The Rise of Conscious Consumers: How to Align Your eCommerce Brand with Customer Values


eCommerce Competition

eCommerce has surged in recent years as online shopping has become the default for customers worldwide. With user-friendly platforms like Shopify, we are seeing more online retailers than ever before. In 2023, it is estimated that there will be 36 million e-commerce retailers worldwide.

This means that if you run an eCommerce brand, there is more competition than ever. Not only is it getting more expensive to get in front of potential customers, but it is increasingly difficult to convert them into paying customers and, ultimately, into loyal brand advocates.


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Changing Customer Values

In line with this surge in eCommerce, we have also seen a shift in consumer spending habits. Historically, pricing has been the most important factor for retail consumers. However, this is no longer the case. According to a recent report by IBM, more customers are choosing to shop with brands that align with their personal values. If a consumer cares about the environment they will choose to shop with brands that also care about the environment. 

This means that online brands have to align with the important social and environmental issues that their customers care about. While this may seem like a big challenge for emerging brands, it is actually a great opportunity. 

That is because these conscious consumers are more valuable customers than customers who shop based on price alone. Conscious consumers are not only willing to spend more on products that align with their values (up to 70% more) but are also likely to become loyal customers and ambassadors for your brand.


Communicating to Conscious Consumers

When communicating values with your customers, you must be both clear and transparent. If they do not understand your values within a few seconds or if they feel that you are overselling your commitment to an issue then they will simply move on to your competition.

One of the easiest ways to communicate your values and be transparent with your customers is to connect an impact with a purchase. Here are a few examples:

  1. For every order, we will plant 1 tree
  2. For every order over $35, we will donate 1 pair of shoes to a child in need
  3. For every order, we will donate 1% of proceeds to an ocean conservation charity


By connecting a positive impact to a purchase, the customer can clearly understand both your commitment to an issue and their role in the process.

The Benefits of Giving Back

Beyond the obvious benefit of making the world a better palace, supporting a cause with your business has also been shown to help with many core eCommerce metrics, including;

  • Conversion Rates
  • Average Order Value
  • Customer Lifetime Value.

In 2022, the brand PAWDAW of London decided to give back and support a cause closely aligned with their company values –  by donating 1% of all sales to support the charity Dogs on the Streets. Not only is it a great initiative, but the charity is also something that their customers (dog lovers) care about.

After aligning with the cause, the store saw big improvements in their store:

  • 36% increase in Add to Cart Rate
  • 24% increase in Overall Conversion Rate
  • 24% increase in Earnings Per session.


How to Make an Impact with Your eCommerce Store

For brands looking to give back, it has never been easier. Virtue is an eCommerce platform that can help you make a difference with your online store. Whether you want to support a local charity all year or offset your plastic footprint for Plastic Free July, you can start making an impact with Virtue in just a few minutes.

You can book a call with the team if you want to learn more or check out their integrations directly:



Westen MacIntosh

Co-Founder at Virtue

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