Sustainable shipping in Germany

June 1, 2021 by
Sanne Leenders

In times of climate change, people around the world are becoming increasingly sensitive and open towards environmentally friendly solutions in their everyday consumption behavior. E-commerce can be a more sustainable alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar retail in many ways. Primarily because it saves a lot of CO2 on the transport side as compared to stationary retail.

In Germany, the sustainability and eco-friendliness trend has already reached many e-commerce customers’ minds. One in three German online shoppers pay attention to sustainability when they shop online. Most of them placing importance on sustainable packaging. When it comes to shipping, however, environmental friendliness is not on most consumers’ minds, according to ecommerceDB.

Free shipping is the most important aspect

When it comes to the delivery of online orders, Germans still pay more attention to other aspects than to environmentally friendly solutions. The most important aspect in online deliveries for German online shoppers is free shipping. 70% of German consumers say they find it important. This is followed by free returns (64%), shipment tracking (60%), and fast shipping (54%). Only then follows a sustainability-related aspect. However, a share of 47%, less than half of German e-commerce customers find little packaging waste important. Environmentally friendly packaging is important to 38% of respondents. Only 19% pay attention to CO2 neutral shipping.

German shoppers won't pay an extra fee for sustainable alternatives

Most online shoppers in Germany are not prepared to pay an extra fee if an online retailer offers environmentally friendly shipping alternatives. Only 17% of shoppers say that they would definitely pay a surcharge. Only if the online store guaranteed them CO2 neutral delivery.

Almost half of respondents would generally be willing to pay an extra fee for an environmentally friendly delivery, but their willingness would depend on the amount due. On the other hand, 30% of online shoppers in Germany would not be willing to pay extra under any circumstances. It is a good sign that many Germans are already aware that the world needs a more sustainable way of e-commerce. However, when it comes to their willingness to contribute personally, there is still a long way to go.

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