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29 July 2021
UK online shoppers will only associate with responsible brands
Unsplash © Paul Felbelbauer

UK’s cause-driven consumers will only make purchases with responsible brands online

A new study has revealed that a significant number of online shoppers in the UK are only willing to make purchases from “responsible brands.” The new data into online consumer habits, which was released by global commerce search and discovery platform, Empathy.co, has revealed that 35% of online shoppers are conscious of the ethical profile of online brands.

Responsible brands include those which treat staff fairly, source goods ethically and do not misuse consumer data. 

The data, which was obtained using a Censuswide survey of 4000 online shoppers across the UK, revealed that 47% of consumers prefer to shop with brands they trust, while a further 22% will pay more for these trustworthy brands.

As the pandemic boosted appetite for online shopping and the need to look for alternatives as shops remained closed, more and more cause-driven customers have become conscious of their online purchasing habits, and this is only set to continue. While 49% revealed that they will not stop shopping online, a significant number of these online shoppers are still aiming to shop sensibly. 

The survey revealed that 31% of online shoppers prefer to associate with brands that are sustainable, and use ecological packaging in their deliveries. A further 37% actively try to order local, or national, to reduce their carbon footprint.

It’s not just wider sustainable sensibilities which consumers are drawn to, but also to their own security online. 40% revealed they don’t like being asked for unnecessary or sensitive data, while 37% said that they would like more control of the data that businesses have on them, due to an inherent mistrust around how their data is being harvested, used or sold by these brands.

Angel Maldonado, Founder & CEO of Empathy.co said, “the appetite for ethics and responsibility in online brands is clearly surging, and competition is fierce when customers have a plethora of options, should they realise that their ‘favourite’ brand is not treating staff fairly, sourcing goods responsibly, or utilising customer data ethically.

“To convey trustworthiness, businesses need to adopt a transparent approach to their operations and communicate these intentions in every aspect of what they do. This requires brands to invest in a website and search and discovery function that is efficient and private by design, whilst remaining open and honest about how they use customer preferences and where they source goods and services.”