Where to start for retailers, when implementing more sustainable deliveries?

Sustainable delivery is a hot topic, and if you’re a retailer, you’re sure to have heard lots about it. One of the difficulties with sustainability when it comes to delivery, is that it’s tricky to navigate the balance between eco-friendly systems, and keeping costs down for your brand, and the customer. If you want to find out about how to provide sustainable options at the checkout, take a look at our recent blog.

nShift’s partner IMRG conducted research asking 300 household-name UK retailers about their sustainable delivery habits. They found out which ‘sustainable delivery activities’ brands were involved in, as shown in the graph below. Interestingly, the most common sustainable activity was packaging materials, with 85% of retailers utilizing this method. This could include materials such as recycled cardboard, papers, and plastics. Then there was reducing waste in packaging, which is also relatively easy to enact, by ensuring items are packaged properly, without extra unnecessary pieces. ‘green’ delivery options and return consolidations are less utilized currently, but what does the future of sustainable delivery options look like?

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Which of the following ‘sustainable delivery activities’ are you currently involved in?

Source: IMRG, Based on data provided by 300 UK retailers, in April 2022 

When asked about their concerns with sustainable delivery in the future, many retailers cited bridging the gap between fast-commerce, and sustainability. Once retailer said, “We’re yet to understand the balance between consumers wanting to do the right thing versus wanting their stuff for free and fast”. So, what are retailers doing to give eco-conscious customers options?

The 300 retailers were then asked, Which of the following Delivery options are you interested in for the future? 58% of retailers said they’d like to use lockers, or click & collect. 15% said they would try delivery hotspots, and 17% are interested in couriers waiting, to avoid the need for returns.

future-sus-deliveries-blog 2

Which of the following Delivery options are you interested in for the future?

Source: IMRG, Based on data provided by 300 UK retailers, in April 2022

It appears that from the results of this retailer research, we can see that most retailers currently reduce their packaging, and use sustainable materials, in order to reduce environmental impact. However, there’s still a long way to go when it comes to sustainability, and many businesses are looking to use click & collect, and locker services, to allow customers sustainable choices.

 

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