23 April 2024

How sustainable delivery matters to your customers

Sustainability, especially environmental sustainability, is an issue to which consumers seem to be increasingly sensitive. But is it possible to quantify eShoppers’ interest in sustainability?

If you are an eCommerce manager and you are trying to figure out whether it is worth implementing sustainability-oriented strategies for your eCommerce, especially with regard to shipping, you are in the right place. In this insight we will provide you with some useful data to understand how much sustainability matters to eShoppers and, more specifically, how sustainable deliveries matter.

Let’s get started!

How much we talk about sustainability:

How much sustainability is talked about in the world

In order to answer the initial question, i.e. how much interest consumers have in the topic of sustainability, we can only start by analysing the interest in the topic itself.

As can be seen from the graph below, in the last five years around the world, between times of increased attention, and times of decreased interest, online searches for the keyword sustainability have increased.

Trend di ricerca del termine chiave “sostenibilità” nel mondo negli ultimi cinque anni. Fonte: Google Trend

How much we talk about sustainability in Italy

The same trend is also visible by limiting the analysis to online searches by Italians.

In the last decade, in fact, more and more Italians have become informed about sustainability, demonstrating that interest is high and the topic hot.

Trend di ricerca del termine chiave “sostenibilità” in Italia dal 2004 ad oggi. Fonte: Google Trend

How many shipments are there in the world

Let us now take a look at the world’s shipping figures, before relating them to the interest in sustainability.

According to Pitney Bowes, worldwide parcel shipments reached 161 billion in 2022, 1% more than in 2021. According to estimates, the volume of parcels shipped worldwide will continue to grow in the coming years, approaching 225 billion by 2028, i.e. 40% more than today.

This staggering increase is also inevitably linked to the increase in online purchases and the consolidation of the eCommerce world. In fact, in Italy alone in 2023 purchases through online shops reached a value of 54 billion, 13% more than in 2022 (source: Netcomm).

To recapitulate, shipments are increasing and at the same time interest in sustainability is growing. It was inevitable, therefore, that consumer interest in more sustainable shipping would also increase, especially considering that transport, and especially last-mile transport, has a strong impact on environmental sustainability.

How sustainable delivery matters to consumers

Consumer interest in sustainability, more generally, and in sustainable shipping, in particular, varies from country to country and, above all, from generation to generation.

How sustainable delivery matters to European consumers – Area Nordics

The European countries most focused on sustainable eCommerce are the so-called Nordics, i.e. the economic-geographical area comprising Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Analysing data from PostNord’s E-commerce in Europe report (2021), it emerges that, among these, the country most inclined to sustainable shipping, i.e. at Locker and Pick-up Points, is Sweden, where 17% of consumers choose Pick-Up/Drop-off deliveries and 34% deliveries at Locker.

Overall, 60% of consumers from the Nordic countries say they are interested in sustainability in online shopping.

How sustainable delivery matters to European consumers – Mediterranean Area

The European country in the Mediterranean region that pays the most attention to sustainable shipping is France, where all generations declare themselves willing to pay up to 5% more for Carbon Neutral shipping in a proportion ranging from 45% for Baby Boomers, up to 63% for Generation Z (i.e. those born between the late 1990s and early 2000s, by 2010).

Generation Z is in fact the one to cater for most if you aim to grow your eCommerce.

Attention to this issue is also very high in Spain, where more than 50% of consumers declare that they have changed their lifestyle to be more eco-sustainable by buying products with a lower environmental impact (source: Global Sustainability Study, Simon-Kucher & Partners).

And what about Italy? Despite the fact that the number of consumers with an eye on green and sustainable shipping is lower, there is still a generation gap, with the younger generations becoming increasingly environmentally aware. In fact, according to DPD’s E-Shopper comparison tool, in 2023 the most environmentally aware consumers were between the ages of 18 and 34.

consegne sostenibili spedizioni sostenibili eCommerce consegne alternative Locker Punti di Ritiro Ordini online

Furthermore, delivery alternatives to traditional home delivery are on the rise. In fact, 9.6% of Italian eShoppers choose deliveries at Pick-up Points, 5.2% at Locker and 1.9% in Click&Collect mode. Also interesting is the share of those who choose to have their online orders delivered directly to their workplace, to their office, amounting to 4.1% in 2023 (source: Delivery Index, Consorzio Netcomm – Poste Italiane, 2023).

To draw the line, sustainable (as well as fast and free, but we will talk about this soon in another in-depth article) deliveries are increasingly important for European consumers (and not only), as for more and more eShoppers, sustainable delivery is becoming a key driver in their choice of online purchases.

Consequently, to win over new consumers, especially those belonging to the younger generation, investing in sustainable shipping – and returns – is crucial.

How to make your deliveries more sustainable

If you are an eCommerce Manager looking for sustainable delivery and return solutions for your online store, you are in the right place. GEL Proximity provides over 200,000 Pick-up Points and Lockers for eCommerce, logistics operators and carriers.

Start offering your customers more sustainable order delivery and return solutions now!

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