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Aussies will pay more for sustainable products

Shoppers’ priorities are changing.

Australian shoppers are willing to pay more for environmentally-friendly products from sustainable companies, according to new findings by Salmat and ACRS.

The research found that a third of Australian shoppers (34 per cent) will buy sustainable products, but 31 per cent said they don’t purchase a brand or product that doesn’t adhere to their values, ethics or sustainability practices.

Almost three quarters (72 per cent) of shoppers rank ethical brand behaviour among their top three priorities in shopping for products.

“Ethical consumerism is on the rise, and our research shows that CSR practices do affect consumer purchase decisions,” Salmat’s head of digital and e-commerce Karen Lewis said.

“In some cases, consumers are even willing to pay more for CSR practices. Therefore, for brands to connect with consumers, they need to understand what CSR practices will resonate best with their target audience. Brands can do this by gathering data on its customers and analysing it for trends and insights.”

Climate change and the environment are the most important issues to consumers, closely followed by data privacy & security and homegrown products.

Supermarket buyers look for good ethical behaviour when it comes to groceries. Half of shoppers think it’s important and 75 per cent include it in their top three categories.

The marketing firm found out that 36 per cent of shoppers use Google and other search engines to find out the brand’s values, ethics, CSR and sustainability practices. While 34 per cent will check the company’s website, 14 per cent will check social media to learn more about a brand’s CSR program. Only 3 per cent buy products based on its ambassador, influencers or celebrities endorsing them.

“The research further supports our 2019 Salmat Marketing Report which reveals that whilst search engines are the most influential channel for consumers, only a quarter of marketers are investing in Search Engine Optimisation and Search Engine Marketing. This highlights a mismatch between consumer behaviour and marketer behaviour. Marketers need to keep an eye on the data it has on its consumers and adapt as needed. We need to do this regularly and quickly to prevent losing customers to competitors,” Lewis commented.

About 19 per cent of consumers said that they shop at stores that speaks on social issues.

“Consumers today expect brands to be authentic. They can usually determine when a brand is genuinely advocating for an issue or just taking advantage of one. Therefore, it’s important to align CSR practices with the broader business objectives and strategy. For brands, it’s important to take a stance on an issue that the organisation is truly passionate about,” Lewis added.

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