Over one third of online shoppers will only associate with responsible brands

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LONDON, 27th July 2021 –  More than one third (35 per cent) of online shoppers in the UK will only associate with ‘responsible’ brands – including those that treat staff fairly, source goods ethically, and do not misuse consumer data. This is according to new research into online shopping behaviour and ethics from Empathy.co, the global commerce search and discovery platform.

The data, which was obtained via a Censuswide survey of 4,000 online shoppers from the UK, also revealed that half of consumers (47 per cent) prefer to shop with brands they trust, and 22 per cent will pay more for the brands they trust.

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

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

The appetite for online shopping has not slowed down either, the Empathy.co research concluded. For example, 49 per cent of consumers revealed that they will not stop shopping online, even now that lockdown has lifted, and 30 per cent even revealed that ‘online’ will be their default option for 100 per cent of their shopping moving forward.

Conversely, only 13 per cent don’t consider their online shopping behaviour to have an environmental impact, and 20 per cent don’t think about the environment at all when buying online.

Angel Maldonado, Empathy.co Founder & 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.”

About Empathy 

Empathy is a leading innovator in commerce search and discovery. With over 150 specialised researchers and engineers, it has headquarters in London (UK) and Asturias (ES). 

Committed to building human-centred commerce search and discovery platforms Empathy gives big brands all they need to create trustworthy, understanding and joyful shopping experiences. 

Empathy believes that great technology can inspire brands to respect the individual, serve the community and thrive through these relationships.

Trusted by industry leaders like Carrefour, Kroger and Inditex, Empathy is privately held with no external investors, is cash-flow positive and has seen sales grow by 124% in 2020. With this, Empathy is free to innovate and relentlessly pursue customer success.


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