Online shoppers care about retailers shipping their order in a sustainable way and will pay more and wait longer for their orders, a new study finds.

79.6% of consumers say they would wait at least one day for their online order if that meant it was shipped in a more sustainable way, according to a March 2023 survey of 500 consumers by logistics software vendor Sifted.

This willingness, however, drops quickly the more days a shopper has to wait, with only 45% waiting at least two days, and 15.6% waiting three days or more, according to the survey.

The study finds that overall, consumers say they would do something some of the time to make their online order ship to them in a more eco-friendly way. 69% of consumers said sustainable shipping has influenced their past purchases. And 76% of shoppers say they would pay an extra 5% for more sustainable shipping.

This high share of shoppers taking into account sustainable shipping does not surprise Caleb Nelson, chief growth officer at Sifted.

“Consumers are demanding sustainability improvements across the board, so we didn’t find it surprising that there’s such a demand for it when it comes to shipping,” Nelson says. “Ecommerce saw unprecedented growth during the pandemic, and that shift made a lot more consumers think about the impacts of having products shipped to their doorsteps.”


Still, price is still the main consideration for shoppers to purchase, especially recently.

Sifted cites inflation as the main reason for the increase in priority of price and decrease in priority for sustainable shipping for making an online purchase.

56.8% of consumers in 2023 said sustainable packaging and shipping was important (33.8%) or very important (23%) when purchasing online. That compares with 2021, when 66% said sustainable shipping and packaging was important (32.6%) or very important (33.4%).

According to the survey, shoppers seem to understand the shipping package makes a difference to sustainability. Overall, 76.6% of consumers say companies use excessive packaging when shipping products. 72% of consumers say the amount of packaging has a moderate to high impact on environmental sustainability and 70.4% say the type of packaging has a moderate to high impact on environmental sustainability.

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