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3 October 2019

Nordic consumers:
​​​​​​​difficult to shop sustainably online


Many consumers in Denmark, Norway and Sweden think that it is difficult to shop sustainably online. Lack of information about production and country of origin is one of the reasons. This appears from a study with more than 1,000 respondents from each of the three Nordic countries conducted by YouGov requested by the software company Bizzkit.

Some of the survey’s most important findings are:

​​​​​​​1. Many consumers, in particular women, say that they lack relevant information in order to be able to make more sustainable choices when shopping online.

2. The consumers prefer longer delivery times rather than increased expenses to obtain more sustainable e-commerce.

3. Many consumers believe that e-commerce is more harmful to the environment that shopping in physical shops.

During the summer, Bizzkit, which is a Danish e-commerce platform, conducted a survey in cooperation with YouGov to learn more about e-commerce and sustainability in Scandinavia. The background is an increased e-commerce and a growing interest in sustainability which poses new challenges for the industry.

- It is evident that many Nordic consumers today feel that they lack the right information to make more sustainable choices when shopping online, says Lars Hedal, CEO of Bizzkit.

The survey shows that 43% of those surveyed find it 'difficult' or 'very difficult' to find information that helps them to shop more sustainably.

More than four out of ten are primarily searching for information about the production of the products to be able to shop more sustainably online. Almost as many, 33%, are looking for information about the product’s country of origin. Almost one third also want information about the use of sustainable packaging.

Rather longer delivery time than increased freight charges

More than one third of the respondents believe that the manufacturers are mainly responsible for ensuring that the consumer can shop more sustainably online. Only one out of five believe that they are primarily responsible for shopping more sustainably online. More women than men think that the manufacturers have the main responsibility (37 and 29% respectively), whereas a larger number of men believe that they carry the responsibility (25% for men and 19% for women).

The respondents also had to answer the question how they would like to contribute to obtain more sustainable e-commerce. More than half (52%) say that they are willing to wait two more days for their products if the deliveries in return are carried out more sustainably.

- We think that it is interesting that more than half of the consumers say that they are ready to wait for the delivery for two more days when we also know that the e-commerce industry today is experiencing that it is becoming an increasingly important competitive parameter to be able to offer delivery on the same day or the next day, says Lars Hedal.

In general, the findings of the survey indicate that the consumers are not willing to pay more in the name of sustainability. More than 50% of those surveyed say that they are not or to a lesser extent willing to pay more for products or freight/return, even though it would have contributed to a more sustainable e-commerce.

However, a little more than one fifth of those surveyed are willing to pay DKK 10 more per product if the packaging is environmentally friendly.

The respondents:
e-commerce is more harmful to the environment

At a Nordic level, four out of ten of those surveyed (in Sweden it is almost half)) say that it is important or very important for them that the places where they shop focus on sustainability – whether it is in a physical shop or online.

In all three countries, it is in particular the women who focus on sustainability. Particularly the Swedish women where as many as 59% respond that it is ‘important’ or ‘very important’ for them that the places where they shop focus on sustainability.

- The survey shows that sustainability plays an increasing larger part for the consumers and that the e-commerce companies have to show how they are working with this. At present, online sales are falling behind compared to the physical shops if we consider what the consumers regard as the most harmful to the environment, says Lars Hedal.

Almost one fourth of those surveyed believe that it is more harmful to the environment to shop online than in physical shops. At the same time, more than one out of five respondents say that they find it easier to shop sustainably in physical shops compared to online.

Nevertheless, only very few of those surveyed will deselect a webshop if it does not live up to their demands for sustainability. More than 70% of those surveyed say that they have ‘never’ or ‘rarely’ deselected a webshop based on this.

For further information

Please contact CEO, Lars Hedal, at
tel. +45 40 25 50 83 or email: hedal@bizzkit.com


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