How to Create a Triple Win in Your ECommerce Store

Have you ever bought something online, and instantly felt a wave of guilt about your purchase?

I know I have.

But when I bought my first pair of TOMS, I felt good. Why? Because I knew that they would match my purchase with a pair of shoes for someone in need.

TOMS Nepal Boots

My TOMS Nepal Boots… so comfy!

Everybody wins right? I get my new boots, TOMS gets a sale, and someone in need gets a pair of shoes. Goodbye shopping guilt, hello warm and fuzzy feelings.

Well, it turns out I’m not alone in this emotional response. According to a recent Nielsen study, Doing Well by Doing Good, over half of global respondents are willing to pay more for products and services that have a positive social and environmental impact.

Willing to Pay More

Interestingly, more respondents from Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Middle East/Africa than the global average were willing to pay more, at 64%, 64% and 63% respectively. (Note: it’s possible these results are skewed towards younger and more affluent people because the study was conducted online).

As the chart below shows, willingness to pay for sustainable products lower in North America (42%) and Europe (40%), although both regions have still seen an increase in sentiment since 2011.

The trend seems pretty clear. Across the world, people are increasingly willing to pay extra for products and services from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact.

Willingness to Pay More for Sustainable Products Across the World

See… Millennials Aren’t All Bad

According to the study, millennials are the most receptive to sustainability actions.

Approximately half of the respondents who said they would do the following were millennials:

  • pay extra for sustainable product
  • check packaging labels to ensure positive social/environmental impact
  • prefer to work for a sustainable company.

So anyone looking to sell to or hire millennials should consider the sustainability of their business, services and products. The chart below shows the respondents responsiveness to sustainability actions across generations.

Millennials More Responsive to Sustainability Actions


As the study notes, many companies today—like Warby Parker, Smiles for the People (a user of our flagship product WooCommerce Subscriptions!), and of course TOMS—are making a conscious effort to put sustainable practices into action.

These companies are simultaneously achieving three goals: their actions help the environment and society (provided they implement them thoughtfully and ethically); us consumers get to buy the things we want without feeling guilty; and they create goodwill for their reputation and brand.

Seems like a win-win-win situation to me.

Have you tried selling sustainable products in your online store?


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