Responsibility to encourage sustainable shopping ‘lies with retailers’

As consumers look to increase their sustainable shopping habits, new research shows that retailers hold the most responsibility to encourage this.

The survey conducted by business transformation consultancy, Gate One in partnership with FMCG agency, Virtual Store Trials, found that 44% of consumers call for more promotions on sustainable products.

A further 35% want to see more signposting both in-store and online on where to find sustainable products and 36% request a recycling scheme or zero-waste offering.

According to those surveyed, this responsibility lies most heavily with retailers as 30% look to them to promote this type of shopping. Others agreed this was down to each shopper or individual brands, whilst just 10% felt the culpability should fall on the government.

READ MORE: Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons back plans to combat cost-of-living crisis

The survey which aims to highlight the significant gap between consumers’ intentions and their actual buying decisions also found that the cost-of-living crisis is increasingly influencing shopping habits.

Rising food prices was agreed by half of the survey’s respondents to be the main reason for not buying sustainable products.

Gate One highlighted ways in which retailers can make a change, such as tailoring a customers experience to make sustainable shopping transparent and educating consumers on what the term means, through raising awareness of product labelling or demonstrating the impact of certain products.

“Where consumers are concerned about sustainability, retailers should not assume that this will translate into actual buying behaviour,” Gate One client director, David Forde said.

“From the perspective of a retailer though, being sustainable goes beyond just doing “the right thing” for the environment and communities. It is now a growing imperative for all stakeholders, and key to companies’ resilience, longevity and financial success.

“These efforts will continue to compete with consumers’ equally pressing concerns and priorities, but it is clear that by adopting the right strategies, retailers can influence shopping habits and, in so doing, drive positive change.”

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