The highest value consumers, who spend the most online and order most frequently, are also the most environmentally-conscious, seeking out and spending more with brands that prioritise sustainability, the latest research in the Sustainable Global Growth and Shopper Expectations report from ESW shows.
Research of more than 16,000 shoppers from 16 countries revealed that 83 per cent of consumers consider sustainability when making a purchase, increasing to more than nine out of ten (91 per cent) cross-border online shoppers – whose average annual online spend is +4 per cent than domestic shoppers across all product categories.
“Today’s most coveted high frequency, high spending customers prioritise sustainability when buying online and are actively modifying their behaviour according to their desire to consume and buy in a more eco-conscious manner. To reach these shoppers brands must prioritise sustainability, transparency and positive environmental practices from day one,” commented Martim Avillez Oliveira, CEO, ESW, Europe and UK.
Four out of every ten (39 per cent) Gen Z shoppers and one of every three (34 per cent) millennial respondents report shopping cross-border 12 or more times annually, with 73 per cent of millennial shoppers planning to spend the same or more online in 2023 – making this segment the leader in global eCommerce spending this year. 94 per cent of Gen Z and 93 per cent of millennial respondents reported considering sustainability when making an online purchasing decision in comparison to 88 per cent of Gen X shoppers and 77 per cent of Baby Boomers.
For brands and retailers looking to sell cross-border, markets with more young shoppers report prioritising sustainability criteria during their purchasing consideration phase – led by India (98 per cent), China (94 per cent), UAE (94 per cent) and Mexico (93 per cent). Across product categories, 93 per cent of luxury shoppers consider sustainability when purchasing, ahead of beauty (87 per cent), consumer electronics (87 per cent) and apparel (84 per cent).
In terms of environmentally conscious services from brands and retailers, shoppers favour sustainable packaging and delivery, indicating environmentally friendly packaging options (46 per cent), sustainable shipping (43 per cent), less packaging overall (42 per cent) and green delivery options (35 per cent) as the options they prioritise when making an online purchase.
“Retailers can be sure customers will do more than virtue signal when it comes to sustainability with shoppers acting on their concerns for the environment. Brands know that making and distributing environmentally conscious products is expensive, but they don’t need to overhaul entire supply chains to satisfy shoppers’ sustainability demands,” he added.