New technologies: new eco-friendly logistics superpowers!

In 2019, about 46% of French people bought at least one eco-responsible product. And this figure is only increasing! Interest in ecology is growing, both among consumers and companies. As an e-commerce manager, are you keen to improve your ecological footprint? This environmental approach can sometimes seem complicated, but various technologies are emerging to help you in your ecological transition! Logistics optimization, sales process management, Augmented Reality... There is always a technological solution to help you reduce the environmental impact of your e-commerce. An ecological action plan designed for your business!

By
Julie Ribeiro
Created
June 25, 2020
Modified
June 26, 2020

New technologies equal sustainable commitments?

Not all companies act the same way, and not all companies have the time to focus on creating beneficial solutions. That's exactly where technology comes in!

Implementing new technological processes that use less energy and produce less pollution can improve your environmental footprint and user experience. From the creation of your website to the choice of delivery method, you have a whole range of technological options to help you become more eco-responsible.

The ecological commitments of your e-commerce and technological innovations

According to a study by Fevad, e-commerce alone represents more than 9% of all retail trade in France. Undoubtedly, the French are not ready to stop ordering on the internet!

But between production, packaging design, delivery and possible returns, e-commerce has a growing impact on the environment. In France, 24% of products ordered on the internet are returned -not exactly an eco-friendly phenomenon! One of the most obvious solutions for limiting returns is to offer a better visualization of the products you sell. Whether it's in the form of algorithms or applications, new technologies are there to help you! 

Connected beauty

One of the main sources of returned goods: clothing. The size doesn't fit, the style doesn't match, the colour is wrong...There are so many reasons that push your buyers to return purchased products, or to ask for an exchange. Result: instead of one road trip, a single purchase may require two or three trips.

To limit the risks, the Fitle application allows customers to create their own online avatar which they can use to virtually try on the clothes. This way, there are no unpleasant surprises when they arrive. And if there are noun pleasant surprises, there are no returns!

In the cosmetics industry, the story is the same. Let's take the example of a customer who buys a red lipstick on your e-commerce site. Upon receiving the lipstick, she discovers that the lipstick color is a bit more coral than expected. It's impossible to escape it: the lipstick comes back.

Make up genius app

To avoid these situations, L'Oréal has launched its Makeup Genius application. Consumers simply turn on their front camera and select the makeup they like. Lipstick, mascara, foundation, and eye shadow are then applied virtually to the user's face, giving a precise idea of how they will look in reality.

Gradually, the development of these connected beauty platforms is allowing small brands to become more accessible. Customers are no longer afraid to innovate and buy on the internet since they can get a realistic preview of the product. No more disappointment, no more returns!

Reducing your environmental impact with Augmented Reality

Another solution to minimize the environmental impact of referrals is the use of augmented reality. ASOS has developed See My Fit. Even easier to use than virtual fitting, this visualization application allows you to see a product worn by different models. Your customers then select the size worn by the mannequin whose body type is closest to their own.

And to go even further in technological advancements, ASOS has created an algorithm that calculates customer's ideal clothing sizes. Depending on your buyers' measurements, their preferences and the nature of the product you are selling, their ideal size is proposed. Easy and efficient!

Ikea has expanded the use of Augmented Reality, adapting it to decoration and real estate. Before that, customers had to go to a store to inspect a piece of furniture, envisage how it would like at home, and then return to the warehouse to pick it up or have it delivered. Already three return trips, often by car, to potentially buy a furniture - hello greenhouse gas emissions!

To alleviate this problem, Ikea now offers Augmented Reality on their merchant sites. Customers simply need to open the camera on their tablet or smartphone and place the furniture virtually in their living room. Then all they have to do is order!

In addition to customer service, Augmented Reality can be very interesting in managing the warehouse of your e-commerce. The use of Google Glass by employees who run order processes and the warehouse increases productivity by 25%. It enables faster and more reliable order picking and stock management - perfect for limiting energy consumption and preventing wasted time.

In addition to being beneficial for your turnover and user experience, the new technologies reduce CO2 emissions and limit unnecessary transport of goods. Real environmental benefits!

Technological optimisation of logistics, aiming for zero waste

According to an ECN study, companies an de-traders that integrate artificial intelligence technology software into their logistics processes increase their margins by approximately 5%.

To save time and reduce your environmental footprint, algorithms and technologies are useful at every stage of your logistics process. For example, DHL provides a CO2 emissions calculation algorithm for its customers. This enables them to make an informed choice when it comes to delivery mode. Take the example of your customer who wants to buy a red lipstick: don't just indicate the difference in price between express and standard delivery. Specify that express delivery emits much more CO2 than standard delivery. Your buyer may then realise that he or she can limit the environmental impact of his or her purchase with just one click.

Once the order has been placed by your customer, it's up to you! If you want to put an emphasis on green logistics, it is preferable that your transport vehicles are not empty. In order to optimize your transport logistics, try to amortize all trips. You can use software such as Cape Pack, which helps you with the palletizing and packaging of your products. Having packaging adapted to the size of the product to reduce waste and organizing pallets to make each trip profitable will thus reduce your environmental footprint.

You can also create partnerships with companies that have adopted the same ecological approach as your own. In this way, your environmental policy is consistent from A to Z. That's why Bigblue works with International Paper, a cardboard supplier that has been awarded a number of eco-labels. 95% of our packaging comes from environmentally-friendly production!

By using these applications and software at your own scale, you can go green with your e-commerce while improving user experience.

The tools for more environmentally-friendly data management

By 2040, information and communication technologies could be responsible for more than 14% of greenhouse gas emissions. And by 2025, data centres will consume nearly 20% of all available electricity. But as an e-commerce manager, you can do your part to reduce the impact on the environment as much as possible!

Data management and storage is important for all businesses, including yours. But there are solutions that you can implement on your end to manage your data in an eco-responsible way. Data is powerful, but it's not exempt from good environmental practices.

Eco-responsibility of the last mile

The last mile before delivery is responsible for 25% of greenhouse gas emissions and is also the most expensive stage in the delivery process. Not to mention that home deliveries often fall through: absent recipient, wrong address, etc.

More resilient data management may be the right solution to address the devastating environmental impact caused by these problems. Antsroute has looked at this issue and has developed software that allows information to be changed in real-time. Organizing delivery routes according to the geography of cities and the presence of the recipients, making appointments, availability of delivery drivers... Enough to make an efficient and ecological delivery route, even in the case of unforeseen delays!

For this purpose, Bigblue has also created an algorithm to correct faulty delivery addresses. Thanks to the development of new technologies, you can organize your logistics, manage hazards and respect your environmental commitments. More efficiency and fewer product returns! 

Protect the environment by choosing a green hosting provider

Like all websites, your e-commerce site will have consumed a lot of electricity since its creation. All data and web pages are stored on a server, which is far from meeting current environmental requirements. The data centers use rare and non-renewable materials for them to run in constant operation. They create heat, and since data centers are so large, they require powerful air conditioning to keep them cool and in working order.In short, the mechanics of running a website is a real ecological nightmare. 

To reduce the negative environmental impact of your site, you can take action into your own hands. Do not just choose any host for your e-commerce site - make sure it has an ecological charter. Some web hosts use mostly green electricity, which is a more natural way to build and maintain websites.

It is important to keep in mind that one website can be more eco-friendly than another. From the host, to site activity, through to its use, the energy consumption of a website is more or less important. To consume less, it is preferable to create a lightweight site with optimized images. If you are unable to calculate the amount of energy your website consumes, you can use the algorithms provided on the Wattimpact site.It gives you an overview of your power consumption and practical advice on how to adopt a more efficient ecological attitude. Boost the environmental performance of your e-commerce site!

What if you became an eco-friendly company too?

Regardless of the size of your company, there are always ways to reduce your environmental impact. To help you facilitate your eco-responsible approach, new technologies are being mobilized.

From data management to pure logistics, through to the optimization of a website, everyone can have a positive eco-balance sheet. By using eco-responsible applications and software, you can reduce your environmental footprint while improving the user experience. A green commitment that benefits everyone!

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Julie Ribeiro
Marketing specialist and content writer at Bigblue.
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