Sustainable shopping sees its star rise among consumers

By Cameron Saunders
According to a report Shopify, both consumers and businesses note the attraction, and the higher costs, of offering sustainable practices in operations

Shoppers’ tastes are becoming more refined in the face of climate change, says a survey by global commerce company by Shopify. According to the report, despite cost-of-living pressures, expensive, sustainable shopping is coming into vogue. 

To reach that conclusion, Shopify surveyed over 24,000 consumers as well as 9,000 small and medium-sized businesses. 

The main lines of the conclusions follow: 62% of consumers will not compromise on their green ethoses despite higher costs in the face of economic uncertainty. As well, 82% of businesses agree that sustainability and improved performance by the company are related factors. 

Stacy Kauk, head of sustainability at Shopify, noted the overlapping of interests in the report’s findings: “This report shows climate-consciousness is driving purchasing decisions, even in challenging economic times. 

“For both business and the climate, it’s in everyone’s interest to implement practices like carbon-neutral shipping and support for emerging sustainability solutions. This needs to be a collaboration between merchants, buyers, and the broader commerce community.”

Younger generations are driving this change: 59% of Gen Z shoppers and 61% of millennials are more sustainably-conscious in their shopping patterns. Furthermore, 31% of these were planning on being more sustainable in the upcoming year. 

The pace of change of retailers leaves something to be desired, as well; 24% of these increasingly conscious shoppers seek out eco-friendly packaging and buying local. 

Businesses move to adapt

Businesses are hearing the call of the consumer. That said, they also acknowledge the high cost of moving in that direction: 40% of businesses with 1 to 50 employees see it as an obstacle. But the bigger the business, the more elaborate the supply chain, and 48% of these see a problem. 

But businesses are indeed at work finding sustainable resolutions for their customers. For instance, 35% of UK retailers now offer in-store recycling, and they are increasingly having programs where a percentage of the revenue goes to non-profits. 

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