Marketers Losing Green Shoppers at the Checkout

Sustainable life media logo jpeg As many studies have shown, it is clear that consumers are aware of and interested in green products, but they're not buying them a lot of the time.  A new study tells why.

  • Marketers are losing ~73% of customers along path to purchase
  • Consumers need more information – why product is great, why it's worth extra $$

Posted May 1, 2009
By Sustainable Life Media

While green consumers say they want eco-friendly products, a new
study suggests that businesses and brand marketers are losing around
73% of the consumer market at several key points along the path to a

The study by the Grocery Manufacturers Association and Deloitte
finds 95% of shoppers surveyed are open to considering green products,
67% actively look for green products, only 47% find them, and just 22%
actually purchase something green on their shopping trips.

What is the disconnect? The study suggests that there are several
reasons why consumers’ green product aspirations do not materialize at
the checkout, which include:

  • Concerns about product performance and credibility of the environmental claims;
  • A lack of marketer communication and product education at point-of-sale; and
  • While 54% of respondents consider sustainability to be one of their
    purchasing decision making factors, price still tends to trump
    sustainability as a dominant purchase driver.

“Shoppers don’t understand why a green product should cost more if
it was manufactured with less packaging or it was transported less
distance,” says the report.

On the plus side, the research implies that once a consumer has made
the decision to purchase a green product, they are very likely to stick
with it and buy it regularly.

“Sustainable product characteristics are emerging as an important
brand differentiator, but to capture the potential market value of
green shoppers, retailers and manufacturers must do a better job of
communicating the sustainable attributes behind the products to show
the value of buying green to the shopper,” notes Scott Bearse, director
and retail leader of Deloitte LLP’s Enterprise Sustainability group.
“Consistent, aligned messaging in stores, online, and at other touch
points will be essential to converting shoppers from simply being
interested in green to buying green.”

The report provides specific recommendations on how to translate the “latent demand for green products” into revenue by:

  1. Defining the size of the prize for green products at your company and understand your high value consumers;
  2. Developing overall strategy & value proposition mapped to product offerings and positioning;
  3. Collaboratively developing integrated marketing and communication plans to deliver against brand promise; and
  4. Integrating sustainability across the value chain

Read the report in its entirety, here.

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