Customer behaviours shaping sustainability of e-commerce

June 28, 2024 | 19:00
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Changes in consumer habits are putting e-commerce platforms under pressure to transform sustainably.

Consumer demand is growing rapidly and diversely, requiring quick adaptation and response from both sellers and buyers, and is one of the three main trends that have a profound impact on global e-commerce, according to a report announced by last week.

Customer behaviours shaping sustainability of e-commerce
Customer behaviours shaping sustainability of e-commerce - illustration photo/ Source: Shutterstock

The report, titled Explore the Future of Business-to-Business E-commerce, noted, “Consumers are increasingly paying more attention to sustainable products. According to IBM Research, 77 per cent of consumers consider sustainability and environmental responsibility to be relatively important brand values.”

The report also cites the results of a survey of more than 2.7 billion internet users worldwide conducted by UK research company GWI in Q3/2023 to confirm that nearly 85 per cent of consumers prefer to experience products from socially responsible brands and attach importance to sustainability.

Last year, released top insights on sustainable product demand from buyers worldwide in 2022-2023. Mike Zhang, head of Vietnam business at said that the company is using this data to help small businesses and suppliers alike recognise the global need and increasing demand for sustainable products. “A key indicator of growth for sustainable product demand includes a large uptick in keyword searches relating to sustainability on’s request for quotation feature, which allows buyers to share their requirements for product design and manufacturing and receive pricing details from desired suppliers,” Zhang said. saw an 88 per cent global rise in keywords such as sustainable, eco-friendly, biodegradable, organic, and reusable over the past year, and the top five countries purchasing sustainable products on were the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Germany, he added.

In Vietnam, a survey conducted by NielsenIQ Vietnam in 2023 on the consumer habits of Vietnamese people revealed that sustainability and environmental friendliness are one of the five key factors influencing customers’ purchasing decisions. Some 55 per cent of respondents considered this factor to be highly important, while 37 per cent considered it to be important.

Grasping that mentality, some e-commerce platforms not only increase the presence of environmentally friendly products from responsible suppliers but also make efforts to find solutions for conversion to more sustainable business models, especially in reducing emissions in operations to gain sympathy from customers.

According to a report by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Lazada last year, the sustainability of e-commerce platforms is shown in business models, product value, ecosystem development, and financial management.

“Focusing on developing business models in depth, changing operations based on understanding consumer needs will be a long-term strategy that will create the next push for e-commerce,” commented Dang Anh Dung, deputy general director of Lazada Vietnam.

Since 2017, Lazada has changed its thinking about using delivery vehicles, bringing electric bicycles into transportation. Lazada’s e-bikes have a large trunk, 50 per cent higher load capacity than regular motorbikes, contributing to saving 25-35 per cent of fuel costs and 50 per cent of maintenance costs, and are considered a way to improve environmental pollution in large cities.

Lazada also strives to convert to using solar energy at distribution centres in Indonesia and Vietnam, applying AI technology to automate up to 99 per cent, while machine learning helps to increase operating efficiency and reduce emissions.

The e-commerce platform also strives to reduce waste from product materials and packaging by limiting plastic waste. A 2023 environmental report published by Lazada shows that, in just one year, it reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 10 per cent compared to the same period last year. According to a report on plastic packaging waste from e-commerce in Vietnam in 2023 from the Vietnam E-commerce Association, with a growth rate of over 25 per cent annually, by 2030, the amount of plastic waste from e-commerce will reach 800,000 tonnes.

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By Tra My

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