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Retail alert: 25% of consumers demand sustainable delivery options

Retail alert: 25% of consumers demand sustainable delivery options
Retail alert: 25% of consumers demand sustainable delivery options

The impact of delivery options is becoming increasingly important for environmentally-conscious consumers. A 2023 study by Stuart highlights a significant shift in consumer priorities as shoppers say they are willing to abandon retailers who don’t prioritize sustainable delivery

The data emphasizes the link between eco-conscious business practices and retaining customer loyalty.

Why is this important? It signals a shift in consumer values as shoppers prioritize the environmental impact of their purchasing power. Retailers need to adapt to these changes, or risk losing to competitors who are more aligned with customer needs. 

Rising demand for sustainable delivery

The report underscores consumers’ preferences for sustainable delivery, with 25% saying they would switch retailers if green delivery options weren’t provided. More than a quarter (27%) say they would pay extra for eco-friendly deliveries.

Other key findings include: 

  • 67% of consumers are interested in carbon offsetting their delivery emissions.
  • 41% of consumers are happy to wait longer for sustainable delivery.
    • No fast fashion: 42% would wait up to a couple of days.
    • No fast food: 53% would wait an extra 10 minutes or more for their orders.

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Meanwhile, research by PwC shows that eight of ten consumers would pay up to 5% more for sustainably-produced goods. “Consumers have made up their mind about sustainability, and they are willing to pay a premium for it. [More] than 70% of respondents said that they were willing to pay more for sustainably produced goods ‘to some or to a great extent.’”

EVs as a delivery solution

A 2024 survey from Wincanton shows that more than a quarter (26%) of consumers surveyed are more likely to buy from a company if they knew they delivered via electric vehicles (EVs). 

When asked for their reason, 40% of consumers say they care about the environment, while 16% want to save money. 13% believe EVs “can deliver during unsociable hours” while 5% say “it’s trendy to have goods delivered via EV.” 

These choices influence consumer services. Evri, the UK’s largest parcel delivery company, recently invested $24 million (£19 million) to make its fleet of e-cargo bikes the largest in the country.

The data is clear: This is not just a trend; it’s a shift in consumer behavior and it reflects a growing awareness of the environmental impact of last-mile delivery. Even if that means sacrificing the convenience of faster delivery times.

Circular economy and environmental consciousness

When it comes to circular economy and the practices focused on minimizing waste and making the most of resources, 67% of consumers surveyed by Stuart expressed interest in carbon offsetting

This includes “using delivery services that collect returnable and/or reusable products, containers, and packaging (81%).”

The report highlights how only 7% didn’t factor sustainability issues into their purchasing habits.

The bigger picture

Despite a challenging retail climate, the demand for sustainable delivery options remains a key differentiator. Environmental benefits aside, retailers that embrace eco-friendly practices will have an advantage over their competitors. 

Incorporating sustainable delivery options is no longer optional; it’s essential for survival in the modern-day retail environment. 

This can be done in the following ways: 

  • Green vehicle fleet: Switch to electric or hybrid vehicles to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Package optimization: Use recyclable and biodegradable materials for packaging.
  • Consolidated deliveries: Group orders together to minimize trips. Implement a ‘sustainable delivery day’ where deliveries in the same are grouped on specific days. 

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About the author

Cheryl has contributed to various international publications, with a fervor for data and technology. She explores the intersection of emerging tech trends with logistics, focusing on how digital innovations are reshaping industries on a global scale. When she's not dissecting the latest developments in AI-driven innovation and digital solutions, Cheryl can be found gaming, kickboxing, or navigating the novel niches of consumer gadgetry.

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