Ede, 8 October 2020 - Consumers are willing to adjust their behavior for a more sustainable delivery of an online purchase. For example, 42% of consumers is positive about waiting longer for an order if it is more sustainable. Only 12% says it doesn't want to do this. 15% of consumers are willing to pay for a delivery with less CO2emissions. This percentage has decreased slightly, because before the COVID-19 crisis it was still 17%. This is evident from the new Sustainability Monitor for the e-commerce sector of Thuiswinkel.org, which was carried out by StakeholderWatch.
Thuiswinkel.org started monitoring public opinion on e-commerce and sustainability at the beginning of this year. Wijnand Jongen, director of Thuiswinkel.org: “The e-commerce sector is organized very efficiently, which is beneficial for the climate, but many consumers appear to have a different image. When making sustainable choices, it is important for both web shops and consumers to know what a sustainable way of purchasing is. The information from the monitor helps us to better inform consumers about making sustainable choices and to help web shops respond to consumers' wishes in making the sector more sustainable. "
Sustainable online shopping more popular in the city
The living situation of people makes a big difference to their willingness to adopt sustainable online ordering behavior. Residents of city centers (24%) are much more willing to pay for sustainable delivery than people who live in residential areas (17%), in a village (14%), or outside built-up areas (10%). 23% of the residents of the center also takes the sustainability of the webshop into account in the decision whether or not to make a purchase there. For residents of a village (16%), suburbs (18%) or in the countryside (18%) this is a lot less the case. City residents also choose a collection point more often for sustainability reasons: 35% for residents of the city center and 33% for residents of a suburb consciously opt for collection points. For villagers and rural residents, this concerns 28% and 25% respectively. People in a city center are also more likely to feel concerned about an order (18%) compared to a percentage between 7% and 11% for the groups outside the center.
Generation difference: Millennials tend to make less sustainable choices
It is striking that Millennials (born between 1980 and 1994) in particular, compared to other generations, have become less and less willing to make sustainable choices when it comes to online shopping in the last six months. The oldest generation (baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1961) is the most likely to adopt sustainable online shopping behavior. No less than 50% is very willing to wait longer for an order if it is more sustainable and 17% wants to pay extra for less CO2emissions. Until the summer of 2020, the Millennials were also known as sustainable: 40% percent of them were willing to wait and 18% indicated that they wanted to pay for less CO2emissions. Since the summer, however, this enthusiasm has decreased rapidly: now only a third of Millennials want to wait (34%) and indicate that they are only willing to pay 13%. This reduces their willingness to pay for CO2reduction below that of Generation X (1961-1980) and Generation Z (1996-2005) with 14% and 18%, respectively. No generation often feels burdened when it comes to online shopping, although this is more common among the younger generations of GenZ (14%) and Millennials (12%) than among Boomers and Generation X (7%).
Lack of knowledge of sustainable delivery options
“Only 12% of consumers think online ordering and next day delivery is a sustainable shopping option. It turns out that it is quite difficult for consumers to determine what an environmentally friendly option is, because this is really one of the most sustainable options in the Netherlands. The logistics processes are well organized here, especially with regard to next-day delivery. The vans can be filled well, ”says Wijnand Jongen. “The CO2-The impact of an online delivery is, depending on factors such as distance and means of transport, approximately the same as a visit to the physical store. This is because shops are often supplied daily by trucks in the city center. Parcel delivery in the Netherlands is organized very efficiently, because parcels from different stores all go in one bus that can deliver up to 200 orders. A few car trips from consumers to the store generate more CO2emissions on a parcel bus ride. ”
The Sustainability Monitor shows that 63% regards consumers' delivery to a collection point and then collecting them by bicycle as an environmentally friendly option. Boy: “Contrary to the prevailing picture, a collection point currently does not provide any environmental benefit compared to home delivery, even if the consumer picks up the parcel on foot or by bicycle. It does have that potential if a large proportion of consumers would choose this option. With the Bewust Bezorgd program, Thuiswinkel.org tries to provide more insight into the sustainability of various delivery options. If you want to make a sustainable choice as a consumer, it is important to know what the best option is. ”
Only 5% of all inner-city vans deliver parcels
When asked how many of the delivery vans in the Netherlands drive for the e-commerce sector, consumers' estimates are many times higher than reality. 36% of the respondents think that 30-50% of the vans deliver parcels and 32% even thinks 50-80%. Boy: “Perception is skewed with reality here too. The percentage of delivery vans that drive for the e-commerce sector is only 5% (in the city), according to a survey by a number of research agencies commissioned by the Top Sector Logistics. Emissions from e-commerce logistics amount to a total of approximately 252,000 tons of CO2. This corresponds to approximately 2.5% of the total Dutch CO2emissions in logistics flows. The proportion probably seems so much higher to people because the parcel vans stop in front of the door, while the buses from the construction sector and the service services of the self-employed are less visible. Most vans drive for these sectors. ”
Sustainability according to customers
Consumers were also asked what actions they think e-commerce companies can take to become more sustainable, with 11 options presented. Less plastic use is considered very important by most respondents (78%), followed by less use of packaging materials in general (70%). According to consumers, less important for sustainability is that more collection points will be created; 47% considers this important. Wijnand Jongen: “The sector's objective is to reduce CO by 50% by 20252 compared to 2018. This is partly due to higher efficiency and an increase in emission-free vehicles. When it comes to sustainability, it is important that companies have a good idea of which measures have the most impact and that they take into account what consumers consider important. ”
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