Shoppers are now looking for more ethical and more local brands to buy from, a study suggests.
Most UK adults now care how a business operates – not just what it sells, according to research by payments provider Elavon. It questioned more than 1,100 UK adults, via Ipsos Mori, and found that shoppers are concerned about issues from safe working conditions (94%) to environmental sustainability (89%). Factors including a business’ reputation (93%), supporting local businesses (90%) and fair supply chains that don’t use child labour (90%) were also important to respondents. Support for ethical business was important across all age groups, from those in Gen Y and Millennial age groups to those aged between 55 and 75.
When asked about payment methods, 48% said that they had either started to use or increased their use of contactless payments during the pandemic – and 54% of those aged between 55 and 75 planned to continue using them more than before. Digital wallets have also been adopted by 16% of UK respondents. When asked which digital payment methods they would use once restrictions were lifted, 91% cited contactless payments, and 79% digital wallets.
Parallel research among businesses found that 82% agreed ethical and green credentials would be even more important to their customers in the future. Elevon subsidiary Opayo – previously Sage Pay – and partner Discover Global Network questioned 160 small UK businesses via Savanta in April and found 80% reported that being a local business has become more important than it was in the past, and 74% say that their local communities have stepped up to support them.
Simon Tune, commercial director at Elavon, says: “Our research shows that today’s consumers are increasingly mindful of who and where they decide to buy from, and the environmental and social impacts this might have on our planet and broader society.
“Businesses should be aware of changing attitudes to become more consumer-focused, which includes offering a wide range of payment options to make the experience as convenient as possible.”