Upcoming at unBoxed: Learn how brands are connecting with environmentally-conscious consumers
15 October 2021 | By: Jareen Imam, Senior Content and Editorial Manager
From the materials used in their clothing to the packaging used to ship their products, there’s growing interest from customers to understand the environmental impacts of their purchasing decisions.
Climate-consciousness is rising as more customers assess how their shopping habits are potentially affecting the world. Trends like minimalism, durability, and re-usability in products are growing as customers become more environmentally mindful shoppers. In fact, some customers say environmental concerns are one of the social values they consider when shopping, according a report conducted by Environics Research and Amazon Ads that surveyed more than 10,000 consumers in the US, Canada and Europe.1
This shift in consumer shopping behaviour has been growing for several years. Sales of products marketed with sustainable attributes grew five times faster than products that didn’t market those attributes, according to analysis from 2013-2018 by NYU Stern’s Center for Sustainable Business.2 And this trend continued with more than half of consumer-packaged goods growth in the previous five years coming from sustainability-marketed products, according to 2020 research from NYU Stern’s Center for Sustainable Business.3
Shopping to adapt to a changing climate
The sustainability-related shopping trend is evolving. Increasingly, some customers want to preserve the planet while also protecting themselves from the consequences of the climate crisis, according to market research firm Mintel, who published consumer behaviour findings in their 2021 Sustainability Barometer report.4
As the planet continues to warm, trends indicate more customers will seek out appliances like air conditioners to stave off the heat, especially in regions like the US, China and India.5 Not only are customers concerned about staying cool; they are also hoping to protect themselves from pollutants like particulate matter floating in the air and micro-plastics and chemicals in the water. Shoppers in countries like China and India will likely have an increased need for products such as air and water purifiers, Mintel reports.6
Customers believe purchasing habits can make a positive impact
In August, the United Nations published a landmark report on climate change stating that it is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land.7
As climate conditions intensify in various parts of the world, some consumers are optimistic that their shopping behaviours can help reduce the negative consequences of climate change, according to Mintel’s report.8 Brands may be able to connect with these action-orientated customers who are hoping to purchase products that are more sustainable and durable. For example, some industry trends show a growing group of shoppers who are considering purchasing an electric vehicle or solar panels to help offset or reduce their carbon footprint.9
As consumer climate consciousness grows, brands have an opportunity to demonstrate how they are doing their part to minimise their climate impact through sustainable practices, products and projects.
What to watch for at Amazon’s unBoxed conference
Cameron Westfall, head of Amazon’s Climate Pledge Friendly programme, will moderate a panel on how brands are making sustainability a business priority and how they are reaching climate conscious consumers during Amazon’s 2021 unBoxed conference.
Those who want to learn more about sustainability shoppers and how brands may reach them can tune in to unBoxed from 26 October through to 27 October. The conference will host sessions that bring thought leaders, marketers, and brands together to explore and share trends, tips and tools for brands looking to connect with environmentally-conscious customers.
1 Environics Research/Amazon annual trends report, U.S., Canada, Europe, 2021
2 Sustainable Share Index™: Research on IRI Purchasing Data, NYU Stern, Center for Sustainable Business, 2018
3 Sustainable Market Share Index™: IRI Purchasing Data Reveals Sustainability Drives Growth, Survives the Pandemic, NYU Stern, Center for Sustainable Business, 2020
4 Mintel, Sustainability Barometer Report, 2021
5 Mintel, Sustainability Barometer Report, 2021
6 Mintel, Sustainability Barometer Report, 2021
7 United Nations, AR6 Climate Change 2021: “The Physical Science Basis”, 2021
8 Mintel, Sustainability Barometer Report, 2021
9 Mintel, Sustainability Barometer Report, 2021