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Responsible retailing of growing importance to NZ consumers


New research from Accenture New Zealand shows Kiwis are prepared to use their wallets to reward those retailers that are responsible and address wider social issue through their business practices.

The survey of 500 New Zealanders, by Coleman Parkes Research, found 40 per cent of consumers plan to use their purchasing power to shop only with retailers that reflect their values.

Retailers under more pressure to be responsible

Accenture New Zealand’s research has found that while attributes such as traditional customer service (71 per cent), in-store experience (67 per cent), and range of products (65 per cent) remain top of mind for consumers, the performance of retailers on environmental, social and ethical considerations is becoming increasingly important.

Two fifths (41 per cent) of New Zealand consumers are expecting retailers to be more responsible and address social issues through their business practices and working conditions, while a similar number (43 per cent) are more likely to shop with a more environmentally conscious retailer.

50 per cent of all Kiwis want retailers to be more transparent on the steps they’re taking to reduce their environmental impact through initiatives such as reporting on carbon footprint and fair-trade practices while 43 per cent prefer retailers that demonstrate social awareness by taking a stand on social issues or supporting charities.

Retailers can help consumers to make responsible choices

The research found Kiwis would like retailers to help them make more responsible shopping choices through providing information and giving them options to recycle and / or reduce waste.

Nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) would like retailers to offer incentives for recycling unwanted items while, 61 per cent would like to be offered the flexibility to purchase in desired quantities to reduce waste and the option to choose packaging free products and delivery.

Consumers are also seeking more information from retailers on the origin, manufacturing and environmental impact of products to make responsible purchases.

Over half (58 per cent) would like to be shown the origin of materials and ingredients while 54 per cent say clear labelling of how sustainable or ethical products are would have them make informed, responsible purchasing decisions.

Supporting commentary by Ben Morgan Accenture Interactive New Zealand Managing Director:

“Retail consumers in 2020 now know and care more about our world and impact upon it than ever before. When we go shopping, we are no longer simply purchasing a product, we are also supporting causes and concepts with our spending.”

“Environmental and social responsibility is becoming an important differentiator for retailers. This is a trend we’ve observed globally as consumers increasingly look for brands that reflect their personal values. They’re prepared to use their purchasing power to encourage retailers to be more responsible in their environmental, social and workplace practices.”

“Consumers are also looking to retailers to provide the kind of information which will help them make responsible purchasing decisions and reduce negative environmental and social impact from retail. There’s a clear appetite amongst Kiwis to take ownership of these challenges and be part of the solution; at the same time, they’re also asking for help from retailers and rewarding those that provide it.”

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