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Retail Technology Show research: Half of shoppers would avoid retailers that greenwash

Half of consumers would avoid shopping with retailers perceived to be greenwashing, according to the latest research by Retail Technology Show, a new flagship event for the retail industry which is set to take place on 26-27 April 2022.

Surveying 2,000 UK shoppers, Retail Technology Show found this figure rose to almost two thirds (63%) when accounting for Gen Z audiences and 59% for millennials, which indicates the importance younger shoppers place on eco trustworthiness.

The research also found that 47% of shoppers already actively buy more from brands they perceive to be sustainable – again this rises for Gen Z (65%).

Meanwhile, 60% of those polled said retailers’ commitment to sustainability would become more of an important factor in their buying decisions over the next five years, although this figure increased to 67% of 18-25 year olds.

Additional research by tech company Retail Insight found 62% of consumers were untrusting of retailers’ and brands’ eco pledges, believing they merely pay lip-service to sustainability initiatives.

Matt Bradley, event director for the Retail Technology Show, which runs for the first time this spring and will involve circa 180 exhibitors from the world of retail technology as well as a comprehensive two-day conference programme, said: “Put simply, greenwashing just won’t wash with shoppers.”

He added: “Consumers now expect retailers’ sustainability efforts to be deeply and genuinely rooted in the brands’ psyche, rather than it being any short-termist play. And that means retail businesses need to carefully consider both how they can evolve their businesses operationally to be greener, and also how this is effectively communicated to shoppers in a genuine, transparent and engaging manner.”

Using less packaging was the top way UK consumers felt retailers could make their operations greener (78%), while 71% identified the supply chain as a focus for improvements, followed by 69% who said making bricks-and-mortar stores more eco would help retailers improve sustainability.

Some 48% of consumers wanted retailers to pay an online delivery ‘green tax’ so the environmental impact of their eCommerce fulfilment operations could be offset – this figure rose to 61% of 18-24-year-olds.

Read more about this subject in Retail Technology Show’s Retail Revolution report.

Taking place at London’s Olympia on the 26-27 April 2022, Retail Technology Show’s mission is to drive the industry forward through innovation by bringing together the brightest minds in retail and future-forward technology providers. 

Registration to the event that brings together Europe’s leading tech innovators and most forward-thinking retailers and brands is open. Click here to register to attend the event.

Green Retail World is proud to be a media partner of the Retail Technology Show

[Image credit: Green Retail World]

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