Encouraging consumers in the online store’s checkout to choose the most sustainable delivery option is effective. One third of Dutch consumers opt for sustainable delivery if that is at least a possibility at a web store. The best way to do this is to provide information about the CO₂ emissions of the delivery options. In addition to pre-ticking the most sustainable choice as the default. This is evident from research which was commissioned by Thuiswinkel.org and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.
“The research shows that one or more simple interventions on the check-out page of web shops can already lead to more sustainable delivery choices for consumers,” says Wijnand Jongen, director of Thuiswinkel.org. Using this way, online retailers can easily contribute to the reduction of CO₂ emissions during parcel delivery in the ‘last mile‘.
“This research shows that sustainability can sometimes be very simple. And that is nice. Give people a conscious choice, and opting for clean is encouraged. It gives a good feeling, costs nothing extra and also helps for the clean air in your own street. I hope that many online stores and their customers will benefit from this,” says State Secretary Van Veldhoven.
Positive effect on delivery choice
In the survey, the respondents were allowed to select a gift. Afterwards they were forwarded to one of the five checkout pages where they had to make a delivery choice. The delivery options were the same, but the pages differed in the way the CO₂ impact information was presented.
Providing information about the CO₂ impact of the delivery options has a positive impact on consumers’ delivery choices. Where in the group without additional information 8.1% of the respondents opt for the most sustainable delivery. This percentage was almost twice as high in the groups in which only information about the CO₂ impact was provided (16%). A so-called double intervention, in which both information is provided and the most sustainable option is ticked by default, appears to have the most effect. In that case almost 30% of consumers opt for the most sustainable option.
“We therefore advise online retailers to include a two-pronged intervention on the check-out page,” says Wijnand Jongen. “This is the most logical and natural place for these interventions, because the online consumer makes the choice for the delivery option in the purchase process and can therefore still be influenced there. Webshops can do this in an easy way via Bewust Bezorgd ”.
Another symbol for sustainable choice
Finally, the study shows that consumers do not necessarily see a green leaf as a symbol for a sustainable option. Despite the positive effect on a sustainable choice in this study. In addition, the results lead to the suspicion that the green leaf as a sustainability symbol is insufficiently conspicuous, comprehensible and expressive.