Consumers would wait longer for goods delivered ‘more sustainably’, survey says

International branding and customer experience agency I-AM has revealed almost three quarters of consumers would be happy to wait longer for goods if the delivery method was more sustainable.

The findings from I-AM’s HERE: NOW Exploring the Next Generation of Convenience survey indicated these consumers would approve of delivers by bikes or ‘green cars’, while 65% would be happy for their orders to be handled by a drone or robot.

2,000 people aged between 18-45 and living in urban and suburban cities across the UK, were surveyed. 92% of these consumers revealed they would back greener delivery options, although this figure dropped to half if it meant higher costs.

The study also found over a third of consumers felt that sustainable and eco-friendly options should be more convenient.

I-AM Group Partner Pete Champion, said: “Convenience services need to act more like concierge services, adding exclusivity as a key differentiator. By doing this, it is the first step in creating more initiatives that can tap into and connect with local communities, creating spaces for engagement and exploration.

“With more digitally-enabled hyper-local formats popping up, consumers want retailers to give them the convenience  of not having to work out what is good and what is not. Showing consumers offerings that both tell them that an item is trendy, good in quality and curating fresh, diverse and healthy product choices allow consumers to trust and learn more.”

Fashion retailers such as H&M have already started trialling greener bike delivery options, while a zero-emissions freight hub has been installed in Hammersmith, London, with the aim of reducing road freight and air pollution in the borough.

And other retailers are also attempting to ride the eco-friendly wave too, with Co-op launching a new online delivery service in partnership with in March while across the Atlantic UPS has integrated e-Bikes and e-Cargo bikes into its delivery offering for Seattle.

This week, a £1.2 million funding pot was announced by the Department for Transport allowing local authorities across England, Scotland and Wales to apply for up to £200,000 funding to support the cost of e-Cargo bikes for local businesses and fleets.

Pairing these ongoing initiatives with the evident support for greener goods deliveries from consumers highlighted by I-AM’s study, it appears likely that more of these schemes and funding opportunities will be implemented in the near future, as the UK continues to tackle the climate crisis, air pollution levels, and traffic congestion.

I-AM’s Convenience Survey can be read in full here.

Hayley Everett

Multimedia Reporter

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