Millennials dropped environmental considerations & doubled deliveries during lockdown

By Chris Dawson July 9, 2020 - 10:38 am

Millennials have become online “super buyers” during the COVID-19 lockdown and are receiving an average of 50% more deliveries every week than the over-55s, a new survey of 2,000 consumers has revealed. Despite being vocal supporters of environmental sustainability, millennials received an average of seven online deliveries a week during the lockdown, according to research carried out by Censuswide for InPost. In contrast, people aged 55 and over only received an average of three online deliveries a week.

The research highlighted that surprisingly, younger shoppers made far less eco-conscious decisions during lockdown than their older counterparts, perhaps the convenience of online shopping makes them far more likely to order more than one item or make more impulse purchases.

Despite this, encouragingly, when asked going forward how their attitude might have changed post lockdown, the survey found 43% of millennials were more likely to consider the environmental consequences of their deliveries in the future as opposed to just 28% of 55+ year olds – and that included thinking more about the impact of more traffic on the roads, packaging and recycling consequences in buying online.

One might conclude that this is just the aspirational goals of a dreamy eyed idealistic generation, especially as their environmental ideals didn’t reflect their actions during the lock down. However it could also be fair to conclude it is simply the result of a lack of delivery options on offer, which often don’t give an eco-conscious choice and have home delivery being the default. When was the last time you as a consumer were offered the choice of delivery via a courier with an electric van vs a competitor with diesel highlighted at checkout, or locker delivery vs home delivery?

In reality buying online is probably better for the environment then driving into town as it roughly works out to one van visiting 150 houses rather than 150 cars running into town. The problem is, if you have two or three deliveries in a day then it still might result in two or three vans visiting your house. There has to be a better solution for this last mile delivery offering a more environmental sustainable alternative.

“Millennials have grown up in a world where everything is available at the touch of a button, and online shopping in this age group continues to increase. But this disparity in the correlation between their online shopping habits and understanding of consequence on the environment is a surprise. However, much thought has been given to the environment in recent weeks and we’re encouraged by such a large proportion (43%) who plan to make more eco-conscious delivery decisions in the future. We believe in the long term much more consumers will consider the environment more when choosing delivery options.”
– Jason Tavaria, CEO, InPost UK

With locker delivery, a courier can drop 50+ parcels in one stop, versus 50 stops criss-crossing residential streets to make home deliveries. The reduced hours that vans spend on roads when making locker deliveries mean that lockers can drive up to two thirds less in CO2 emissions compared to home deliveries as well as reducing congestion and improving air quality in cities. That’s without even considering failed first-time home deliveries as consumers return to work, but lockers are never not at home.

“As an industry we need to do more to educate consumers on the reality of their online shopping habits and the impact on air pollution. Parcel lockers can have a significant impact on carbon emissions and are ideal for savvy online shoppers looking for both an environmentally-friendly and convenient delivery option when buying online.”
– Jason Tavaria, CEO, InPost UK

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