Sustainability means different things to people depending on age, gender, locale, and whether they are consumers or merchants.
Recent research reveals that consumers and merchants often differ on the perceived importance of sustainability when making a purchase.
In 2021, First Insight, a provider of analytics tools for retailers, and the Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers and 51 senior retail executives. The results showed that most consumer respondents across every generation expect retailers and brands to become more sustainable.
Among the findings:
- Consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable brands and products than retailers assume. Over two-thirds of consumer respondents said they are willing to pay at least 10% more while two-thirds of retailers stated that shoppers would pay no more.
- Almost three-quarters of consumers said that sustainability is a very or somewhat important purchase consideration, while only half of the retailers stated that sustainability is consequential to consumers.