More than half of Australian consumers say they shop sustainability, will continue to do so, and are willing to wait longer for delivery if it means a lower carbon footprint over the holiday sale season, according to new research from Shopify.  

Australian retailers are not only rising to the conscious consumer challenge, but exceeding it, as more than three quarters cite sustainability as a core part of their business ethos, which is above the global average of countries surveyed.

Despite the barriers of investment (43%), lack of time (32%) and know-how (25%), Australian retailers are focusing on sustainability efforts, not only due to values and ethos, but also due to majority agreeing it is a major driver of brand loyalty (82%). According to consumers, it impacts their willingness to pay more (62%) and recommend (61%) despite the rising cost of living.

“Conscious commerce is growing on a mass scale and plays a significant role in the purchasing decision of today’s consumer,” Shopify managing director for APAC, Shaun Broughton said.

“It’s incredibly promising to see the determination of both consumers and businesses to make better choices for the environment through these findings. As an industry, it’s now critical that everyone plays their role in lowering the barriers so that conscious shopping doesn’t come at a cost to the planet.”

 Despite the cost-of-living crisis, consumers aren’t willing to budge on sustainability. More than half (51%) of consumers say they shop sustainably now and plan to continue, and almost half (42%) say that a company’s sustainability credentials impact how likely they are to buy.

On top of this, Australian shoppers – compared globally – are also the most likely to say that they prioritise buying locally and limiting the carbon footprint of the products and services used, at 29%.

They’re also seeking this out – as nearly two-thirds (59%) of consumers in the region say they’re willing to invest more effort researching and shopping around to find the right sustainable product – a number that rises for younger generations.