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Polish Consumers increasingly prioritize responsible e-commerce practices

COMMERCEPolish Consumers increasingly prioritize responsible e-commerce practices

The responsibility of businesses, including e-commerce, is increasingly an important factor for consumers when making purchasing decisions. This aspect is considered by two-thirds of them, as stated in the e-Chamber report. Some customers declare that they will pay extra for eco-friendly packaging, and are willing to wait longer for delivery, as long as the order arrives complete, not in installments. “Unfortunately, consumers are not aware that returns, which they of course have the right to, are not eco-friendly,” says Patrycja Sass-Staniszewska, President of the Chamber of Digital Economy.

The Chamber of Digital Economy’s report “Responsible E-commerce” indicates that Polish consumers are satisfied with the level of e-commerce responsibility in Poland. Most of them believe that Polish e-commerce is conducted responsibly and that this is its competitive advantage in the European arena. It does not focus only on sales but also on consumer education. This pays off.

“The responsibility of business and e-commerce is a very important element that exists both in the consumers’ and businesses’ consciousness. According to our latest report, “Responsible E-commerce,” over 60% of consumers indicate that it is very important to them whether the store conducts its business responsibly, as it affects their purchasing decisions, whether they buy in a given store and whether they will also recommend this store,” says Patrycja Sass-Staniszewska to the Newseria Biznes information agency.

According to the e-Chamber report, 67% of consumers indicate that it is very important to them whether the store conducts its business responsibly. Among the most important for e-commerce consumers, i.e., customers buying at least twice a month or more often, the percentage of those sensitive to the issue of sellers’ responsibility was even higher, reaching almost 80%. This means that they closely observe the actions of the stores and verify them as a trustworthy or untrustworthy place for shopping.

“Consumers look at the responsibility of the e-shop in a multi-dimensional way, when shopping online, they look at whether the store offers natural products, how it conducts the delivery, how it packages products,” lists the President of the e-Chamber.

Customers are increasingly willing to wait longer for the delivery of an order, just to have it complete – this is declared by 40% of internet users. Even half of the respondents are willing to wait three days for the delivery. On the other hand, 61% of surveyed internet users pay attention to whether the shipment has been packaged in an eco-friendly way. This is an improvement – last year, 55% of internet users declared this.

However, we are less willing to pay extra for eco-friendly packaging: 28% of surveyed consumers agree to this, while last year there were 42% of them. This could be explained by the economic crisis and the specter of inflation. Poles, if they agree to pay extra for eco-friendly packaging, indicated that it could be no more than 3 to 5 PLN. But most would prefer to pay a maximum of up to 2 PLN.

“In the development of responsible e-commerce, it is very important for the consumer whether the store is accessible and how efficiently the customer service operates when the consumer has additional questions. The idea is for him to make online purchases as economically as possible, and to return less,” explains the expert.

Only every third respondent confirms the opinion that returns are harmful to the environment. Internet users indicate that in making more responsible choices during shopping, i.e., generating a smaller number of returns, they would greatly benefit from detailed product descriptions, information about their composition and origin, good-quality photos or videos presenting the products, as well as various modern solutions facilitating the matching of products to their size and appearance, in the case of the fashion and cosmetics industry, or the interior of the house or apartment, in the case of furniture and various decorative items.

“Unfortunately, consumers are not aware that returns are not eco-friendly. It is known that every consumer buying in the European Union has the right to return, has 14 days to inform the store that he wants to return the goods, and then 14 days to return the goods. And this is a fantastic right. However, we educate the consumer to buy rationally and responsibly, to make as few returns as possible, as returns have a hugely negative impact on the environment,” reminds Patrycja Sass-Staniszewska.

Only one-quarter of respondents do not notice unethical or non-ecological practices of online stores at all. This shows that the awareness of Polish consumers is at a high level. They want to participate in responsible e-commerce and suggest various solutions to online stores. They have their expectations, well-defined, although the knowledge of concepts related to sustainable development is still not high amongst Polish consumers. Only 17% of respondents can define what ethics in e-commerce mean, and 13% know what sustainable development or socially responsible business is.

“Consumers consider re-commerce, i.e., similar sales of used goods in trade, to be the most eco-friendly,” points out the President of the e-Chamber. “Consumers pay very close attention to these issues and make online purchases in just those stores that approach the business responsibly in this way. They also indicate that they would happily work in such a business.”

Firms themselves are favorable to sustainable development. This year, 100% of the surveyed evaluated their company as responsible in e-commerce, and 83% confirmed that this behavior results from the values ​​they uphold. About half of the companies already have defined directions for responsible e-business, and 60% have incorporated sustainable development into their strategy. Virtually all surveyed companies also confirmed that they benefit from conducting business responsibly. These are most often image benefits, but also strategic and economic ones. Entrepreneurs themselves also underline that they verify their partners in terms of a responsible approach.

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