Sustainability is more important to Australian consumers than ever when it comes to the online shopping experience, with almost two-thirds (63%) stating they would pay extra for a delivery service that was more environmentally-friendly.

A new research report ‘Sustainability in the Australian Retail Supply Chain’ commissioned by Manhattan Associates, Shippit and Greener – in partnership with the National Retail Association (NRA) and NORA – also revealed six in 10 (60%) of Australian consumers are open to receiving a delivery at a later date if it meant that it was delivered more sustainably.

“Due to the ongoing impacts of the pandemic and its convenience, home delivery is now the preferred delivery option for 69% of Australian online shoppers,” Manhattan Associates managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Raghav Sibal said.

“However, consumers are not prepared to just accept the convenience of delivery at the cost of the environment, and they are increasingly aware of the growing impact the eCommerce sector is having on CO2 emissions.”

Over half (60%) of Australian consumers indicated they often receive their online order in multiple shipments and 81% of them said that they think this is an inefficient and unsustainable way of delivering goods. In fact, the same number (81%) also said they would prefer to receive their order at a later date if it meant that it would arrive in one consolidated delivery.

A further 64% of consumers stated that they would be even more motivated to accept a longer delivery wait time – with all purchases consolidated into one package – if the delivery fee was free or discounted.

Leading courier aggregator, Shippit, has collected data from deliveries across Australia, spanning over 2.2 billion kilometres to measure how much carbon is generated by its courier partners from the moment a parcel is picked up to when it’s delivered. It was found that these deliveries contribute to approximately 4,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.

“In order to reduce these carbon emissions, businesses must accept that purchasing products online is part of a new normal. So, the core infrastructure of shipping and logistics must innovate to keep up with the increase in demand without increasing waste,” Shippit CEO, Rob Hango-Zada said.

“We believe that sustainability in retail starts with the delivery experience. We allow parcels to flow through networks more efficiently, by removing waste and inefficiencies across the supply chain.”

Demonstrating the efforts Australian consumers are already making to be more environmentally conscious, research also showed that over 45% of consumers said that after placing an order online, they would usually check to see if the retailer offered a sustainable delivery option, such as carbon offset or order consolidation services.

“As online shopping delivery rates and the corresponding impact on the environment continue to rise, while at the same time the issue of sustainability continues to move to the forefront of consumer’s minds, retailers will need to make sustainability a bigger priority,” Greener founder, Tom Ferrier said.

“The next few years presents an unprecedented opportunity for brands that are taking genuine action to reduce their emissions. For those helping their customers do the same, it’s a competitive advantage. For those who aren’t, it’s a strategic risk.”