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Younger shoppers ordered online more often in lockdown than older shoppers, despite the environmental impact: study

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Younger shoppers may be perceived as the most eco-conscious members of society, but in Covid-19 lockdown they have defied those expectations by ordering 50% more online deliveries than older shoppers, new research suggests.

An study from locker company InPost, carried out by Censuswide, questioned 2,000 UK adults who make decisions about shopping in their household, and found that millennials aged between 18 and 24, had ordered an average of 50% more online deliveries each week than their baby boomer counterparts, aged 55 and over.

The research suggested that younger shoppers made less eco-conscious decisions in lockdown than older shoppers and that might be because the convenience of online shopping makes them more likely to make several orders or more impulse purchases. Looking ahead, however, 43% of millennials said they would be more likely to think about the environmental consequences of deliveries in the future, compared to 28% of the over-55s. That included thinking about the impact of traffic, packaging and recycling. 

Jason Tavaria, chief executive of InPost UK, said: “Millennials have grown up in a world where everything is available at the touch of a button, and online shopping in this age group continues to increase. But this disparity in the correlation between their online shopping habits and understanding of consequence on the environment is a surprise. However, much thought has been given to the environment in recent weeks and we’re encouraged by such a large proportion (43%) who plan to make more eco-conscious delivery decisions in the future. We believe in the long term much more consumers will consider the environment more when choosing delivery options.”

InPost argues that locker delivery is more environmentally friendly than home delivery, since a courier can drop more than 50 parcels in one stop, compared to 50 stops criss-crossing residential streets to make home deliveries. It says the reduced hours that vans spend on roads when making locker deliveries mean that lockers can drive up to two-thirds less in CO2 emissions compared to home deliveries while also reducing congestion and improving air quality in cities.

Tavaria said: “As an industry we need to do more to educate consumers on the reality of their online shopping habits and the impact on air pollution. Parcel lockers can have a significant impact on carbon emissions and are ideal for savvy online shoppers looking for both an environmentally-friendly and convenient delivery option when buying online.”

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