More than one third of UK online shoppers will only associate with responsible brands

35% of consumers will seek out brands who treat staff fairly, source goods ethically and do not misuse consumer data

A survey of UK online shoppers has revealed that more than one third (35%) will only buy from ‘responsible’ brands, including those that treat staff fairly, source goods ethically and do not misuse consumer data.

The survey, which was carried out on 4,000 individuals by commerce search and discovery platform Empathy.co, also showed that 47% of consumers prefer to shop with brands they trust and 22% will pay more for brands they trust.

Additionally, 40% of shoppers surveyed said that they don’t like being asked for unnecessary or sensitive data and 37% said they would like more control of the data that businesses have on them, due to an inherent mistrust around how this data is being harvested, used or sold by brands.

The survey also revealed that 31% of online shoppers prefer to associate with brands that are green and use ecological packaging in their deliveries, while 37% try to order local (or national) to reduce their carbon footprint.

The appetite for online shopping continues with Empathy.co's research finding 49% of consumers will not stop shopping online despite lockdown lifting, while 30% claimed online would be the default option for all of their shopping moving forward.

When it comes to sustainability, 13% don’t consider their online shopping behaviour to have and environmental impact and 20% don’t think about the environment at all while buying online.

Angel Maldonado, Empathy.co founder and CEO, commented: “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.”

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