To stay relevant in the modern climate, eCommerce businesses are required to consistently satisfy their customers in terms of order fulfillment. Shipping must be fast, free, branded, and sustainable to foster brand loyalty. As consumer demands multiply, only those operations that prioritize these mandates will survive. Sustainable order fulfillment gives companies the competitive advantage needed to remain viable. 

Fast and Free Rules

Thanks to mobile technology, shopping has fundamentally changed. There are currently more than 24 million eCommerce websites servicing customers worldwide. Consumers shop whenever and wherever the mood strikes, and they want their purchases as quickly as possible. Among US customers, 67% expect their packages to be delivered within two days. Same-day, next-day, or two-day delivery is the new norm.

Free shipping is also highly important.  60% of surveyed shoppers say they expect free shipping and free returns and will take their business elsewhere when companies don’t comply. The rising costs of shipping and strict same-day shipping cutoff times have made it difficult for businesses to meet these requirements. Fulfillment has become a strategic asset for brands as it must be smarter, automated, and closer to the consumer. Many companies enforce a free shipping threshold to meet the demand while maintaining profitability.  

Branded Shipping Materials

Premium packaging is an effective way to differentiate a brand. The customer unboxing experience is an integral part of establishing a memorable and sustainable brand as many consumers want to snap a photo of a new delivery and share it on social media. Branded shipping materials can help an eCommerce business capitalize on customer retention and optimize the customer life cycle. 

Packaging that is environmentally friendly is the preferred choice. 

Sustainable Order Fulfillment

There are two main types of consumers. Those who are value-driven are primarily concerned with getting their money’s worth. These shoppers select brands based on price and convenience. Purpose-driven consumers are interested in products and brands that align with their values. These shoppers tend to seek out brands that align with their personal values and are environmentally responsible. Many are willing to pay more for brands that engage in sustainable order fulfillment and will alter their shopping habits to reduce their carbon footprint.  

Economic sustainability is about doing business responsibly while continuing to build the bottom line. This must be accomplished without having a negative impact on the world around us. Companies have to continue to seek profitability while keeping costs down if they are to continue to keep their products attractively priced, so this can be challenging.

Waste reduction and operational sustainability within eCommerce businesses are as important as the sustainability of the products themselves. Corrugated plastic containers play an important role in perfecting the supply chain, and three-quarters of US consumers prefer to buy a product that is sustainably packaged. Minimal, zero-waste packaging is a high priority. Businesses that reduce their environmental impact are attractive to purpose-driven consumers who appreciate brands that get it right.

The sustainability of the fulfillment environment is important to buyers, as well. Long-life cycles of the strategies, processes, and equipment used in eCommerce operations are a critical part of the circular economy model. Switching to plastic pallets is one way eCommerce businesses can amplify sustainable order fulfillment. Plastic pallets are a durable, reusable, and sanitizable solution that can be used to transport and store products within a facility or between different facilities. They last much longer than wood and are ideal for clean environments like tech, medical, biotech, and food handling.

With attention to fast, free, branded, and sustainable order fulfillment, your eCommerce organization can stay ahead of your competitors.