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Survey: Half of UK Consumers Want More Eco-Friendly Delivery Options

Retailers that fail to provide online shoppers with eco-friendly delivery options risk losing them to competitors who do, warns new consumer research by Doddle, a London-based click-and-collect service that partners with businesses to create pickup points in-store.

The numbers bear out: Nearly half (43 percent) of 2,196 British consumers polled in March said they would switch loyalties and shop at a rival retailer if it offered a greater variety of sustainable delivery options, including click and collect (also known as buy online, pickup in store), consolidated deliveries and in-store kiosks, which can cut down on traffic congestion and unnecessary carbon emissions.

Providing greener choices may soon become table stakes for retailers. Already, two-fifths of U.K. shoppers don’t believe retailers are doing a “good enough” job of offering sustainable delivery options, according to Doddle. A quarter of consumers (24 percent) expressed annoyance that home delivery is often the default or only delivery option.

Unsurprisingly, it’s younger shoppers who want to shake up the status quo. Although only 6 percent of consumers said they always collect their shopping instead of getting it delivered, 54 percent of those aged 18 to 24 said they planned to rely less on direct home delivery in the future. Another 56 percent said they would “vote with their feet” if a retailer doesn’t offer alternatives to home delivery.

In what Doddle called “the biggest wake-up call yet,” 50 percent of consumers said they want to support only retailers that offer a range of sustainable delivery options. In the case of younger shoppers alone, this number ticked up to 60 percent.

Consumers would cough up more more sustainable deliveries, too. Forty-seven percent of respondents said they would pay at least 1 pound ($1.30) extra, and 26 percent said they were willing to shell out 2 or more pounds.

Part of this has to do with increasing awareness. Nearly 60 percent of those polled said they’ve been “trip chaining”—that is, combining multiple tasks in a single journey—more than they used to. While 76 percent said they do this to reduce costs, 54 percent cited sustainability as their motivation.

“As shoppers continue to become more environmentally conscious, retailers need to mirror this in their offer,” Tim Robinson, CEO of Doddle, said in a statement. “While convenience remains important for customers, it’s not enough for sustainable delivery to be an add-on or afterthought anymore—in an already tough environment, it will set brands apart in their battle for customer loyalty.”