Monday, 14 November 2022

Should Delivery Be More Sustainable? Gen Z says...

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Robert Andall

With COP 27 currently taking place and the environmental matter being even more under our attention, there is still much confusion around which brand is really sustainable according to the younger consumers, Gen Zers.

Your brand and products are sustainable, is your delivery service sustainable as well? This is the question puzzling for Gen Z.

The newest report found by UNiDAYS gives new insights into Zoomers' view on the market. Two-thirds of Gen Z want brands to deliver products and solutions that appeal to their social conscience but they do not know enough to identify which delivery services are eco-friendly.

The Sustainability Report: Insights on Gen Z'

UNiDAYS'  Sustainability Report, built with sustainable and eco-friendly delivery service Zedify, explored the view of 5,000 students across the UK. With the data collected, they found that almost two-fifths (39%) of Gen Z-ers believes the responsibility for being environmentally and socially sound lies with brands – compared to just over a quarter (26%) who think it is the government's role and 13% who see accountability sitting with individual

Sustainable Delivery According to Gen Z

80% of Gen Z would also consider paying more for delivery if products met their sustainability expectations, with over half of respondents willing to pay 20% to 30% more. Surprisingly, one in three students is even willing to forego convenience and believes brands should stop providing next-day delivery if it improves their sustainability. This number rises further to 39% for deliveries under minimum set values.

With Gen Z’s appetite for lower-carbon delivery being made clear, it is surprising that ParcelSupport’s recent research showed that only 4% of retailers offer carbon-neutral delivery; just 6% offer less packaging as an option at checkout, and none provide sustainability messaging in their delivery communication.

The opportunity for retailers to build loyalty with Gen Z consumers is clear. Initially improving the transparency around their delivery services will enable environmentally-conscious Gen Z-ers to make an educated choice about their purchase habits. Other education measures could see brands help consumers better understand collated delivery options to limit the impact of last-mile delivery.

For those brands that are able to update services and benefit from early-mover advantages, 48% of Zoomers would be more likely to purchase a product if last-mile delivery was completed by an e-cargo bike and 33% would like to see their delivery arrive in an electric van.

However, brands still need to be careful with prices.

Of students who now buy from preloved shops and apps, 73% do so to help the environment but 86% shop this way for lower prices. So even if sustainability offers improve, this price-savvy generation will still have an eye on value.

“Our research is a clear signal for brands that Gen-Zers are ready to commit to more sustainable shopping habits. They are already shifting to purchasing more secondhand products and this should encourage retailers to deliver and communicate more sustainable solutions,” comments Alex Gallagher, Chief Strategy Officer at UNiDAYS. “Students are seeking more information about simple, cost-effective and sustainable purchasing options and the brands that deliver these first will gain a clear competitive advantage with this apex consumer group.”

Jon Williams, CCO at sustainable last mile delivery company Zedify, says “Gen Z have seen fashion brands focus heavily on sustainable production of clothes but, as the report shows, there are a surprisingly small number of retailers offering sustainable deliveries which decarbonise the last mile, rather than just offsetting its emissions. With the report showing Gen Z are least informed about the eco credentials of deliveries, there is a brilliant opportunity for retailers and brands to start issuing clear sustainability messaging through their delivery methods, in order to communicate more transparently and build trust within this growing consumer base. This will empower environmentally-conscious Gen Z-ers to make more educated choices about their purchase habits.”

Find the complete Sustainability Report here.

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