Sustainability is not just a desirability – it’s now a necessity. Businesses are scouring for ways to reduce their carbon output drastically. With eCommerce, using advanced customer data platforms (CDPs) to collect and manage zero-party data can be the key to unlocking significant carbon reductions.

Lean marketing is becoming the buzz of the eCommerce world. Its methodology forms the umbrella approach to making eCommerce lean. Through implementing such a strategy, brands can gather data and trends into what the consumer really cares about. The method eliminates any time or money efficiencies to streamline the whole process. It will remove any activities that don’t bring direct value to that target customer.  

It’s all about creating a sustainable model, both for business and the environment. One that propels the transition from eCommerce to ECOmmerce. 

The climate change concern

Sustainability and its importance with the consumer has transcended its place as solely an ‘area of interest’. In fact, a worldwide research project conducted by Dentsu and Microsoft discovered that 86% were concerned about climate change. This is a higher figure than concerns over the pandemic, health of loved ones, and cost-of-living. 

88% of respondents stated that they would make a sustainable purchase when able to. Also, 87% said they would be willing to change services and products purchased to combat climate change. It’s a concern that’s now woven into every facet of the consumer world. 

There are three scopes of greenhouse gas emissions that companies can account for. These are: direct, indirect and extended chain emissions.

So, when it came to us considering the relationship between emissions and eCommerce, the question was asked: In what ways can modern CDPs be used to reduce emissions?

‘The magnificent seven’

Our analysis sprung up ‘the magnificent seven’ CDP emission cutters. From making lean manufacturing super-lean and developing ‘carbon conscious’ marketing, to custom delivery and data-driven strategy, we delve into each benefit. We’re exploring the use of zero-party data in creating emissions-limiting tools.  

1. Making lean manufacturing ‘superlean’

With lean manufacturing, production is intertwined with the methodology of maximising productivity while concurrently minimising waste. Essentially, anything that doesn’t add value to the customer. 

But there’s a beehive of information on market demand. Customers will gladly share their favourite categories of products, types, brands, sizes, and colours with a company. What could be more accurate than data explicitly and willingly provided by customers themselves? 

By harnessing this zero-party data, you can tailor production and orders accurately and solely to products where there exists a real market demand. This could generate near zero-waste productions, less clearance sales and significant stock costs reduction. All taking down that important carbon footprint while streamlining the marketing operations required. 

Your process is now being driven by data-driven super-lean manufacturing. It is creating effective reductions in company emissions across all scopes. 

2. Supply chain – without the middlemen

Shortening the supply chain may seem the more obvious strategy. It’s the best way in reducing those scope 3 emissions you can’t effectively control yourself. 

It’s all about taking out the middlemen. By adopting a Direct-to-Customer (D2C) model, brands and manufacturers can bypass the traditional chain of supply and get directly to the consumer. It’s a double-handed move, with emissions and costs immediately reduced in one strike. 

If this strategy is then coupled up with the smart utilisation of zero-party data, this D2C model can spark treasured relations with customers. 

3. Sparking efficient, ‘carbon conscious’ marketing communication with hyper-personalisation

Traditional, non-personalised marketing communications seek to convey brands’ products and services with a broad brushstroke for wide-scale audiences. While often incredibly creative, these generalised set of values fail to consider specific and individual details that influence purchasing decisions. Crucially, they’re less energy efficient. 

But if businesses latch onto the modern Customer Data Platform (CDP), they can suddenly produce an array of hyper-personalised messages. They are tailored to purchasing habits, activity and preferences, for every eCommerce customer. There’s no wasteful leaks. Every message hits the inbox of current or potential customers, so efforts are efficient and never in vain. 

Imperatively, this hyper-personalised and direct communication not only delivers high levels of marketing efficiency, but also drastically improves the energy cost of the process. It’s using CDPs, taking advantage of zero-party data, to form ‘carbon conscious’ marketing communication. 

4. Custom packages

Plastic. It’s the dominant form of packaging everyone’s trying to get rid of. And, you guessed it, the intelligent use of zero-party data can help reduce its unnecessary overuse in packaging. 

As the above survey data showcases, if you simply offer the option of preferred packaging during checkout, most customers will probably opt for ‘environmentally friendly’ and accept the increased cost to match their preferences. 

More environmentally friendly ticks means less plastic orders in direct operations. 

5. Custom delivery

Much like packaging, delivery can also be set up to incorporate sustainable methods. For example, customers could choose to deliver to a parcel locker, resulting in less fuel consumption. By offering options and harnessing data, brands can optimise their delivery processes in line with customers’ desires. 

6. Data-driven companies mean less mistakes and lower carbon footprints

If you make zero-party data an integral component of all company decisions, methodologies and strategies, you’ll be shrinking the carbon footprint across the board. Every decision made by a company has an ‘emissions tax’ – but you can’t argue with objective data. It provides the evidence and reliability to eradicate ill-thought out decisions that could hamper sustainability and the overall carbon footprint. Then it’s a process of ‘how you use it’. 

7. Unified profiles mean less redundant data and fewer operations

Following on from this holistic process is the creation of single unified customer profiles to make masses of energy savings. Without CDPs, the amount of data floating about is often doubled – if not more. Its management, storage and use in operations all requires electricity. 

By employing a unified and holistic dataset, brands can swerve redundant processes, such as renewing separate profiles in multiple systems with the same data. All company divisions have the ability to access unified profiles and benefit from every data entry, so wide-scale energy and operations efficiency can be achieved. 

From zero (party data) to (eco) hero

There’s really nothing to lose in integrating data-driven sustainability into your eCommerce operations. The consumer appetite is there. The world’s future is dependent on it. While many things need to come together to achieve true change, each action adds to this goal. 

Turning your marketing lean by using customer data platforms and zero-party data can set you on the road to a sustainable business and low carbon footprint model. With this, you can unlock ‘the magnificent seven’ emission cutter benefits – making the transition from initially harnessing zero-party data to entering the eco hero realm. Now it’s no longer eCommerce, but ECOmmerce.

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