- Approximately 72% of shoppers surveyed by CGS want purchases shipped to them, but 74% prefer to return purchases to a brick-and-mortar store, aligning with previous findings from a Happy Returns survey.
- The CGS survey also found "while 39% of respondents shop both online and in-store, 65% surveyed said they will research a product online before purchasing it in a store."
- More and more shoppers — especially millennials — are also concerned with whether products they're interested in buying are sustainable or ethically sourced and manufactured.
While e-commerce is becoming important for retailers, that's largely driven by changing consumer expectations. The key, then, is keeping up with what consumers want and meeting their needs appropriately.
As shown by this survey, most shoppers dislike shipping back purchases bought online, which should incentivize retailers to make in-store returns quick and easy.
But perhaps the biggest takeaway is the fact that consumers are becoming more conscious about how goods are made. According to the survey, "Now more than ever, consumers are willing to pay more for these ethically manufactured products. Half of millennial consumers, 45% of Gen X and 40% of Baby Boomers would pay more for a sustainable product than their generational counterparts."
Not only that, but "millennial women are six times more likely to consider where a product was made when purchasing."
That's a wake up call for every retailer's supply chain. Consumers want transparency, and they want the companies they buy from to be socially responsible. Nike's dispute with Georgetown University is just one sobering example for big corporations who neglect this responsibility.
Furthermore, according to a recent report, companies currently struggle with sustainability efforts and sourcing oversight, opening the door to human trafficking within supply chains and other human rights abuses.
From a purely clinical, business point of view, a company's brand and image is at risk. From a moral standpoint, it's a tipping point. American consumers expect American business to be socially responsible, and it's no longer acceptable to make half-hearted efforts toward increasing supply chain transparency, sustainability and ethical practice.
For some companies, that kind of change will require a top-down approach.