In recent years, online shopping has increased rapidly. Currently, this trend is also being fuelled by the Covid 19 pandemic and, according to many experts' expectations, should continue unabated in the future. As a result, e-commerce in the B2C sector recorded a record turnover of 9.6 billion euros in 2021 (Handelsverband Österreich 2021a) and a record value of 76.5 million parcels delivered in the first quarter of 2021 (Rundfunk und Telekom Regulierungs-GmbH 2021). However, the flood of parcels goes hand in hand with the many negative consequences of a rapidly growing volume of goods traffic in the CEP sector, which manifest themselves in traffic jams, noise pollution, air pollution and a decreasing quality of stay in public spaces. Many authors come to the conclusion that online shopping usually only has a better ecological balance than shopping in stationary retail stores under optimal framework conditions (e.g. promotion of collective orders, sustainable means of transport and avoidance of return shipments and same-day deliveries). On the other hand, frequent multiple deliveries, climate-damaging and underutilised means of transport and, above all, returns, which amount to up to 47% in the clothing sector (Handelsverband Österreich 2021), are currently central problems. In addition, end consumers in online shops often have no or only very limited delivery options to make a sustainable contribution, although many customers already expect companies to act sustainably in this sense (EHI Retail Institute 2021). This is where the preventive and customer-oriented approach of the "Green eCommerce" research project comes in. The existing online shops of the participating partners are being expanded with innovative add-ons based on behavioural and technology-based interventions. With the help of a unique combination of a gamified loyalty system that rewards users for high compliance, for example, persuasive design principles that are characterised by visually highlighting regional products with short delivery routes or collective orders, as well as AI-supported fitting tools and chat bots that automatically measure clothing sizes and point out environmentally friendly delivery options, customers are encouraged to shop more consciously - in the sense of more sustainable goods transport. By involving the practical partners "Julius Meinl am Graben", "Das Gramm", "Kauft Regional" and "Zerum", the developed add-ons can be tested in real-life operations for different objectives, target groups and different product groups, which have a strong effect on delivery. In addition, the entire process between online retailers - online consumers - CEP service providers can be analysed through the integration of innovative logistics services from NME. The project generates valuable insights into the suitability of innovative forms of intervention to sensitise and motivate online customers for sustainable goods transport - in the sense of avoiding, shifting and optimising transport.
Wernbacher, T.; Pfeiffer, A.; Kraus, C.; Wimmer, S.; Platzer, M.; Seewald, A. and Winter, T. (2022). Green eCommerce: Promotion of climate-friendly online deliveries by means of user-oriented interventions in existing online shops.