Throughout 2021, consumer perception changed drastically. As COP26 took place and businesses found the gaps in their sustainability strategies, consumers became more aware of the impact of their purchasing decisions. Now, we can finally assess how people have reacted to changes in the retail industry; changes that were also provoked by the coronavirus pandemic.
Deloitte released a research report that incorporates primary market research from consumers as they were asked a series of questions about their lifestyle changes in relation to sustainability.
According to the report, around 61% of respondents say they have reduced their consumption of single-use plastics, while the remaining 39% either haven’t considered it or cannot recall any noticeable changes. The report also shows that more consumers consider the types of food products they buy, with 49% conscious of seasonality and 45% looking to buy locally-sourced goods. It’s also worth noting that 39% of respondents are considering their purchases based on the environmental brand identity, while 42% do not.
What does a sustainable lifestyle look like?
Sustainability is a very broad term and it can be difficult to classify something with the word. The Deloitte report takes into account various aspects of sustainability that consumers may wish to change to establish a more sustainable approach to life. Some of these include, as mentioned previously, reducing their dependence on single-use plastics, as well as switching to renewable energy sources and buying products from reputable suppliers that sell locally.
Those participating in the research group who have not made any of these changes say generally require more information about sustainable products (15%) and others have expressed that sustainable products are still too expensive to warrant switching to alternatives (16%).
How can businesses use Deloitte’s report?
The information contained in the report allows businesses to better understand consumers and how to target potential customers. But, with such a broad range of responses, organisations must cater for those who are yet to make the switch to more sustainable products. Companies that produce consumer goods have a significant role to play to ensure that the products on shelves are sourced responsibly and packaged in non-pollutant materials.
Companies can also use the report to determine future product developments as they aim to meet customer needs. Part of this is due to unprecedented circumstances, for example, Covid-19 provoked a shift in consumer behaviour and 36% would currently pay more for goods if the supplier supports equal human rights and 35% would buy more expensive products if they are produced with less waste.
For more information on consumer behaviour, check out the ‘Shifting sands: Are consumers still embracing sustainability?’ report.
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