More people recognise online as a 'greener' way to shop

The latest e-Customer Service Index (eCSI) survey conducted by IMRG and eDigitalResearch reveals that people are embracing e-commerce, not just for convenience, but because it is seen as a more environmentally-friendly way to shop.

The recent attitudinal survey of over 2,000 UK-based people revealed that more than a third of people prefer to shop online (36%), with the biggest reasons being reduced pollution (74.6%) with the ability to research products in minutes (83%).

The traditional retail model partly depended upon shoppers driving around to find the best product at the best price, but the growth of the Internet has now provided shoppers with the ease and convenience of comparing products in just one click of the mouse. As well as reducing carbon footprint and energy consumption, 53.5% of people believe that online shopping provides a wider choice of environmentally-friendly alternatives.

56% of people are concerned with green issues when they shop online - an increase of 12% since January. Many are turning to the Internet to source greener alternatives, with their purchasing motives no longer driven by price alone. 70% of people believe that product environmental and efficiency information are particularly important in the purchase of their next major domestic appliance, with 41% stating that the online space provides better access to this information than the high-street.

Given this growing public awareness, it would appear that EU and government measures such as the introduction of HIP (Home Information Pack), fuel emissions tax and the labelling directive are all having an impact. However, 42% of people surveyed strongly agree that there is still a need for better visibility and clearer environmental and efficiency information on all products sold, both offline and online.

Chris Russell, Director of eDigitalResearch comments: "The survey indicates that it isn't just price and convenience that is encouraging people to shop online, but because it provides better access to information so that they can make more informed decisions on environmentally friendly products. As well as reducing the carbon footprint, people have access to a wider choice of greener products as many ethical smaller providers often don't have a shop-front. Rather than relying on an in-store sales person's knowledge, people can readily refer to product reviews and can now compare product efficiency information as well as price."

David Smith, Managing Director of IMRG comments: "It is really encouraging to see that people recognise the importance of environmental labelling and that more people would buy environmentally preferable products. The next step is ensuring that consumers aren't mislead about environmental benefits claimed on labels and can compare products fairly."

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