How to Move Towards Ethical E-Commerce in 2022

July 22, 2022

Ethical e-commerce has been a consumer concern since the online market opened, but in recent years, customers have grown increasingly invested in issues like sustainability, labour practices, and energy usage.

Consumers are willing to pay higher prices for a product or service if they know that the business aligns with their values.

Improving these areas is a long-term undertaking for many businesses. Changes to supply, production, inventory, and energy usage take time – even if this is something your business is committed to improving, the results might not be where you want them to be yet.

But there’s one step towards ethical e-commerce you can take in the immediate future: transparency.

Consumers are looking for information about the businesses they engage with, and if your business openly provides that information, it lets consumers know that you’re invested in being held accountable. Listing this information on your website, social media, and marketing shows the world that you want to engage in ethical e-commerce.

Here are four areas you can focus on to improve your business’s transparency:


Even if your business isn’t where you want it to be when it comes to the concerns of ethical e-commerce, give your customers the facts as they are. If a consumer has to dig for the information they’re looking for, and can only find it on a third-party website, they might get the impression that your business is purposefully trying to hide details.

Openly providing these details yourself, in an accessible form, tells the consumer that your business is approaching this issue with integrity.

Be sure to be honest about your business’s successes, too! If there’s an ethical e-commerce step your business has taken, like switching to a more sustainable packaging method or integrating renewable energy, include it in your marketing or landing page.


Whenever possible, be specific about the facts you include. While customers will be glad to hear that you’re committed to ethical e-commerce practices, they will also respond well to the ways that you’re showing that commitment.

Think about the old writing advice, “show, don’t tell” – what statistics, data, projects, or other concrete forms of information can you use to illustrate your ideas?

You can also use metaphors to make information easier to understand. Converting “50,000 watts” to “the same amount of energy used by 35 dishwashers” gives your customer facts that are more digestible.


Openly state your ideas, goals, and progress for various areas in ethical e-commerce. If you’re working towards completely recyclable packaging, for example, you can announce that intention. You can even advertise updates on your social media or create a campaign to keep customers aware of your progress.

Whatever your plan, be sure that you include an end goal, and make it clear what the concrete improvements will be. Just like the previous example, using clear details or points of reference will make it easier for consumers to understand your progress. If you can estimate how much waste will be kept out of a landfill every year by making this change, share that in your updates!


Customers want information, but they also want to feel like they’re part of the discussion around e-commerce. Providing a dedicated channel for feedback gets your customers engaged, and lets you know what they want to see.

You could use a survey, provide a messaging link, or even host a Q&A on social media. Whatever you do, you can use the strategies we’ve discussed to let them know they’ve been heard.


Ethical e-commerce is a complex goal, but providing honest, detailed information, making your plans clear, and inviting feedback are some simple steps you can take towards better business practices and increased consumer trust.

Building this relationship may take time, but it creates a solid foundation for consumers who will keep coming back to a business that respects their values and interests.

ITQ Digital are looking to work with owners of online businesses starting their ethical and sustainable journey.

One of our clients Pulsar UK launched their Be Green Seen campaign with a great video that encompasses many of the suggestions we have covered.  

If you want to learn more about how your online business can move towards a more ethical approach, book a free clinic with us today!