Consumers willing to sacrifice convenience for sustainability

The majority of UK consumers are willing to compromise on online purchases and delivery demands if it creates a more sustainable environment, new research suggests.


After surveying 1,000 consumers, e-commerce shipping platform Sendcloud found that 43% feel guilty about the environment when ordering online, rising to 48% when ordering items outside of Europe.

As a result, two-thirds said they would be willing to wait longer for online deliveries if it results in less CO2 emissions, while 61% already prefer to order locally in order to reduce their carbon footprint.

Furthermore, 62% of respondents would opt for home delivery alternatives if the online retailer provided more information on its emissions, and seven out of 10 believe there should be a trustmark or quality assurance for delivery emissions transparency.

This comes after a large spike in online shopping as consumers were forced to stay at home during lockdowns following the outbreak of COVID-19.

Rob van den Heuvel, CEO at Sendcloud, said that the findings show that consumers understand the environmental impact of their purchases, and are willing to take “drastic steps” in order to create a more sustainable industry.

“Although there is still a lot of work to be done, we are slowly but surely going green,” he continued.

“Deliveries by electric vehicles and bicycles are taking place in parts of the UK now, and technology that provides consumers with exact times of delivery and more flexible options is almost commonplace.”

The survey also found that 64% of consumers would be willing to pick up a parcel themselves if it made the delivery process more sustainable, with one in five willing to walk up to 5km to collect parcels.

Overall, a whopping 94% of survey respondents said that sustainability is an important factor to them when shopping online.

The findings are backed up by similar research from Sendcloud, which found that 57% of UK online shoppers think the rise of online shopping is a problem for the environment.

“By clearly communicating the environmental impact of delivery options in the checkout, retailers can give consumers the final push to choose green over fast and free delivery,”  Van den Heuvel added.


Image credit: iStock


Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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