The Economic and Environmental Benefits of Ecommerce

Learn how the economic and environment advantages of selling online impact sellers.

By Miva | April 14, 2021
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As ecommerce continues to grow rapidly and alter the business landscape, there is increasing discussion about its impact on the world. We know that there are advantages of business selling online by expanding their reach and cutting overhead costs, but what about ecommerce’s impact on the environment? 

In this article, we discuss the economic and environmental advantages of internet selling and what the implications mean for all online businesses. 

Sustained Growth Leads to Greater Innovation 

Ecommerce is growing at a striking pace, on track to surpass $1 trillion in sales by 2022. With greater market share and fewer barriers to entry than traditional brick-and-mortar commerce, the current ecommerce climate is driving entrepreneurship and encouraging businesses of all sizes to compete. This sustained growth and activity leads to more online experiences for all customers.  

Ecommerce has grown in popularity because of the convenience, value, and choice it offers consumers. The increase in online shopping generates new economy growth and spurs innovation among sellers, getting them to pinpoint what makes their product unique and create a compelling experience that keeps customers coming back. This creates greater incentive for customers to shop online and drives growth for the economy overall. 

The Future Economy Whitepaper

Ecommerce is Your Lifeline During Times of Uncertainty 

One of the benefits of online retailing is that it is a viable lifeline for businesses during turbulent economic times. The impact of the global pandemic has accelerated a mass pivot to online selling. Ecommerce has become essential for virtually all product types and a way forward for businesses. By actively investing in ecommerce, companies are in a better position to achieve successful results in the future. 

While the ecommerce space is more competitive than ever, it also provides tremendous opportunities for businesses to stand out. Online merchants are focusing on more strategic initiatives to garner a competitive edge and future-proof their business. 

Ecommerce Offers Benefits for the Environment 

Beyond the ways ecommerce can improve the economy of a country, it can also reduce its carbon footprint. According to a global study by Generation IM, ecommerce is 17% more carbon-efficient than traditional retail stores. 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 ecommerce brands continue to make real and impactful changes to promote sustainability, this will lead to more positive long-term benefits for the environment.  

Environmental Concerns Create Opportunities for Sellers 

With interest in online shopping still on the rise, there are increasing concerns about its impact on the environment. Today’s shoppers are calling for businesses to be more sustainable and transparent. Sellers are finding that it’s imperative to improve the sustainability of their business practices and operations, especially as today’s shoppers prefer to buy from eco-friendly brands

In a competitive market in which brand loyalty is not guaranteed, sustainable programs can serve as a way for online companies to win over shoppers and differentiate from their competitors. Whether it’s making changes to their supply chain or updating their packaging, online sellers are innovating their businesses to increase productivity while reducing waste and minimizing their impact on the planet. This will enable ecommerce to become greener, faster, and more sustainable in the long run.  

Ecommerce is (Still) Good for the Planet and the Economy 

The rapid shift from offline to online sales has shown no signs of slowing down. Ecommerce boosts the economy by increasing productivity, encouraging innovation, and driving better shopping experiences. In addition, ecommerce creates opportunities for protecting the planet, both for forward-thinking sellers and for eco-conscious shoppers. As ecommerce continues to grow, the economic and environmental benefits are sure to follow. 

Looking to increase your company’s sustainability efforts? Download this guide.

The No-Greenwashing Guide to Sustainable Ecommerce | Free Guide


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Author's Bio


Miva offers a flexible and adaptable ecommerce platform that evolves with businesses and allows them to drive sales, maximize average order value, cut overhead costs, and increase revenue. Miva has been helping businesses realize their ecommerce potential for over 20 years and empowering retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sellers across all industries to transform their business through ecommerce.

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