Climate Conscious Commerce: Green UX for a more environmentally sustainable e-commerce –

Climate Conscious Commerce: Green UX for a more environmentally sustainable e-commerce –

According to Nielsen Norman Group ‘User experience (UX), includes all the aspects of the interaction between the end-user with the company, its services and its products.’ So, we can see how UX design can be fundamental in making it easy for consumers to find and purchase products and services that are more sustainable. You may think that it is delivery and returns where we can make the biggest impact, but we will show that you can make a difference throughout the entire purchase flow.

We care about the environment!

When a user arrives at your site, be upfront about your green credentials. Customers are actively seeking environmentally friendly brands and make very quick assumptions about your business and products. If it is not easy to see your returns or delivery options or how your goods are produced, they will look elsewhere. The Swedish Sportswear brand Houdini features a category called ‘Miljöarbete (Environmental work)’ in their main menu. The category includes links to their environmental strategy, their production process and what materials they use, and even a guide for how to wash and care for your clothes to ensure a longer lifespan. It is important to use clear language for these categories, make it easy to understand, avoid industry jargon or brand-specific names. If you must use these terms, explain what it means. The Swedish pharmaceutical chain Kronans Apotek has a USP (Unique Selling Point) for ‘Hållbar frakt (Sustainable delivery)’ at the top of their website. It is a simple statement that is a strong signal for consumers looking for environmentally conscious companies.

Browsing and search

Make it easy for your customers to find products that are ecological. Cleary label product cards on the product listing page that they are eco products. Ideally, you shouldn’t rely solely on a symbol, that can be ambiguous. For example, Swedish online fashion company NA-KD uses a symbol and text to highlight their second-hand clothes and uses the text badge ‘More sustainable’ to label products that are made from ecological materials. Using text also means that screen readers can read the content for partially sighted or blind users.

If you have ecological products make it easy to find them using search. Make sure ecological products are mapped to a wide range of sustainable search terms like eco, ecological, recycled, organic, responsible, sustainable, etc… Zalando and the Swedish pharmacy chain Apoteket do a good job with this, returning search results on most of these search terms and clearly labeling the products. You could also consider using search to make sustainable products more visible to the customer. For example, if a customer searched for ‘Hand cream’ you could show the results for creams that are made of organic raw materials on the top of the list, which would help to nudge customers in making an ecological purchase.

The alternative to searching for products is browsing, with the main menu being the common starting point for many users. Here you could have a category for sustainability that collects all sustainable products within that section. The Danish fashion brand Ganni has categories for ‘Responsible material’ …….


Ecological products