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Consumer Statistics That Support The Business Case For Sustainability

Statistics on How Retailers and Brands Can Rethink Product Design and Production to Deliver Sustainability and Better CX

Recent consumer survey and trends research by leading retail think tank PSFK shows that consumers expect responsive & responsible manufacturing, when they want it, how they want it. The document provides retailers and brands to understand the competitive advantage for using sustainable business practices. In particular, the researchers found that corporations can meet consumer needs by innovating not only product design, but also the final consumer experience through technological advancements, operational efficiency, digital behaviors, and sustainable business model innovations.

Making the Business Case for Sustainability

Sustainability efforts provide business benefits and drive corporate social responsibility. Partly driven by ongoing disruptions in the global supply chain, brands and retailers are bringing manufacturing and design processes closer to the consumer – both physically and digitally. New strategies help identify unmet needs in the marketplace, enable enhanced customization at scale, and bring products closer to their end consumers.

The Harvard Business Review reports that embedded sustainability efforts clearly result in a positive impact on business performance. This supports PSFK's findings that new, on-demand and local manufacturing techniques save transaction costs, give companies more oversight on production, and power more ethical and sustainable supply chains. 

PSFK’s Quantitative Survey of US Shoppers shows:

  • There is an expectation among consumers for the retailers and brands they shop with to demonstrate responsible and sustainable practices. Consumers are demanding that manufacturers take environmental measures such as sustainably sourcing components and ingredients or employing a production process that reduces waste. PSFK research found that 3 in every 5 US shoppers say they are influenced to buy products from companies that create positive impact with responsible manufacturing.
  • Consumers are willing to share data in exchange for a customized product or experience, but many still need to be convinced of the benefit. While many people find what they’re looking for when shopping, there’s a significant portion who need help finding products that are physically right for them. According to PSFK research, over 45% of US shoppers say they seldom or never typically find the perfect size, shape or fit.
  • In addition, while shoppers are interested in bespoke products made on-demand, there’s a limit to the amount of personal information they are willing to share today. 57% of US shoppers say they would only share a little or moderate amount of data to brands and retailers in order to be offered products that are the right size & shape. 14% of shoppers say they don’t want to share any data at all.
  • To improve overall CX and meet demand changes in real time, companies are adopting strategies that shorten supply chains and tailor production to reflect customer needs on a localized level. While many US shoppers are happy to have their goods made anywhere in North America (31%) (or even the world (15%)), a high proportion are looking for locally made products. PSFK research found that 48% of US shoppers would prefer to buy from companies with a business strategy where they make their products within 100 miles of where the shoppers live.
  • Corporate social responsibility matters. As eCommerce grows, the environmental impact of deliveries increases too. 43% of US shoppers are concerned or very concerned about the environmental impact made by the shipping and deliveries of their online shopping. Only 7% say they are not concerned at all by a company's sustainability practices. 

PSFK US Shopper Survey

The PSFK quantitative survey was conducted February, 2022. The survey was a ‘basic census’ balanced in terms of age and gender. The respondents had household income between $0-$200k.

 For a copy of complete survey findings, contact:

For further insights covering Dynamic Manufacturing Strategies, please refer to the full report from PSFK iQ Research: Now available to download