Pandemic boosts consumer focus on ethics

Over a third of UK shoppers say they are more motivated to buy things based on ethics, new research has found.

This number rises to 45 per cent for the demographic of 18-35 year olds and 47 per cent for consumers in Greater London.

According to a study from Cashflows, which surveyed 2055 UK shoppers, 91 per cent of Brits now actively seek out products with ethical affiliations.

Respondents over 56 are most likely to opt for local produce (43 per cent) and British manufactured products (42 per cent), whereas 18-35 year olds seek cruelty-free products (32 per cent) and products with recycled packaging / that do not use plastic (30 per cent).

But the research suggests that there could be a disconnect between intention and action, with 39 per cent of respondents saying that now buy more from chains or large corporates like Amazon than they did before the pandemic, while only 11 per cent have reduced these purchases.

Independent retailers have experienced a more mixed picture – 24 per cent of respondents say they have shopped more at independent stores whereas 23 per cent have done so less since the pandemic began.

“While lockdown has been a cue for many to buy local and more strongly consider ethical factors, creating huge opportunity for independent retailers, the fact remains that cost, convenience and quality still reign supreme,” said Amanda Mesler, chief executive, Cashflows. “It is therefore essential that retailers of all sizes are equipped to manage transactions across any platform or channel.”

Mesler added: “The online payment process is a significant factor in this, particularly for a key target demographic of consumer retailers - 18-35 year olds. To be successful and ensure high conversion rates, merchants must provide a smooth and seamless payment experience, which adds to the joy of purchase rather than extracting from it.”

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