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Shoppers now more willing to spend money and time on buying sustainably: study

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Most shoppers now say they want to buy from companies whose values they share – and a significant minority will pay more for sustainable goods.

More than four in 10 shoppers say they would pay more for a sustainably or ethically sourced product or service – and a third have actually done so, a new study suggests. The willingness to pay more for sustainability comes as 70% of shoppers say it’s important for them to buy from companies whose values align with their own.

The research, published in a blog from supercharged commerce, suggests that purpose-driven spending is on the rise with shoppers willing to pay an average of 20% more for products they know to have been sustainably sourced. 

In all, 43% of shoppers of 2,000 UK adults questioned for the study said they would pay more for a sustainable product, and 33% have done so in the past. 

Almost half (46%) of millennials say they spend more time researching a brand’s ethics and sustainability than they did a year ago. Gen Z and millennial respondents said they spent an average of 32 minutes a month on this, while only 22% of baby boomers and 6% of the silent generation have upped the time they spend on this research.

However, there’s a warning from the 62% of customers that think brands use sustainability as a tick box exercise, and 54% feel similarly about brand activism. More than half feel than brands ‘greenwash’ their products and policies in order to overstate how much they are really doing. 

Tim Edwards, founder of supercharged commerce, part of the CTI Group, says: “The past year has not only seen a spike in online sales, it’s seen consumers care more about shopping with brands that align with their values. As the time we spent at home significantly increased, consumers had more time to consider, research and evaluate the brands they were buying from.”

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