Nearly one in four shoppers are willing to pay more for something if it makes them feel like they are contributing to saving the environment.
That’s according to a recent that also shows shoppers age 18 to 34 are slower to embrace making purchasing changes to benefit the environment than those shoppers ages 35 to 44 and 55 to 64. These are among the findings of The Checkout, a shopper experience study currently underway by the Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research.
While college-age consumers are expected to quickly embrace eco-concerns, data shows they aren’t necessarily willing to pay money to do so. There’s also a higher eco-consciousness amongst the 55-plus set compared to younger generations. Results show that all consumers are willing to make easy changes such as switching out light bulbs or getting paperless statements, but when it comes to doing something that requires more time, money and effort, such as only purchasing locally-grown organic food or carpooling, the amount of willing participants drops.
“Buying local means purchasing new products in new ways, requiring more effort behind routine shopping trips. To change behavior, the incentive must be compelling with tangible benefits,” said Craig Elston, Integer Group SVP. “If shoppers can’t see or feel an immediate reward for this new behavior – saving money, time, creating social change, etc. – they’ll opt to stick with what they know. Enabling shoppers to become change agents means helping them overcome deeper psychological barriers within.”
Environmental awareness historically has heightened around Earth Day in April, but its influence is broadening and becoming something of which brands and marketers should consider taking advantage. Instead of short-term or once-a-year promotions, changes that are permanent or long-term are those that create a feeling and show shoppers that companies are serious and committed and then consumers will begin to follow.
“Marketers must focus on the emotional need instead of only the functional benefits if they want to see change,” said Randy Wahl, EVP, M/A/R/C Research. “They need to make it worth their while. Price and quality are largely functional benefits. An emotional reward that focuses on how consumers feel versus the functional environmental benefit is the territory in which marketers must play.”
Data for The Checkout comes from a national survey conducted by Integer and M/A/R/C in which consumers are asked about their shopping attitudes, shopping behaviors and economic outlook. Data is available for download at Integer’s blog or M/A/R/C’s web site.
The Integer Group creates strategic marketing solutions for clients in categories that include retail, beverage, packaged goods, telecommunications, home and shelter, automotive aftermarket and power sports.
Omnicom Group Inc. provides advertising, strategic media planning and buying, digital and interactive marketing, direct and promotional marketing, public relations, and other specialty communications services to 5,000 clients in 100 countries.
M/A/R/C Research is a brand development firm dedicated to helping clients create, evaluate and strengthen their brands.