Millennials Buy Everything Online – But Not from Just Anyone
It’s no surprise that e-commerce has now surpassed 10% of the total retail sales in the U.S. – for the first time in history. Millennials buy everything online (and so does everyone else for that matter). But this generation isn’t just looking for the best price or product. Millennials actively search for value-driven companies. And with so many online options available, why wouldn’t they?
Value-driven companies are socially conscious, and they care about their impact on this planet. If you’re still using diesel to power your fleets, what message are you sending this generation about your company values?
Online Shopping is About More than Convenience
In an e-commerce market, shipping is everything. Online shopping, in the U.S. alone, is expected to have 300 million shoppers (or 91% of the country’s population) by 2023. Nearly 25% of American shoppers already buy online at least once a month. As demand for online shopping increases so do the options.
Today, you can buy everything from fresh seafood to clothing to furniture on the internet. With quick delivery and generous return policies from companies like Amazon, Zappos, and Wayfair, millennials and other customers aren’t afraid to buy sight unseen.
Plus, the subscription e-commerce market has grown by over 100% a year in the last five years. Consumers now have the option to buy monthly meal kits, take advantage of Amazon’s subscribe and save goods, or purchase monthly outfits from popular sites like Stitch Fix.
And while each of these companies offers a different product, there is one thing they all have in common that makes them popular amongst millennials – they have clear values.
- Blue Apron makes fresh home cooking accessible to anyone.
- Amazon’s mission to be the earth’s most customer-centric company.
- Stitch Fix’s mission is to inspire people to be their best selves.
Consumers across the country, not just millennials, are taking advantage of online shopping. But the fact remains that someone still has to transport these goods.
The U.S. Economy Depends on Trucks to Deliver Goods
The U.S. Department of Transportation anticipates the value of freight moved across the country to increase from $882 per ton back in 2007 to $1,377 per ton by 2040.
With so much freight to transport, the need for cleaner gas has never been so important. Diesel fuel has long been viewed as the most efficient way to transport goods, but it’s also one of the world’s leading contributors to environmental pollution. Diesel emissions have been linked to cancer, respiratory problems, air pollution, and climate change.
If transportation companies continue to use diesel fuel to meet the growing needs of online shoppers, the negative impact could only get worse.
Millennials and other value-based consumers know that they have a responsibility to shop their conscious. And while fast shipping is important, so is doing business with companies who care about the environment.
Natural Gas: The Cleaner and Cheaper Option
Giving millennials and other values-based consumers a reason to feel good about buying from you is one of the perks of using natural gas, but it certainly isn’t the only one.
Some of the many benefits of natural gas include:
- Consistently low gas prices (unlike diesel which frequently fluctuates)
- Lower carbon footprint (CNG reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 20 percent vs. diesel)
- Longer maintenance intervals between changing oil and air filters
- Less noisy engines (up to 10 decibels quieter than diesel)
Companies who are already moving towards a cleaner fuel fleet include shipping giants UPS and DHL, but they aren’t alone. Natural gas now powers 175,000 vehicles in the U.S. and 23 million worldwide.
A new year is about to be upon us. Consumers will continue to shop online, shop their conscious, and hold brands accountable for their choices. As it stands, two-thirds of consumers worldwide buy, or boycott brands based on social or political beliefs. 
With concern over climate change continuing to grow, what will you do differently to reduce greenhouse emissions in 2020?
About the Author, Jennifer Lester is a freelance writer and social media strategist who covers topics related to energy and workforce. She has been writing professionally since 2015 and was a high school teacher prior to that. Jennifer is a graduate of Texas A&M University and a member of the American Writers and Artists Inc. Association. Her articles have been featured on Pink Petro and Experience Energy. She lives in Houston, TX and is the proud mom of three boys.