The Importance of Community Within Sustainable Ecommerce

What is it they say about safety in numbers? And birds of a feather? When it comes to sustainable ecommerce, when we work together, we are exponentially greater than the sum of our parts.

Seeking out community within the space of mission-led online retail has many benefits, and this article will help shine a light on the many opportunities that exist for brands looking to go further and do even more good.

The Opportunity…

The ecommerce industry is booming, with the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating the sector by as much as 5 years. This is good news for business, but amps up the pressure, as well as the expectations of our customers.

While many brands competing within the same verticle will go head to head for custom, there’s a unique opportunity for community support and collaboration within the sustainable, mission-focused niche. While ecommerce is traditionally a fairly cut-throat space (and getting ever more competitive) being driven by a greater “common good” presents a really exciting opportunity for brands to team up and win.

Because brands are generally driven by their values and altruistic goals, the idea of sharing learnings, leads and promotional opportunities is a welcome one.

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How Can This Help Your Brand?

When it comes to learning from (and reciprocally educating) fellow mission-led online retailers, there are many options to explore. Traditionally, mentorship is a popular pathway. Whether your a seasoned veteran looking to share your wisdom with a plucky young padawan, or fresh to the scene and looking to learn from a brand you respect, mentorship can be richly rewarding for both parties. This can be as formal or informal as you like, but it never hurts to reach out and ask, so we’d highly recommend considering what you might be able to gain from this type of arrangement.

There may also be financially beneficial opportunities on offer as a result of teaming up with a brand operating in a similar area to your own, in terms of co-sourcing products, negotiating bulk discounts (on packaging etc) and sharing wider business resources.

Finally, cross-promotion can play a huge role in helping accelerate your ecommerce business. Why does this work so well within the “for good” vertical? Audiences tend to be closely aligned – this means that when they’re exposed to your products (and associated mission) you can assume a good fit. Its this principal that GoodCarts is built upon: get your brand in front of a perfectly targeted new audience, for free!

Find your people: where to look for community

So, where should you be looking to find “your people?” As befits an online business (and as we’re still dealing with many pandemic restrictions) online communities offer your fastest and most efficient route to support and connection.

GoodCarts has put together a helpful community group spreadsheet to get you started with some pointer towards some great places to get started, covering Facebook and LinkedIn. Bookmark our groups page for more useful content around these topics in future.

Podcasts can also be a great resource – not just to listen to; actively reach out, see if you can participate! Getting your name and your brand out there in front of the community is important and you never know what it might lead to.

Some communities are less clearly defined by a single “home” or base. Many vibrant communities naturally build up around specific hashtags linked to a specialism on Instagram, Twitter and much more. Take time to do a little digging into the hashtags that relate to your own vertical, and see what conversations, education and connections are being made out there on social channels.

Finally, don’t forget to keep abreast of newer options such as Clubhouse – a voice-based social network.

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Some recommendations…

Some great places to get started when looking for likeminded online retailers include:

Ready to get connected?

Hopefully, at this point, you’re feeling fired up to get out there and start making some new connections, forging some genuine and mutually beneficial collaborations. MindfulCommerce and GoodCarts are both founded upon the principle of “stronger together” – and with so much at stake, when it comes to helping sustainable, mission-led businesses thrive, we very much hope to be a part of your continued journey.

Check out The MindfulCommerce Community / MindfulCommerce Directory to find fellow brands and ecommerce experts who share your values.

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