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Gen Z would pay more for sustainable last mile delivery, survey finds


A new study by UNiDAYS, a discount website for students, found 80% of Gen Z would consider paying more for products that meet their last mile sustainability expectations

UNiDAYS said with COP 27 on the horizon amid soaring energy prices, delivering sustainably is top of the agenda for both businesses and consumers. Its research also revealed that 67% of Gen Z prefer brands that appeal to their social conscience. 

However, the majority of students (67%) feel they don’t know enough about delivery services to assess which options are the most eco-friendly. So now, this rising consumer group is turning to brands to provide simple, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly last mile delivery solutions.

Surprisingly, one in three students think clothing brands should stop providing next-day delivery if it improves their sustainability credentials.This should give retailers the confidence to begin to implement and communicate changes to their delivery options, empowering consumers to support a more sustainable delivery model.

Given that 60% of respondents claim transparent communication on sustainability is a priority, an easy first step for retailers to achieve this is to be clear about their existing delivery services.

“The findings from our Sustainability report should empower retailers to enhance their supply chains to meet the environmentally conscious needs of Gen Z consumers,” said Alex Gallagher, chief strategy officer at UNiDAYS.

Taking action now could not only help gain consumer loyalty with Gen Z, but also provide retailers with first mover advantage. Recent findings from ParcelSupport showed that only 4% of retailers offer carbon neutral delivery (a category of sustainability Gen Z feels most informed about), just 6% offer less packaging as an option at checkout and none provide sustainability messaging in their delivery communication.

For those businesses looking for suggestions, e-cargo bikes seem to be Gen Z’s favoured option, with nearly half (48%) of students claiming they would be more likely to purchase a product if it was delivered by a cargo bike. A further 33% would prefer their deliveries to be made by an electric van, while 22% are agnostic between sustainable delivery solutions.

“This growing audience are ready to take the step to buy lower-emission delivery solutions but they need brands to take the lead, to educate their customers and to deliver simple cost-effective solutions,” said Jon Williams, CCO at Zedify.

“This research reveals that an environmentally friendly delivery service can significantly improve brand trust by meeting growing customer expectations. With transparent communication being a top priority among students, we hope retailers will recognise this increasing interest among a key target market and take the step to decarbonise delivery solutions for their customers.”

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