Survey data shows UK consumers willing to pay for sustainable delivery options

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As parcel volumes surge, a survey by e-commerce platform Sendcloud has highlighted that consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of online deliveries. According to the report, two-thirds of UK consumers now believe the government should crack down on online delivery CO2 emissions and force online retailers to invest in more sustainable options.

Seven out of 10 consumers also believe a TrustMark could help to ensure information about CO2
emissions on deliveries is made available to the public. This could either showcase whether an online retailer is actively reducing or compensating emissions, or could ultimately calculate the emissions per parcel.

The company also highlights separate research from the World Economic Forum that shows delivery emissions could be reduced by as much as 30% by 2030 if the public and private sectors work together to prioritize the issue.

Significantly, the survey found that a substantial 62% of shoppers would even opt for alternatives to home delivery – such as choosing to pick up at a parcel locker – if a retailer provided emissions information at checkout.

Sendcloud suggests that retailers can easily meet this demand by offering a sustainable option alongside existing delivery options and highlighting it with a special icon. A next step could be to pre-select the green delivery option, as previous research shows that the number of consumers who choose green delivery triples when it is chosen by default. Notably, if the research is correct, retailers will not have to foot the bill alone, as 8 out of 10 consumers are willing to pay extra for green delivery.

The data shows that 46% would be open to paying £1 (US$1.38) or more on every parcel ordered, representing a significant investment in green delivery from the 2.8 billion UK parcels shipped during the 2019/2020 fiscal year.

“Consumers want more sustainable delivery options but they also want to see the full effects of their purchases on the environment,” remarked Rob van den Heuvel, CEO and co-founder of Sendcloud. “Even though governmental action can help to accelerate the greenification of deliveries, there is still a lot that retailers and consumers can do themselves. Providing information about CO2 emissions and/or pre-ticking the most sustainable choice as the default encourages consumers to choose the most sustainable delivery option at checkout. Even something as simple as a sustainability icon or compensating emissions by planting trees can go a long way in persuading consumers to go green.

“Retailers can do their own part now by communicating clearly to their customers and promoting the impact of their efforts. Retailers need to consciously encourage consumers by giving them the choice to go green and choose clean.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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