More than half of Christmas shoppers looked for green credentials when choosing online retailers, according to research released by web host 1&1 Internet.
The survey of 1,500 consumers found that 59% are more likely to buy if a retailer uses eco-friendly practices such as recycling and using renewable energy. The data also reveals that one in four consumers now expect retailers to use eco-friendly services across their operation, as well as recycling and reducing physical waste.
The use of renewable electricity to power their website is viewed as being as important as is using less polluting vehicles, and the survey also revealed that 37% of Britons now expect online retailers to be reducing their environmental impact to the same degree as high-street stores.
1&1's Greener Shopping Survey found that most Christmas shoppers consider the environment impact of their purchases. Over half of consumers (59%) now consider a retailer's use of 'green' practices within their buying decision, and nearly three quarters (72%) believe that online retailers have a responsibility to act. Whilst 37% of shoppers expect online retailers to tackle the issue to the same degree as high street stores, one in five say they are more likely to buy from a retailer that explains its carbon usage on its website.
Consumers now expect online stores to adopt a wide range of environmentally responsible practices. As well as the more obvious efforts such as recycled packaging (44%) and reduced packaging (43%), and eco friendly vehicles (24%), one in four (24%) of online shoppers seek retailers who use green services such as renewable electricity across their operation. A quarter are more likely to buy from a retailer which powers its servers with renewable energy, the same proportion that look for the use of eco-friendly vehicles. The use of renewable energy by online retailers is seen by 20 percent of shoppers as equal in importance to the use of recycled packaging.
"As more of us think about our personal impact on the environment, there has been a surge in demand for greener practices in retail," says Oliver Mauss, CEO of 1&1 Internet. "A significant proportion of British consumers now expect all types of retailer to power their operations with renewable energy, and for online stores that should start with their website".
Some shoppers are struggling with 'eco-guilt', the survey found, with one in 10 Britons admitting to weighing-up the environmental cost of each online purchase they make. Levels of guilt on the issue were highest in London (13%) and lowest in Yorkshire (3%).
"Green IT is no longer just a concern for multinational retailers," added Mauss. "By implementing more eco-friendly technologies such as green-hosting, smart retailers of any size can demonstrate their effort to lower environmental impact and can bolster customer loyalty and spend in doing so".