What are green energy products and how can you effectively sell them online? Let’s explore how green energy products could help combat climate change and how you can switch to a more environmentally-friendly business model.
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Products that use energy generated from natural resources such as sunlight, water, and wind, are green energy products.
These products frequently use renewable energy sources, and because of the need to conserve the environment in the 21st century, people are increasingly turning to use these products.
Solar products fall into two broad categories; one, solar photovoltaic-based products that produce electricity to power DC type of electrical devices, and the other, solar thermal systems that use the heat to produce heating which can be used for generating hot water or for cooking.
Wind energy depends on the strength of the wind. It comes from turbines, called wind turbines or air turbines, which convert the kinetic energy of the wind into electricity.
Hydraulic or hydroelectric energy transforms the kinetic energy of water into electricity through hydroelectric plants. Like wind or solar power, hydropower is intermittent: it depends on the flow of water (dams, rivers, streams, etc.) and on rainfall. In other words, the drier the year, the less hydroelectric energy will be produced and vice versa.
Green power energy does not pollute the environment as, unlike fossil fuels, its sources are easily renewed.
Renewables were the only energy source for which demand increased in 2020 despite the pandemic, while consumption of all other fuels declined.
Fossil fuels are limited, and they have unpredictable costs. Technological advancements have helped in the production of various energy services with renewable energy sources. Moreover, the governments of many countries have started investing in the renewable energy sector. All these activities have increased growth opportunities in this sector.
The global renewable energy market was valued at $881.7 billion in 2020, and is projected to reach $1,977.6 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 8.4% from 2021 to 2030.1
E-commerce is changing approaches to sustainability globally — especially in the supply chain, where companies are investing in electrification, efficiency, and eco-friendly materials, according to research from express delivery and logistics firm DHL.
Researchers say the rapid growth of e-commerce is yielding immediate opportunities to reduce emissions in the supply chain while also challenging retailers, logistics companies, and policy-makers to collaborate on ways to address environmental issues.
According to the DHL/Morning Consult survey of U.S. consumers, more than half of respondents (54%) said their online shopping habits increased during the pandemic, and the majority (60%) said they are willing to pay more for environmentally friendly products and services. What’s more, 54% said they put more trust in a company based on its public commitments to environmental sustainability, listing carbon emissions, green energy, waste, alternative fuels, and sustainable packaging as the five most important factors in helping the environment.2
Researchers said the survey results reflect the influential role supply chain sustainability will play in the competitiveness of e-commerce businesses in the future.
Environmental and sustainability awareness has long been a trend in e-commerce. In a bid to successfully address increasing demands for sustainability from their consumers, online retailers are pondering on topics like corporate social responsibility and eco-friendly approaches in the supply chain.
E-commerce companies often still have a bad reputation in terms of green business practices. In reality, however, in many cases e-commerce offers economic and environmental benefits.
Beyond the ways e-commerce can improve the economy of a country, it can also reduce its carbon footprint.
According to a global study by Generation IM, e-commerce is 17% more carbon-efficient than traditional retail stores.3 Carbon efficiency includes areas of the business like product transport, buildings, warehouses, product packaging, and manufacturing. Since online companies rely less on physical store locations, they have more flexibility when it comes to implementing measures that can reduce their carbon emissions.
Today’s consumers are increasingly favoring sustainable businesses that can help them become more responsible shoppers. Leading companies are responding to this consumer demand by using their influence to adopt more sustainable practices and build more trust with their customers. As e-commerce brands continue to make real and impactful changes to promote sustainability, this will lead to more positive long-term benefits for the environment.
There is no doubt that the future of renewable energy is bright. Ultimately, sustainability measures have a positive impact on the environment and by actively promoting it as an online retailer, you will increase customer loyalty and ideally even attract new customers.
While developed countries like the USA have made renewable a household name, people in developing countries are also feeling the need to switch from finite energy sources like coal and petroleum. Hence, launching an online green energy product store makes perfect sense.
Below are crucial steps for building an online renewable energy business and learning how to sell:
You're planning to sell green energy products online. But what exactly? Where? How?
These questions are best answered once you've determined your niche and who your target market is.
Define your ideal customer avatar, which might be one or several.
You may sell products that you have sourced from others or products that you have manufactured yourself. However, before you begin selling them, you must first establish your eco-friendly ethics.
For example, do not offer things that have been tested on animals or include animal substances.
Make sure that all of your products’ materials can be reused and recycled if at all possible.
Make a strategy for how you'll get rid of the objects when they're no longer useful.
It's also critical to encourage sustainability by saving energy and water as much as feasible.
It might be adopting environmentally friendly modes of transportation or choosing environmentally friendly workplace supplies such as coffee cups, printer paper, and so on...
It is also critical to adhere to industry laws. So customers know their consumer rights and feel confident purchasing from you. Regulations vary depending on where you live.
For a business to succeed, it must first establish a legal entity. This protects you as a business owner from liability. It also makes selling your products easier.
Sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation are the most common legal entities. There's also LLC (Limited Liability Company) and S Corp (Stock Corporation) (S Corporation).
You may also get legal advice to help you determine which legal company to form.
As an online product seller, you'll need to open a business bank account. Your organization can benefit significantly from good business banking. Especially if you intend on doing high volumes of international transactions.
For environmentally aware enterprises, there are also eco-friendly banks. It’s worth checking them out since they could be able to help you out with some credit and funding (if applicable).
A business license is required for your online eco-friendly product selling business to thrive. If any legal complications emerge, you will have the upper hand.
Customers are more likely to buy from a licensed eco-friendly goods merchant than from someone who isn't. To obtain a license you can use a renewable energy certificate.
You can get this by registering your firm as an environmental compliance contractor with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
The next step is to set up other necessities to launch your products. It’s a good idea to decide where you will be selling your products.
There are various online platforms to sell your eco-friendly products. Some of your options are –
Choose the best platform that suits you depending on what you’re selling and where you’re selling.
These days, environmentally friendly businesses are getting increasingly popular. You might be motivated to embrace more sustainable practices because you want to help the environment. Being an eco-friendly business, on the other hand, is a smart approach to increasing revenue.
As we discussed earlier, the demand for environmentally friendly products is skyrocketing. According to one survey, 72% of people around the world are buying more environmentally friendly products.4 They're also more inclined to support companies that promote green practices in general.
So putting an additional focus on green practices and actively communicating them is key. There are several things you can do as an e-commerce business owner to make your online store more environmentally friendly. The following are some helpful tips:
One of the most important steps towards becoming an environmentally friendly e-commerce company is developing eco-friendly shipping practices. This is something that many e-commerce brands overlook.
Here are some steps you can take to make your shipping eco-friendlier:
There are several products that are more ecologically friendly than others. If you stock these items, you'll have an easier time developing a long-term brand image. This is one of the most essential techniques to reduce your e-commerce company's carbon footprint.
Here are some top-selling green energy equipments in case you are still unsure about what to sell in your store:
Other examples are: recycled products, items made from natural and renewable materials (such as natural fibers, cork, clay, or flowers), previously owned clothes, or cosmetics made of natural products. All of these are popular with eco-conscious shoppers, and will reduce the impact of your business on the planet.
Try to understand more about the reputation of the providers with whom you will be working. There are a variety of websites that may assist you in determining how environmentally friendly certain businesses are. Two of the top eco-certification sites are Ecolabel Index and Ecocert.
You need a power purchase agreement (PPA) when you buy electricity directly from the production. This is the case when you have solar panels installed in your homes. You need a PPA to buy that electricity.
As subsidies for renewable energies are currently being brought down, project developers are looking for new ways of making money. We clearly see that in Germany for example, where the subsidies for the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) are severely brought down. PPA’s seem to be a new way of making income for solar projects.
On the side of the energy buyer we see different things going on. They are looking for a competitive advantage by buying energy in a PPA, at a cost that is structurally lower than the cost they would pay if they consume that electricity from the grid.
Another reason to sign a PPA is to achieve your sustainability goals. It’s a way of saying that you’re consuming electricity directly from a renewable source.
You'll want to inform your customers about your company's dedication to ecological sustainability. You'll want to create your company's brand image around its environmental policies.
If environmental issues haven't already been a part of your business, you need to make some adjustments to your marketing. You don't have to entirely overhaul your brand image, but you can preserve the other essential parts and simply include your new sustainability ethos.
You'll want to talk about the precise efforts you've made to make your business greener in order to be authentic with your messaging. You must promote your sustainability activities publicly and make them a central component of your brand.
You may not be liable for holding a large amount of goods on your own as an e-commerce business. You will, however, be working with a variety of materials. To operate a successful business, you'll still need to process documents and a variety of other items. If you're in charge of generating your own inventory, you'll have to consider it as well.
You should have a policy in place that encourages your staff to recycle items that might otherwise be thrown away.
Detailed descriptions and high-quality photos help businesses reduce the number of returns. The more accurate the description, the higher the chance that a customer will be satisfied with their purchase.
Now is your chance to use this knowledge and implement a sustainable strategy for your online shop. This can be done by adapting your product range to the growing needs of your customers or adding new product categories which are environmentally sustainable. This is particularly worthwhile for shop owners in the fashion, home, or beauty sectors since there is a high consumer willingness to buy ecological and sustainable products.
Taking advantage of online shopping’s growth in third-and-lower tier cities in recent years, as well as the expansion of electronic payment methods and cross-border online shopping, Alibaba has grown to be China’s largest e-commerce company, with 828 million active consumers.5
In December 2021, the Alibaba Group published the Carbon Neutrality Report, pledging to reach carbon neutrality by 2030. The company is planning to achieve this goal not only by making its supply chains, packaging, and transportation networks more sustainable but also by mobilizing actions and behavioral changes among consumers, merchants and partners in China and around the world.6
The rapid shift from offline to online sales has shown no signs of slowing down. E-commerce boosts the economy by increasing productivity, encouraging innovation, and driving better shopping experiences. In addition, e-commerce creates opportunities for protecting the planet, both for forward-thinking sellers and for eco-conscious shoppers. As e-commerce continues to grow, the economic and environmental benefits are sure to follow.
Open a seller account and shape your brand ethos by selling green energy products with Alibaba.com.