Sustainability Info Key Purchase Driver, Survey Finds

Underscoring the growing importance of sustainability and an environmental focus among values-conscious consumers when choosing brands, a new survey of shoppers in the U.S., the UK, Germany and France showed just how much these issues matter during the purchase decision process.

The survey of nearly 5,000 consumers, conducted the week of Nov. 12, 2021 on behalf of Salsify, found the number-one fact shoppers are looking for before making a purchasing decision was information on product and package recycling. Over half of German consumers responding (53%) saw this as a key issue, followed by France (44%), the U.S. (33%) and the UK (31%).

Many enterprise companies have responded to this trend, announcing zero-carbon-emission dates over the next 20-30 years. A growing number of retailers and brands including Nike , Best Buy and lululemon list sustainability policies and ethical sourcing prominently on their ecommerce sites.

“As economies reopened, the omnichannel experience has evolved,” said Vijayanta Gupta, SVP of Growth Strategy for Salsify. “It’s no longer purchasing in store or online. Shoppers have blended the experience to create a journey that personally suits them.”

In all of the countries surveyed by Salsify except France, the next most important fact consumers sought out was where ingredients or materials were sourced from, a key ethical factor as sweatshops in China and elsewhere become exposed. In France, third-party sustainability certifications was the No. 2 consideration.

France also stood out in another important aspect. Surprisingly, given all the attention paid to the digital shift in the two years since the pandemic ensued, more French consumers said their shopping habits remain unchanged (42%) than those who said they shop online more often than before (34%). This was in marked contrast to the other countries, although the gap between “I shop the same” (39%) and “I shop more online” (46%) was less pronounced […]

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