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Thought leadership

Some fascinating research in this week’s newsletter that focusses on the emergence of a new breed of ‘conscious consumer’, more aware of, and more concerned about the environmental impact of their purchases as we emerge from the coronavirus lockdown.

For many consumers, the temporary closure of physical shops has provided the opportunity to reassess and re-evaluate their shopping habits. The report, titled ‘Selling Sustainability: Adapting to the New Conscious Consumer’, found that consumer attention has turned to the sustainability of the buying cycle and the environmental impact associated with their changing shopping habits.

Over a third of shoppers now say that they are more conscious of the environmental impact their online shopping habits have, than before the pandemic. Meanwhile, nearly three-quarters of consumers expect online retailers and brands to use recyclable packaging or minimise their use of packaging.

Despite buying habits changing and online retailers and brands deploying innovative ways of using technology to replicate in-store shopping experiences, there is still a lack of awareness among consumers about what happens to returned items. In fact, one in four consumers report that they are aware of what actually happens to products when they return them to online retailers and brands.

Christophe Pecoraro, Managing Director of PFS Europe, comments: “For retailers, a change in behaviour and beliefs means they must work even harder to gain and maintain loyalty from consumers by positioning themselves as a brand that understands the needs and desires of its customers throughout the entire buying journey. Getting the balance right is important, but so too is authenticity. Consumers can see through empty gestures – substance is essential. Consumers are now more carefully considering what, where and how they buy items. The brands that meet these needs will be best positioned to thrive in the future.”

The issues and challenges thrown up by this research will be examined in detail at our Virtual Customer Engagement Transformation Conference this autumn. Look forward to welcoming you there.

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