Third of online shoppers only buy from responsible brands

35 per cent of online shoppers in the UK will only associate with responsible brands, including those that treat staff fairly, source goods ethically, and do not misuse consumer data, according to new research.

A study into online shopping behaviour and ethics from Empathy.co, based on a Censuswide survey of more than 4,000 UK digital consumers, found that 47 per cent of shoppers prefer to shop with brands they trust.

A further 22 per cent said they would pay more for the brands they trust.

40 per cent of surveyed shoppers said that they don’t like being asked for unnecessary or sensitive data, and 37 per cent said that they would like more control of the data that businesses have on them, due to an inherent mistrust around how their data is being collected, used, or sold by these brands.

The report also revealed that 31 per cent of online shoppers prefer to associate with brands that are green, and use ecological packaging in their deliveries, and 37 per cent actively try to order local, or national, to reduce their carbon footprint.

“The appetite for ethics and responsibility in online brands is clearly surging, and competition is fierce when customers have a plethora of options, should they realise that their ‘favourite’ brand is not treating staff fairly, sourcing goods responsibly, or utilising customer data ethically,” said Angel Maldonado, Empathy.co founder & chief executive. “To convey trustworthiness, businesses need to adopt a transparent approach to their operations and communicate these intentions in every aspect of what they do.”

Maldonado added: “This requires brands to invest in a website and search and discovery function that is efficient and private by design, whilst remaining open and honest about how they use customer preferences and where they source goods and services.”

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