Consumers Shop Green For Holidays

Environmental_leader_jpegsOriginally posted Nov. 16, 2007
Environmental Leader

Experts and research companies including Pricegrabber.com, Cone, and
Deloitte are predicting that green holiday shopping will be hot this
year.

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PriceGrabber.com Survey:

PriceGrabber.com says that 71 percent of those responding to its
recent holiday survey say it is important to them to purchase
eco-friendly products this holiday season, says Ron LaPierre, president
of the Los Angeles-based company, MediaPost reports.

“Even though green gifts and green products are hot right now, the
flame of consumer interest burns out very quickly,” says Robbie
Blinkoff, a consumer anthropologist and managing director of
Context-Based Research Group in Baltimore. “Right now, with all the
interest in global warming, there’s a lot of energy. Smart marketers
need to be not righteous, but ‘lefteous’,” he says, “and recognize that
consumers want to be taken to the next level.”For retailers, he says,
that means having a whole portfolio of green products, not just one or
two.

Cone Survey:

Nearly half of Americans (48 percent) will try to buy fewer gifts or
holiday products this season because they are concerned about the
effect their consumption may have on the environment, according to
research from Cone.

The environment is also impacting the purchases Americans plan to
make. Almost six in ten (59 percent) say they are more likely to buy
“green” products this year than in the past. Interestingly, more than
half of Americans surveyed (52 percent) say the motivation for green
shopping is to alleviate the guilt associated with holiday consumption.

More than half of Americans (54 percent) say they would be willing
to pay more for a holiday gift or product if it is environmentally
responsible, and an equally motivated number (55 percent) say they
proactively seek opportunities to buy green gifts and products around
the holidays.

Americans’ environmentally sensitive behavior extends beyond gifts,
as well. They are purchasing gift wrap made from recycled paper (42
percent) or decorating with energy efficient holiday lighting (32
percent). Other consumer choices include:

•    Products made by companies that are environmentally responsible – 29%
•    Shopping with retailers that have environmentally responsible practices – 27%
•    Energy-efficient gifts – 27%
•    Gifts with recycled content – 26%
•    Organic/locally produced food for holiday meals or gifts – 23%
•    Apparel made with environmentally responsible materials – 20%
•    Making a donation to an environmental cause as a gift in someone’s name – 15%
•    Purchasing carbon credits to offset holiday travel and/or shopping – 3%

Deloitte Survey:

Almost one in five consumers (18 percent) will purchase more
“eco-friendly” products this holiday season than in the past, and a
similar number (17 percent) will shop at more “green” retailers, according to the Annual Holiday Survey of retail spending and trends, commissioned by Deloitte.

Additionally, almost one-third of consumers (27 percent) surveyed
will use fewer plastic bags from supermarkets and other stores this
holiday season, and one in five (20 percent) will consider not wrapping
holiday gifts to conserve paper. Surprisingly, these responses
concerning the environment and holiday shopping intentions were
consistent across gender, age and income groups.

“Most importantly, a significant number of people – 17 percent – are
willing to pay more for ‘green’ gifts or supplies, which tells us that
this issue is on shoppers’ minds this year and is becoming more central
to consumers’ purchasing decisions,” said Stacy Janiak, Deloitte’s U.S.
Retail Leader.

“Savvy retailers are taking concrete steps to become more
environmentally friendly, and are incorporating this sensibility into
their operations, as well as their customer communications. At the same
time, they should be cautious about promoting their eco-initiatives too
early, before they’ve made real progress, due to the potential for
consumer backlash.”

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