Consumers remain committed to sustainability as demand for green retail grows

Consumers remain committed to sustainability as demand for green retail grows

Despite price sensitivity rising and European shoppers’ disposable incomes being squeezed by the global cost of living crisis, consumers remain committed to sustainable shopping, the latest data from Sensormatic Solutions reveals.

Original research of over 5,000 European shoppers in its latest report – ‘Greener Shopping: The New Era of Sustainable Retail’ – showed that consumers are highly invested in shopping sustainably. Over a third (34 per cent) of European shoppers said they had become more sustainably minded since the start of the pandemic, with Spanish consumers ranking the highest of those whose attitudes to shopping had become greener since the start of the covid-19 outbreak (40 per cent), followed by the UK (37 per cent). And that is on top of the 10 per cent of Europeans who were already conscious of the environment when shopping before the pandemic began.

And, despite growing pricing sensitivity as inflation across the continent continues to rise – with Sensormatic Solution’s data showing a third (32 per cent) of European shoppers now cutting back on overall spend – sustainable products are proving to be more price elastic while green retail practices are continuing to drive loyal custom.

Three quarters (76 per cent) of European consumers say they are willing to pay at least 5 per cent more for products that are sustainable, rising to 81 per cent of Italian and Spanish shoppers. Meanwhile 39 per cent of European shoppers would shop more with a retailer that offered green products, and almost half (48 per cent) would buy more frequently from those retailers who opted to make packaging more sustainable. Four in ten (41 per cent) said local sourcing that cut down supply chain emissions would win their loyalty, while over a quarter (27 per cent) said sustainable delivery options would encourage them to shop more regularly with a brand.

“These insights back up a belief we’ve held for a long time: prioritising sustainable solutions is simply good business,” said Nick Pompa, GM EMEA at Sensormatic Solutions. “Facilitating sustainable retail operations has been at the heart of Sensormatic Solutions business for some time; but now, that same sentiment is mirrored among consumers. Shoppers want to see brands make investments that support responsible retail at all levels, so much so that they don’t see engaging in sustainable operations as an option, but rather an obligation, for businesses.”

At a time when consumers are being more considered with their spend, shoppers increasingly want to know that their custom is going to companies that are doing the right thing when it comes to the environment. 60 per cent of Europeans would like to see more waste reduction, including packaging waste, from the retailers they shop with. A further 40 per cent would like to see less plastic use in retail operations, rising to 43 per cent in Germany, while 45 per cent would like brands to be more actively involved in recycling projects, rising to 51 per cent in France.

With consumers holding varying definitions of “sustainable practices,” ranging from installation of energy-efficient displays to the use of alternative packaging, and participation in recycling programmes, when exploring options to bolster sustainable retail initiatives, retailers can decide which options work best for their business model.


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