Variety of choice, ordering and payment in three clicks, speed of delivery … The ease and time savings of e-commerce are attracting more and more consumers. But this progression has an environmental impact and raises ethical questions: production conditions, product transport, packaging, overconsumption, etc.
We are particularly wary of these elements:
- Limited time baskets or sales. You have 15 minutes to validate your basket at the risk of not being able to buy the chosen products – which are available in limited quantities, of course. Or the items are only sold on promotion for a few hours. All with a well-highlighted countdown. The goal ? Maintain the impression of rarity, exclusivity, the impression of doing good business. And prevent overthinking or comparing, which could distract from the purchase.
- Strikethrough prices. Many merchant sites display a crossed out “retail price” and indicate the reduction they are offering the consumer. It is always interesting to check at what price the product is usually sold (for example with a price tracker or a comparator like idealo.fr, comparer.be, kelkoo, keepa…). Comparing with the usual price sometimes avoids buying too quickly while thinking of taking advantage of a great promo. It is not uncommon to find the product at the same price in stores and on a “private sales” site.
In fact, there are so many specials that we still wonder why we would buy at full price. And even if there is still a full price. When will you see the promo on the promo or -15% on the “1 plus 1 free”?
In short, we take advantage of promotions on really useful products , which we would have bought anyway. But we avoid letting them dictate additional purchases because we can quickly spend a lot of money on products that we do not really need.
Reduce your exposure to advertising
On the Internet, even more than elsewhere, advertising is targeted. The tools of online marketing are powerful and do everything to encourage overconsumption.
Indeed, our browsing history feeds the advertising agencies. The goal ? Offer us products that may be of interest to us. We do research to find out how to fix a broken toaster and, as if by magic, offers for brand new toasters, cheaper than cheap, appear in emails, on the sidelines of search engines, on the website of ‘info that you consult or in your Facebook thread.
And if a drill in super promo will indeed be less expensive than the full price, it will remain more expensive than “no drill at all”, especially if the neighbor is willing to lend his.
Choose carefully so as not to return the product.
It is transport that weighs down the ecological balance of online sales . There is delivery to the consumer… plus the reverse route if the product is returned .
We therefore avoid as much as possible:
- journeys to see the product in store without buying it (this is especially true if one goes expressly for that by car), that one then buys it in store or online;
- order several products online “to try” before reshiping half of them, taking advantage of the free return.
Obviously, buying a product without seeing it is sometimes difficult (for example for clothes, bulky objects such as furniture, etc.).
It is therefore particularly useful to learn about your purchase before placing an order. But how do you know a product inside out without ever touching it?
For clothes: explore the size guide
It is difficult to buy a garment simply based on its “usual” size, especially if you do not know if the size indicated in the advertisement is a French, German, American size …
Online sales sites sometimes offer other information:
- A size guide. We take your measurements (waist, chest, crotch, etc.) and compare them to the guide to choose the size that best fits.
- The type of cut. For the same size, a slim, regular or relaxed fit influences the way the garment is worn. This information is sometimes given in the form of “size large” or “close to the body”. Trousers are sometimes sold in multiple leg lengths, or in “short” or “long” versions.
- The measurements of the model wearing the item of clothing shown. Sometimes we even have the same garment worn by several different people, even with the model’s comment. If you get closer to your measurements, it can give an idea of the final result on you.
- The exact dimensions of the clothes. Convenient for oneself but also for a gift. A few measurements on a garment that we already have, to compare with those of the coveted garment, and we are (almost) certain not to make any mistakes!
For electrical and electronic devices: read the tests of specialized sites
- the quality of the keyboard if you type long texts
- to the quality of the screen if you want to retouch photos (respect for colors), use the computer outdoors (maximum brightness) …
- autonomy if you are often far from a catch