Generation Y shoppers (those aged 18 to 30) are equally split about the impact on their personal spending habits of retailers' environmentally-friendly marketing strategies, according to a Maritz Poll entitled 'Environmentally Friendly Retail Marketing: All Hype or Consumer Preference?'.
Even with the current media attention and hype surrounding eco-friendly products and services, there remains a question mark over the effectiveness of - and the consumer's desire for - environmentally-friendly marketing practices.
Consumer attitude insights
The Maritz Poll was designed to track Generation Y's brand awareness among several popular clothing retailers, and gathered some interesting insights into this demographic's outlook on eco-friendly stores and shopping. "Being environmentally friendly is certainly the right thing to do and we didn't set out to debate that," explained Gloria Park Bartolone, division vice president for Maritz Research's Retail Group. "But we thought it would be helpful for retailers to know what influence this type of messaging has on customer loyalty, particularly with Generation Y."
Generation Y was split down the middle on the influence that retailers' environmental policy and sustainability had on their shopping habits, with 50% of respondents saying these policy did influence their shopping behaviour. When asked to describe their attitude toward a retailer's environmentally friendly positioning, 46% said they would shop at a retailer more if they were environmentally friendly, while 54% said it would not affect their behaviour.
Paying more for green?
However, while the majority of Generation Y shoppers say they are not affected either way by a store's environmental stance, the fact remains that 46% said that they would spend more with a retailer that was environmentally friendly. This figure alone adds credibility to environmental messaging strategies, and Maritz predicts that this trend will gain more momentum with consumers in the future.
Only slightly fewer respondents (47%) said they would be willing to pay more for environmentally friendly services, products or brands. Out of this percentage, 77% cited their "care about the environment" as the main reason for their willingness to pay more. Other reasons followed far behind in importance, including "it's the right thing to do" (21%) and "so that people know I'm environmentally aware" (2%).