“Going Green” when purchasing products is one of the new crazes sweeping the United States. Energy and environment friendly is the main focus of the product offering. Especially in e-Commerce, with such a diverse consumer base, there are many aspects of the ‘green’ offering that must be considered. Even though it is likely that sales for ‘green’ products will be plentiful, there are several questions to ask your vendor before adding them to your offering. Here are a few:
- What is the specification that is met that allows this product to be considered ‘green’? How will you advertise or note which specification is met?
- Where does the demand for this product come from (i.e. How is it energy or environmentally friendly)?
- Does the product require any additional compliance or registration that you need to ensure the customer is aware of?
- Is there any additional benefit for your company in selling this product (i.e. Does your company get a write off or a return because it has a green offering)?
- Is there any local reward or reimbursement programs that your customer would be eligible for? How are you going to convey those promotions?
While it is tempting to rush into current trends, even in e-Commerce, methodical, disciplined and thoughtful steps must be taken before jumping on the band wagon. If a vendor approaches you to sell their green products, be aware of any and all possible restrictions or standards that are now going to be applied to your company. Be cautious of additional costs or regulations that your customers might be subject to that they should be aware of. Also, it is very important to understand why the product is considered ‘green’, what product it is replacing and how that information is going to be presented to the customer in an understandable manner.
Of course, there are many other questions to ask a potential vendor that are not listed, but these will get you started in your effort to Go Green!