In (e)commerce, the ‘green trend’ is growing. Consumers are increasingly aware of environmental issues and the role of consumption and e-commerce within that space. And in a bid to successfully address increasing demands for sustainability from their consumers, online retailers have been pondering for some time now corporate social responsibility and eco-friendly approaches. But how environmentally minded are consumers really? And of shipping and packaging, two aspects that are known to have a direct impact on the environment, which do they find most important? Do consumers easily switch a brand or channel if there is a more sustainable option at hand?
In this week’s blog we take a closer look at consumers’ sustainability needs, how this need transfers to online shopping and what impact it has on brand- and channel choice. Keep reading!
Overall, we see that only 10-20% of consumers have a ‘high climate consideration’. This is defined as ‘always/very often taking environment or climate considerations into account when buying a product or service’. But there are some significant country differences. In Germany, 19% of consumers have a high climate consideration, compared to 12% of Dutch consumers and 9% of Norwegians.
Overall, we see that consumers are split evenly over concerns about packagaing and shipping – two key themes in ‘green e-commerce’: 50% of consumers state that packaging of the products is the most concerning aspect from an environment or climate perspective, and the other 50% said that the shipping of the products is what concerns them the most. Although this split view is clearly visible for the Netherlands and Germany, it is not that apparent for Norway, where 60% of consumers state shipping is their largest concern compared to 40% who state packaging.
Broadening the view and looking at consumer trade-offs in the top-funnel purchase process, we see that 11% of consumers ‘very often/always consider buying one brand instead of another due to environmental or climate considerations’. In contrast, 17% of consumers ‘very often/always consider buying products in physical stores instead of online due to environmental or climate considerations’.
For merchants it is essential to identify key points in the customer journey where sustainability is a concern for consumers, and consequently offer (environmentally concerned) consumers the correct type of information or service options. Think of additional information on the impact of different delivery options on the environment or offering consumers an eco-friendly packaging option. As we have seen in our blog about the future of e-commerce, it is exactly these aspects that consumers see most benefit in.
Coming up next is the August outlook for e-commerce in the Netherlands, Germany and Norway.