Blue Yonder’s 2022 Consumer Sustainability Survey revealed retail consumer preferences related to sustainable shopping habits and “found that more than three-quarters (86 percent) of consumers are willing to delay e-commerce deliveries for the sake of improving sustainability if given an incentive to do so.”
The company said of those respondents, “29 percent are willing to delay deliveries up to five days and 28 percent are willing to delay a week or more.” Blue Yonder also noted that the pandemic has impacted the sustainable habits of shoppers with 44 percent of those polled saying their interest in shopping sustainably has increased since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Edward Wong, senior vice president and global retail sector leader at Blue Yonder, said during the pandemic, “Many businesses had to temporarily trade-off sustainability for the sake of public health and safety. Essential stores such as grocery eliminated reusable bag use and nearly all brick-and-mortar shops strengthened or in some cases added new online commerce operations with delivery options.”
This ended up shifting more sales online, Wong said adding that as retail emerges from the pandemic, sustainable practices are back in focus. “The findings of this study reflect the paradigm shift toward a more environmentally friendly supply chain as consumers are now willing to do their part to embrace more sustainable shopping habits,” Wong said.
Other findings of the survey include that 81 percent of those polled are recycling boxes and bags from shopping online and in a store half the time while 53 percent recycle between 75 and 100 percent of the time. Blue Yonder said 64 percent of respondents “are willing to spend more on sustainable packaging, with 44 percent willing to spend up to 5 percent more.”
Wong said businesses can do more to implement practices that reduce waste and help the environment. He said companies are in a unique position “to start making smarter decisions that consider not only profit but the environment and humankind.”
“With the use of powerful new technologies, these factors are no longer mutually exclusive,” Wong said. “Forecasting demand using artificial intelligence and machine learning is one of the most effective ways to do this. These advanced tools can detect obscure business patterns from hundreds of variables, including the weather, price elasticity and events, to predict sales at the most granular levels. This allows businesses to operate responsibly — and profitably — via reduced waste, more efficient production, smarter transportation strategies and reduced resource consumption.”