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The online shopping revolution

The online shopping revolution

Many advantages, and a few drawbacks

The rise of e-commerce has brought many advantages. For consumers, it means the possibility of accessing products that are not sold in their cities or towns, finding better prices, comparing easily... and of course the incomparable convenience of shopping from anywhere and receiving the products at home.

For companies, the benefits are also innumerable. Reducing costs, staying "open" 24 hours a day, being able to reach consumers from everywhere, being able to continue operating in adverse times, for example when consumers could not go out…

And the drawbacks?

The exponential growth of e-commerce has also generated an environmental problem that until now has not been talked about enough: the impact of returns.

Who hasn't experienced this? You “fall in love” with something, buy it and then realize that you are not going to use it; you buy a certain size or colour thinking that it will be fine and then it is not; you receive an item whose finish or features do not convince you; you make a gift with the best intentions and, however, the recipient does not end up liking it ... and you want to return your purchase.

And that's perfectly fine. That’s why the right to exchange something or return it, when we change our mind or for whatever reason we are not satisfied with the purchase, has existed for so many years.

The problem comes from an excessive and unjustified use of this right, which generates a huge amount of waste and carbon emissions.

The return process and its implications

When we return a product, either by sending it back ourselves or by asking the online store to send a carrier to pick up the package and take it back to their warehouse, we are doubling the impact of transporting the original purchase, both economically and environmentally.

In many cases, the product has been shipped from another city or even another country, which increases the amount of carbon emissions and therefore the contribution to climate change.

The return may require a new bag or box, labels... also increasing the associated waste, which is not always easy to recycle or manage properly.

Finally, once the product returns to the shop or warehouse, the company burdens handling, storage and even recycling costs, if it cannot be resold.


Reducing the number of returns needs everyone's commitment

To reduce the environmental impact of e-commerce returns, it is important that both brands and consumers become aware of the consequences of our consumption decisions and opt for more responsible processes and habits.

For consumers, before buying, it is important to think carefully about what we are going to spend, read product descriptions and specifications and make sure it is what we really need. It is also important to choose brands whose sites offer clear information about their return policies and have a more sustainable approach to their supply chain. Impulse buying is a big enemy of our wallets and sustainability.

For brands, it is essential to provide clear and accurate information about each of their products. True-to-life photos, including different views of the product and details; detailed descriptions of functionalities, sizes and weights; specifications for use and restrictions, reviews from other users that can clear up doubts and show experiences of use; frequently asked questions... the more information the user has, the more conscious their choice will be and, consequently, the less likely they are to return it.

LAKEN's commitment to sustainability

In summary, e-commerce can be a great option for consumers, but it is important to remember the environmental impact of returns and take steps to reduce our ecological footprint. By shopping more consciously and choosing sustainable online stores, we can help protect the environment and create a greener future for everyone.

For our part, LAKEN's commitment to sustainability includes a policy of reducing returns through careful product presentation and dedicated customer service, both before and after purchase. If you have any questions about a purchase you wish to make, we invite you to contact us through our contact form or by phone at 968 880 850 (Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

It is time to become aware. Change is in our hands.

Posted on 03/10/2023 516


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