How to sell eco-friendly products online

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I’m very excited to announce that this month’s blog post will be from a reader, Joyce! She sent me a message a month back asking if she could write a post about ECOpreneurship, or “how to start a business that saves the planet”. I thought it fit very well with the blog’s theme of personal finance and making money.

Now, without further ado, here’s Joyce’s post:

Do you want to make the world a greener place and earn a living while you’re at it? Starting an eco-friendly ecommerce business is a great way to turn your passion for the environment into a career. Yet business ownership is risky too. Use this advice from Little Black Checkbook to start an online business that’s as successful as it is sustainable.

How to get started in ecommerce

So you have an idea. But what does it really take to turn that idea into an online business?

  • The first thing any online business needs is a great name. Try Shopify’s name generator to get ideas for your eco-friendly brand.
  • Register the domain associated with your name and choose a web host. Turnkey ecommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce typically include secure web hosting in their plans.
  • You’ll also need to legally register your business. If you already own an ecommerce business, a “doing business as” lets you branch out under a different name. You can file with a lawyer or use an online service like ZenBusiness.

Choosing an eco-friendly product to sell

Smart product choice is at the center of every successful ecommerce strategy.

  • Eco-conscious consumers want biodegradable or reusable products made from sustainable materials. Trending examples include natural cleaning, cosmetics, kitchen, and baby care products.
  • Use keyword research, competitor analysis, and social media to get product ideas and validate demand for a product.
  • Packaging is just as important as the product itself. Eco-friendly packaging is recyclable, made from recycled materials, and uses less material than conventional packaging.

The best strategies to sell products online

Businesses can manufacture their own eco-friendly products, source inventory from third-party suppliers, or dropship.

  • Dropshipping fulfills orders directly from suppliers. This eliminates the need to purchase and store inventory for your ecommerce business.
  • White labeling takes wholesale products and rebrands them for the retail market. It’s an easy way to start selling without the complexity of product design and development.
  • Manufacturing your own products offers the greatest control. Prioritize sustainable practices and credentials when choosing a manufacturer for eco-friendly goods.

How to market your eco-friendly online store

Consumers are more interested in sustainability than ever, but it still takes work to reach your ideal eco-conscious consumer.

  • Start by analyzing your ideal customer. Understanding customer interests and habits take your direct marketing dollars to the right places.
  • Top methods for ecommerce brands include search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing, influencer marketing, and email marketing.
  • Green certifications are a key way eco-friendly brands create trust with consumers. Reputable green certifications include Green Seal, Leaping Bunny, Rainforest Alliance Certified, and USDA Organic.

Starting an eco-friendly ecommerce business is the perfect way to merge your entrepreneurial goals and passion for the environment. Yet like any business, succeeding in ecommerce requires strategy. Use these resources to inform your ecommerce business plan and start your eco-conscious brand off on the right foot.

Joyce Wilson is passionate about teaching and loves using her writing to help teachers, parents, and students. Teacher Spark was developed for and by educators to share creative ideas for the classroom. We compile practical resources that will inspire student engagement and instill a love for learning.

Thanks so much Joyce for being the first guest post on this blog! If you’re reading this and also interested in contributing to LittleBlackCheckbook, please feel free to send me a message here. As much as I love publishing to this blog, it always gives me a thrill to see others passionate about similar topics.

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