Dec 3, 2020
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Most UK e-shoppers fear eco impact of online retail - study

Dec 3, 2020

More and more UK digital consumers are shopping with a conscience, with 57% now worrying the rise of online shopping is a threat for the environment, according to shipping platform Sendcloud.

Online shoppers worry about eco issues on packaging and delivery - Photo: Public domain

However, those consumers aren't willing to pay a premium when it comes to eco delivery options. Just 38% would pay extra for a CO2-neutral ‘green delivery’, not helped by the fact less than 1% of UK online retailers currently offer green delivery options at checkout, the report said.

Meanwhile, 72% of consumers said they believed online stores use too much packaging material, with 77% arguing that online packaging should be fully recyclable.

But despite the growing concerns over eco issues, it seems speed of delivery continues to be top of the list of shoppers' demands, with next-day delivery (42%) or same-day delivery (37%) still typically outweighing environmental concerns.

Rob van den Heuvel, CEO of Sendcloud, said: “Attitudes towards more sustainable living have changed dramatically in 2020, so it’s difficult to read that sustainable delivery and shipping is still not considered a top priority for either consumers or retailers.

“And, with the rise in online shopping due to Covid and the peak seasonal periods of Christmas and Black Friday/Cyber Monday looming, it’s hard to see this situation changing in the short-term".

But van den Heuvel noted that there are some positive signs demand is changing the way consumers shop and goods are delivered, with more sustainable packaging and electric delivery vans making headway in the UK and across Europe.

“Smarter delivery options, such as real-time delivery notifications, are also helping increase first-time deliveries and reduce the carbon footprint of shipping services", he said.

“Such findings pose the question as to whether there needs to be a notable shift in consumer behaviour surrounding sustainable shopping or whether the retailer needs to implement ‘green delivery’ as the sole way in which shoppers can receive their goods”.

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