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Ecommerce, Retail & Inventory

Tips for a Nearly Paperless eCommerce Business

Getting rid of paper when attempting to go green with your business can sometimes be impossible. Yes, quite a few customers do like things such as paperless billing, but many still do not. They love having a “thing” in their hands to look over and keep track of.

As a result, you’re left with at least some paper left over. However, this doesn’t mean you just give up! There are still ways to continue to cut down on the amount of paper used by your business. Instead of making huge leaps and bounds, it’s the little things that count when being eco-friendly, and paper is no different.

Here are a few areas you can cut out some paperwork and help save the environment.

Instructions

Does your product require a manual or some type of instruction booklet? Instead of shipping the manual with the product, simply include a link for customers to find it online. You can even turn the manual into a PDF file so they keep it on their computers for future use.

As with a lot of these ideas, you can make this paperless manual an optional thing. If you do, try to give some incentive. Most of the companies that provide your utilities have paperless options and give a small discount. Perhaps you can give your customers some help for choosing to help out the Earth?

Billing

This is the obvious one, and the paperwork that goes with billing is some of the most wasteful out there. Not only is it usually unnecessarily long, half the time it doesn’t get saved anyway. Oh, people like to claim they’re going to save it for later to verify their bank account, but do they really? If they’re like me, no, and I eventually had to come to grips with that about myself.

That’s why paperless billing is so important. However, your business isn’t exempt from this rule either. There are plenty of companies out there that have paperless billing options for their customers but then turn right around and print out needless copies for their own records. Doesn’t that defeat the point?

Instead, keep all that stuff on your computer, or upload it to a file saving service like Mozy if you’re afraid of losing it. Resist the powerful urge to stow away records that you swear you’ll look at again but never actually do.

Convert Old Documents

Speaking of old documents sitting around in a corner office somewhere, if you’re going to go fully (nearly) paperless they will need to be converted into digital files too. This may be why some companies continue to print out unnecessary receipts and bills, as they don’t want to interrupt their routine.

Even worse, converting these documents could take forever. Now you can safely ignore the digital versions and send the paper versions to the recycling center!