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1. The problem with traditional ecommerce

The power of local: How Gelato is revolutionising sustainable ecommerce

Ecommerce is a major contributor to global trade, allowing businesses to connect with international customers. As the environmental costs associated with global production and shipping become more and more evident, there is a pressing demand for greener alternatives. But how can you sell globally, without being a major contributor to environmental pollution? In this article, we'll take a look at how Gelato's platform is revolutionizing sustainable ecommerce by allowing merchants and the creator economy to produce locally and sell globally.

The problem with traditional ecommerce

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The traditional ecommerce model is based on production far from the point of sale. Through a process of global sourcing and international logistics, most products are now created in one country, sent to a distributor or warehouse in another, and then delivered to customers located virtually anywhere across the planet. Not only is this an inefficient way of doing business – it's also detrimental to the environment. The cherry on top is that smaller businesses cannot compete with larger companies that have greater access to resources and can easily ship their products to any location.

To illustrate the complexity, consider a business based in the United States that sells products to international customers. The company must collaborate with an American factory for production, identify a shipping company to send goods overseas, and manage distribution through either European or Asian warehouses. All of this requires synchronization, planning, and contingencies for when one of the links in the chain fails, leading to higher costs for small businesses.

Beyond the financial costs of manufacturing, transporting, and distributing products, it's also important to take into account the environmental effects. In order to deliver products around the world, resources must be used, energy must be expended, and carbon emissions created. However, refusing to sell overseas means missing out on potential customers and revenue. For those living in more remote locations, not having access to these products is also a major issue and it's going to require a joint effort from around the world to make a real difference.

The rise of sustainable ecommerce

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In the past few years, sustainability has become a major talking point. Customers are becoming increasingly conscious of their purchasing decisions and calling on companies to provide more eco-friendly solutions. As a result, businesses have begun looking for ways to reduce the environmental footprint created by their online activities.

But it's not just about pleasing customers – businesses are beginning to realize that more sustainable ecommerce means lower costs and greater efficiency. At a personal level, more and more business owners are becoming aware of the environmental effects of their actions and searching for ways to diminish their carbon footprint. Climate change is an issue we all face and it's going to require a joint effort from around the world to make a real difference.

For some merchants, confining their business to local markets is a way of preventing the environmental costs associated with international shipping. Yet this also means that customers in other locations are deprived of accessing these products – not an ideal solution. Other companies prefer to adopt more eco-friendly shipping approaches, like rail freight instead of air freight. But this can also come with drawbacks; delivery times may be prolonged, and customers may jump ship to other companies that can deliver their products faster. Therefore, the question remains: How do we find a balance between sustainable ecommerce practices and global market access?

Gelato's platform: Sustainable solutions

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Gelato’s platform is designed to empower ecommerce retailers. We offer a cost-effective, eco-friendly way for businesses to create and distribute personalized products globally. With Gelato, sellers can now produce their products in close proximity to customers worldwide, eliminating the costly and environmentally harmful long-distance transportation of items. This means that you get locally-made goods with global reach through our expansive network of more than 130 production partners across 32 countries. This coupled with our cutting-edge technology enables us to provide rapid, secure delivery at the best rates available – saving your business time and money.

Gelato's production process has been carefully designed to be sustainable and eco-friendly, while still allowing for the swift delivery of products internationally. By producing custom products locally, goods can be shipped much more quickly than if they had to travel from the other side of the globe. This accelerates delivery times and reduces overall shipping costs. We carefully vet all our local suppliers to ensure that the quality of your products is excellent no matter where they are produced. The end result is a lower carbon footprint, so you, as an ecommerce seller, can rest assured that you are doing your part to promote a healthier planet.

Our platform provides a much-needed helping hand to smaller businesses that want to join the global market, but don't have the financial means for expensive infrastructure or logistics solutions. We help to even out the ecommerce playing field by providing them with access to international markets. By delivering an economical and more eco-friendly means for businesses to deliver their products worldwide, Gelato helps support more equitable access to ecommerce.

A typical Gelato journey

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So how would a typical journey from production to delivery look on the Gelato platform? Well, let’s say you are an artist based in the UK who wants to sell prints of your work online. You have a local following, but thanks to social media, your work has also exploded in popularity in the US. Before discovering Gelato, you had partnered with a local British printer who would print your artwork in the UK, and deliver it back to you, before you would manually ship it to your US customers. This was time-consuming, expensive, and damaging to the environment – not to mention the hassle of having to deal with two separate companies. Your American customers were also starting to complain about the length of time it was taking for their orders to arrive.

Fortunately, you discovered Gelato. After integrating Gelato directly with your website, your work could be printed at the closest location to your US customers and shipped directly to them. This eliminated the need for you to personally ship orders, saving time and money compared to your previous approach. Order delivery times were also drastically improved, as goods could be shipped from the closest production facility to the customer’s location, instead of traveling across the Atlantic Ocean. Thanks to Gelato, you were able to quickly scale your small business and expand your customer base globally.

Become more sustainable with Gelato

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Gelato is the ideal solution for ecommerce sellers looking to reach a global market without the environmental impact. With our worldwide shipping network, advanced technology, and 130+ production partners in 32 countries, we provide a cost-effective, sustainable solution for businesses to deliver customized products to their customers. So, if you’re looking for a more sustainable way to run your ecommerce business, it's time to start selling with Gelato. Start your  journey today and become part of the global ecommerce revolution.

Ready to become part of the global ecommerce revolution? Sign up for Gelato today and start your journey. 


Next steps

Ready to become part of the global ecommerce revolution? Sign up for Gelato today and start your journey