

Have you ever wanted an item shipped discreetly? Not everyone wants the world to notice what they bought from an online retailer depending on the item. They want to ensure the product’s privacy throughout the shipping process, achievable when items are delivered in ambiguous packaging.

Items like adult products, high-value items, and vape products are the most common items that use discreet shipping. So, how does discreet shipping work, and how can merchants implement this strategy for their eCommerce business?

This blog will go over how discreet shipping works, the types of items commonly shipped, and specific guidelines to follow when shipping discreetly.

Table of Contents

Discreet Shipping Meaning

Discreet shipping refers to sending an item in ambiguous packaging. More specifically, this shipping method involves shipping a product in a way that no one gets to know the content.

What is Discreet Shipping?

Shipping items discreetly offer the privacy needed by the customers on their orders. It hides the product and removes information about the online store. This section will go over some products that are commonly needed to be shipped discreetly.

Adult Products

Discreet shipping helps solve the embarrassing problem faced when ordering adult products. Receiving the products in an undisclosed package can be a huge lifesaver for many people. It saves their face and prevents embarrassment, questioning, and anxiety.

eCommerce brands can indicate a confidential shipping policy for adult products by eCommerce brands on their checkout page. This way, merchants show customers they value customer privacy. Some brands that do this for their customers include Amazon, Walmart, and Target.

High-Value Products

Fourteen per cent of Americans say they had been victims of packaging theft in the past 12 months. So, discreet packaging can deter porch pirates from stealing packages to help curb this issue.

Here are common high-value products that use discreet services:

  • High-end technology or gadgets.
  • Medicines
  • Food items

In order to deal with porch piracy thefts,  it's important for brands to package products in a discreet way. This way, no one can guess what the shipment contains, how much it costs, or its value.

Vape Discreet Shipping

Vaping devices are devices used to inhale an aerosol, typically containing nicotine and other chemicals by individuals 21 years or older. In some cases, vape products help conceal smoking habits, and individuals ordering them would want them delivered discreetly.

However, common carriers like UPS, FedEx, etc., don't move or ship vape products due to shipping regulations. Instead, Easyship's approved list of partners can ship your vape products discreetly. Plus, you'll save up to 70% off discounted shipping rates when you create a free Easyship account.


How Does Discreet Shipping Work?

Discreet shipping is easy to request on any online store or eCommerce platform. For example, customers may request PO Box delivery instead of in-house delivery.

To use this method, customers have to provide their return address for the package to send. However, Customers may also request in-house delivery and also retain discreteness.

Discreet shipping is available on almost all retail and online stores offering the service on the checkout page. Primarily all courier companies engage in this type of confidential shipping service with no extra cost. This way, they can avoid the blooming crime of porch theft and maintain the customers' privacy.

Do USPS, UPS, and FedEx Offer Discreet Shipping?

USPS, UPS, and FedEx offer discreet shipping to their customers at no extra cost. The major couriers maintain a high level of discreteness so that even the delivery guy won't know what you ordered.

The products are shipped in a standard box with only the customers' names and addresses. They might not even brand the boxes just to maintain a high level of customers' privacy.

USPS Discreet Shipping

USPS Discreet Mail Service handles the discreet policy of the company. Plus, they also track the shipping and delivery of the box from start to finish, right until it reaches the customer.

As another option, USPS also delivers to USPS PO Boxes for discreet shipping. To request the USPS discreet service, you must place a single order with your local USPS Discreet Mail Service office. USPS delivers products chosen by the customers to be delivered discreetly through the following shipping services:

  • USPS Priority Mail
  • USPS Retail Ground
  • USPS Priority Mail Express

UPS Discreet Shipping

To ensure customers' privacy, UPS ships all packages in a plain box with absolutely no product labels. Unfortunately, UPS and other major couriers besides USPS, don't deliver to PO Boxes.

UPS ships its products with secrecy if customers choose any shipping services:

  • UPS® Ground
  • UPS 2nd Day Air®

To find out more about UPS discreet shipping services, the UPS website for more details.

FedEx Discreet Shipping

FedEx doesn't charge extra costs for discreet shipping, and they also don't deliver to PO Boxes. Instead, they deliver your packages with plain boxes with their brand name on them only.

Additionally, if the delivery person feels the environment is unsafe, he or she may re-attempt delivery at a later time. This is reflected in FedEx's courier policy.

FedEx shipping services that offer discreet services include:

  • FedEx Ground
  • FedEx First Overnight
  • FedEx 2Day

Amazon Discreet Shipping

Amazon states in its policy to offer standard confidential packaging for all its orders. Plus, the policy states that all items shipped will be enclosed in plain unmarked packaging. This way, no one can guess the items contained in the package.

No matter how large the item is, Amazon will specifically ship it with a plain box with only its brand name. The service is used for items like:

  • Gifts such as toys, musical instruments, etc.
  • Electronic items and accessories
  • Gadgets and laptops

Amazon's topmost priority is to address the privacy concerns of its customers. Thus, the packages come in a standard Amazon box or mailbox, with no label or minimal information on the label.

Discreet Shipping FAQ

What does discreet shipping to the USA mean?

Discreet shipping refers to sending an item in ambiguous packaging

Do all Amazon packages come in discreet packaging?

Yes, Amazon packages come in a standard cardboard box with an Amazon sticker/packaging tape.

Green E-Commerce

Sustainability in E-Commerce: 7 Ways Your Brand Can Reduce Its Carbon Footprint

Courtesy: wearesuperb.com

Green e-commerce is a new trend within the world of e-commerce in which online businesses that follow practices and use sales methods, including packaging and shipping, to reduce their impact on the environment. According to the 2019 Connected Shoppers Report published by Salesforce, more than half of shoppers (56%) say that sustainability and ethical business practices are essential.

Whether a brand was sustainable or followed environmentally friendly practices was a minor factor in the shopping experience in the past. However, attitudes are changing rapidly. Ecologically conscious shoppers are fast becoming mainstream, impacting the margins of those not considered sustainable brands.


Green Commerce Trends
Source: Social Media Today


Sustainability can also be considered a competitive advantage. Your brand will attract a new audience looking for committed brands and increase customer retention among your current customers. Besides, sustainability has been proved to drive higher ROI and revenue.

Today’s consumers, especially Gen Z, stress the importance of sustainability, and big retail brands have started to listen to them. For example, Patagonia has publicly committed to being carbon neutral by 2025. In addition, the Body Shop avoids using plastic in delivery packaging and offers customers in-store credit when they return five product containers for recycling.

What can your brand do to join the green e-commerce trend? Here are some actions that you can start implementing to include sustainability in the ethos of your brand in 2022:




Implementing shipping management is one of the easiest ways to start minimising your environmental impact. Offering reserve and store pickup as alternatives are greener delivery options than direct shipping from a distribution centre. Also, customers tend to buy more products to search for everything on the same day. Shipping products directly from the store reduces carbon emissions and enables same-day delivery.




As discussed above, The Body Shop avoids plastic in shipping its products. This and other brands prefer corrugated cardboard and recycled paper for packaging. Also, if your products come in plastic bottles, offer your customers incentives to recycle them and earn credits or points that can be redeemed for discounts.




Subscription models can increase a brand’s profits (up to 40%) and incentivise sustainability. For example, the first shipment may include returning used containers for recycling. Also, these subscriptions can be picked up in-store at a lower price than if shipping is included. Plus, replenishment items can be shipped in lower-cost, recyclable packaging.




According to data published by Social Media Today, one in four consumers in the United Kingdom have difficulty determining whether a product is recyclable or not, and most cannot separate them correctly.

This means that the greater transparency, the greater confidence in a brand’s commitment to sustainability. Lately, convenience and price are not the only deciding factors in the buying process. Consider including information about your products on labels, packaging, and your website to implement transparency.

Brands like Lush fight animal testing, shop ethically and reduce waste with unpackaged cosmetics. In addition, lush is transparent about its product and shares details about its commitment on its packaging, home page, and content.


Your consumers will welcome any initiative that supports sustainability. For example, communicate all your brand’s actions to reduce the environmental impact and be more ecologically friendly. Also, ask your consumers to recycle your packaging, select store pickup or recycled packaging, or include the option to donate money to organisations that fight global warming or animal testing.

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