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Two-thirds of UK shoppers value ethics and sustainability in retailers, reshaping their post-pandemic habits

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Some 62% of UK consumers say that that a retailer’s ethics such as paying staff fairly, contributing to community, or caring about the environment, are more important to them now as a result of the pandemic. The majority (52%) also said that they are now more likely to shop with retailers that have ethical suppliers or supply chains.

The study by Adyen finds that this sentiment is strongest amongst the younger generation, with nearly two thirds (64%) of those aged 18-34 saying they will go out of their way to shop with responsible businesses that demonstrated a social conscience and engaged with charitable initiatives during the pandemic.

These trends highlight a shift in shopping behaviours as consumer become more socially aware following the pandemic. As Myles Dawson, UK Managing Director at Adyen, says: “The phrase ‘actions speak louder than words’ has reflected consumer attitudes towards retailers during the pandemic. It’s clear that consumers want to support the retailers that leant a hand in supporting the community. Rather than looking for bargain prices, more consumers are willing to pay a premium to shop with those that have social-conscience.”

While ethics will influence where consumers shop after the pandemic, the level of convenience retailers offered shoppers will also play a part. Adyen’s research reveals that, after the pandemic, over half of consumers (58%) will only use recognised retailers that they can rely on to deliver goods quickly, and 54% said an online retailer’s delivery partner is an important factor when choosing to shop with them.

The survey also suggests that consumers remain cautious about social interaction; 49% say they want to shop with retailers that use technology to reduce person-to-person contact, such as self-checkout with mobile apps, or kiosks.

“Convenience has been a huge feature of adaptation during lockdown as people have been mindful of rules around social distancing. Retailers that harness technology to meet shopper expectation will have retained a larger customer base. In particular, those that blur the lines between physical and online offerings, such as shopping online and collecting in-store, will fare well as life in the UK gets back to normal,” Dawson concludes.

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