Fashion buyers put price above durability amid cost of living crisis — Retail Technology Innovation Hub
A new study from Nosto suggests that 57% of consumers want fashion purchases to be more sustainable. But with the rising cost of living, 61% will prioritize price. 55% agree that sustainable fashion is often too expensive.
The company surveyed just over 2,000 US and UK consumers.
E-commerce delivery windows have tended to get shorter in recent years (with next day and same day delivery options becoming popular).
But 54% of Nosto respondents said they would now be happy to have slower deliveries for fashion purchases if it allowed businesses to reduce the number of truck/van journeys (reducing carbon emissions while reducing delivery costs for retailers).
58%, meanwhile, said they now try to keep their clothes longer to help the environment, and 60% agreed that one of the ways fashion e-commerce brands could be more sustainable is to provide repair services.
Indeed, 42% say they have thrown away fashion items that they would have liked to keep because they could not have them repaired.
49% agreed that product returns are bad for the environment, as they waste fuel, packaging and other resources. But charge buyers for returns (as some fashion brands are now doing) was ranked as the least popular way to solve the problem.
Alternative tactics that would help were: making it easy for shoppers to search for items online, such as via live chats (64%); display user-generated content (UGC) images and videos of other customers wearing their purchases to show how they look on real people (61%); and offering virtual fitting tools to help shoppers visualize what they would look like in outfits (59%).
Despite the pressure on people’s wallets, there remains a significant share (39% of survey respondents) who say they would actually consider paying more for sustainable versions of the same clothes.
However, the lack of transparency around sustainable fashion and distrust of what brands say about it remain major stumbling blocks.
55% of respondents said it was confusing to figure out which fashion items are sustainably produced.
57% of women and 50% of men say that when buying online, they don’t know how to determine if a piece of clothing is sustainable or not. Either way, 54% don’t fully trust certain brands’ claims about their commitment to this area.
64% said one way for retailers to make online fashion shopping more sustainable is to simply provide clearer information to make it easier to find products made in an environmentally friendly way.
Another tactic that 57% of respondents said would be helpful would be to allow retailers to allow shoppers to personalize their online shopping experiences to only show them sustainable/eco-friendly clothing/fashions .
“Fashion industry sustainability is critical to the health of our planet, so it’s refreshing to see evidence that shoppers are ready to change their behavior and play their part alongside retailers,” says Guy Little , Head of Brand Marketing at Nosto.
“Although it should come as no surprise that the current economic situation is causing consumers to rethink their priorities and put price before durability.”
“But this research gives promising suggestions on how brands can help consumers embrace sustainability in fashion. Encouraging slower deliveries and reducing product returns are two opportunities to be more environmentally friendly without forcing customers to spend more.
He adds, “One of the biggest challenges for retailers, especially as we approach the peak shopping season, is the impact of returns, both financially and environmentally.”
“What we can see from this data is that there are tactics available, such as the use of post-purchase user-generated images, that retailers can adopt to help reduce rate of return and alleviate this pressure.”
“Elsewhere, more than half of shoppers struggle to identify sustainable products – personalization can help retailers ensure eco-conscious shoppers see the most sustainable items every time they shop online. line.”