A new report from financial services group, PwC Ireland, has found that Irish consumers care about sustainability and are willing to pay for it.
According to its Irish Retail and Consumer Report for 2019, 41% of Irish consumers are prepared to pay a premium for sustainable products.
It added that consumer’s consciousness of sustainability will continue to grow alongside greater awareness of climate change, resource depletion and the implementation of carbon taxes.
32% of respondents said they choose sustainable products to help protect the environment, 49% look for products with environmentally-friendly packaging, compared to 37% globally, while 52% avoid the use of plastic when they can, compared to 41% globally.
Packaging and environmental awareness is not the only sustainability-driven habit of Irish consumers. 68% of respondents said they would pay a premium for locally produced food and 58% said the same for organic food.
It also found that, in Ireland, the number of people shopping via their mobile has doubled compared to last year, driven by social media influencing buying patterns, however, it noted that in-store shopping remains critical for many who wish to see and interact with products before making decisions.
The Shopping Experience
While consumers continue to shop in physical stores, they are starting to expect more from their experience there. As online shopping grows consumers are looking for more effort and engagement when it comes to shopping in-store.
Despite the fact that Irish consumers demand an in-store experience, they are shopping more and more online. 30% of consumers purchased online weekly or more often last year, up 6% on 2017.
However, in terms of online influences and orders, grocery shopping has not quite caught up with the trend, with only 14% of respondents claiming to purchase products online from this category.
According to PwC, retailers who can create a seamless online and in-store shopping experience will reap all the rewards the complete package has to offer.
In terms of the in-store experience, PwC highlighted the need for customers to be able to quickly and conveniently navigate the store, access well-informed sales personnel, and quick and easy payment methods.
The desire for convenience is driving two new trends in the Irish market, with Click and Collect services and ‘The Micro-Trip’ both seeing positive gains in recent years.
Last year, 17% of survey respondents stated that they availed of Click and Collect services, with young millennials driving this growth. The report said that 44% of this group are expected to shop this way in 2019.
The Micro-Trip refers to shopping missions where consumers spend, on average, less than five minutes in a store. This trend is again driven by younger generations.
A quarter of Irish consumers undertake micro-trips at least daily, compared to 31% of young millennials.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.