6 steps for greater sustainability

E-commerce 6 steps for greater sustainability

Published on 05.10.2021 by Michael Nussbaumer, Head of CAS Online Shop and Sales Management, lecturer at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts HSLU

Customers are demanding greater sustainability – but how can companies meet this need? These six recommendations for action show how you too can expand your online shop in a targeted manner – to ensure greater sustainability and happier customers.

Sustainability is now more than a trend – it’s a consumer need. But that’s not all. Consumers also want online shops that actively address sustainability and integrate this approach extensively into their online shop. Today, it’s no longer enough to mix a few sustainable products into your range – customers have become more demanding.

According to the 2021 online retailer survey on sustainability in Swiss e-commerce, most online retailers see sustainability as an opportunity to improve their own competitive edge. But where does the process towards achieving greater sustainability begin? Use the following six recommended actions as the basis for improving sustainability.

1. Get to know your customers and their needs

Customer interest in sustainable offers can be found along the entire customer journey. Therefore, it’s important to know your customers and to understand whether they’re interested in sustainable offers when searching for products on Google, filtering products in the online shop or choosing delivery options. You can use this knowledge to adjust your services and make investments.

2. Lean into the things that you are already doing and talk about them

Does your range already include sustainable products or do you only use recycled packaging, for example? You will often already have excellent sustainability measures in place that are not immediately visible to your customers. Do good things and talk about them.

3. Talk to your partners

You won’t be able to implement all measures by yourself. Do you purchase products directly from manufacturers? Talk to them about sustainable manufacturing options. Does a logistics partner deliver your orders? Talk to them about electric vehicles, for example. How about relying on a regional bicycle courier service? There are ever more sustainable solutions for the entire value chain of an online shop. Make use of them!

4. Mass communication

Everybody’s talking about sustainability – but some people are sick of hearing the word. Build it into your communication in a targeted way. Not every detail is interesting, and sustainability is not always the sole selling point – it’s the right mix that makes the difference.

5. Talk to your customers

What questions are your customers asking? Talk to your clientele. Yes, try just asking. You’d be amazed how many people feel flattered when an online shop asks them about their needs. This way, you learn a lot about your customers, their needs and where else you should invest your efforts.

6. Stay the course

Patience pays dividends! This is sometimes true even in the fast-moving world of e-commerce. Your ambition for greater sustainability is admirable, but customers will also need time to get there. Plan for the longer term and show perseverance. You will soon see which initiatives work and which are less successful.


Discover all the results now


Due to the current situation, Connecta Bern will again be held as a digital event in 2021. Connecta is renowned for shining a light on the diverse nature of digitization and this year will be no different with content presented across the three formats of Connecta Blog, Connecta TV and Connecta Talk. Find out more here: www.swisspost.ch/connecta.



Michael Nussbaumer

Michael Nussbaumer, Head of CAS Online Shop and Sales Management, lecturer at the Institute for Communication and Marketing at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU). He is a proven e-commerce specialist, host of the Inside E-Commerce Podcasts and managing director of M8 GmbH / e-commerce success.

((commentsAmount)) Comments

There was an error during request.
  • (( comment.firstname )) (( comment.lastname )) (( comment.published )) (( comment.content ))

Contact us

Do you have questions for our experts, or do you need advice? We will be only too happy to help!

Contact us