More then 50% of online shoppers in Scandinavia are willing to wait longer for sustainable products, according to a survey by software supplier Descartes Systems Group, with a statistical universe of 8.000 consumers assorted from Canada, the United States, and 9 European countries: the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and France. Read more about the rise of sustainable online shopping in Scandinavia.
The consensus among independent researchers indicates that online shopping can be much less damaging to the environment than traditional, in-store shopping — if done the right way. In fact, environmental sustainability can benefit your online shop and raise your brand awareness among millennials while saving the world from choking on plastic.
However, the Descartes survey also hints at the fact that only 1 in 5 customers are prepared to pay extra for eco-friendly delivery.
Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a sustainable-logistics expert at The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), and his colleagues have made detailed models of the carbon footprint of various methods of shopping. He says that packaging isn’t a big contributor: “It’s not minor, but it’s not significant.” (Additionally, cardboard and much of the bubble wrap now used are recyclable.)
But sustainability is not a negligible factor for online shops. The growing trend of environmental sustainability is humanity’s reflex to fight the destructive nature of the “grow or die” imperative of capitalism. In e-commerce, the concept of sustainability can range from business models to packaging products and its role will become increasingly important in the coming years.
Consumers are most worried about the environment when shopping for groceries and fashion. Particularly when buying shoes and clothing, the overall mark was 35% across all countries.
Buying goods online can be better for the environment than in-store shopping for one fundamental reason: With online shopping, a single truck or van can replace multiple car trips, by multiple households, to stores. It helps to think of it this way: In most of the United States, almost every purchase means putting a vehicle on the road — either your own or a delivery company’s. One van delivering 50 packages is much more efficient than 50 people driving to the store.
Environmental and sustainability awareness has long been a trend in e-commerce. In a bid to successfully address increasing demands for sustainability from their consumers, online retailers have been pondering for some time now on topics like corporate social responsibility and eco-friendly approaches in the supply chain.
However, there are vast differences in the environmental awareness of consumers in each country. In Scandinavia, people have more environmental worries about groceries while the Netherlands scores lowest in this segment.
All in all, these numbers will surely keep on growing due to the fact that the raw percentage of people concerned about sustainability is rapidly growing among Millenials and Gen Z.
The Rise of Sustainable Online Shopping in Scandinavia, written by Tor Kjolberg