What’s New May-June 2010

A big thank you to all our subscribers to eDirections

Firstly, I would like to thank everyone for the overwhelmingly positive feedback we have received with the launch of our eDirections newsletter and our new website.

Subscription to eDirections is free and designed to help professionals in the industry “keep in touch” with the latest market developments and consumer sentiment, so feel free to pass it on to colleagues.

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The Green Reveal

Sustainability, carbon footprint and Carbon Reduction Labelling are terms that are relatively new to the retail industry but are being used more and more frequently. So Directional Insights decided to investigate what the rising interest in green issues and sustainability means for the Australian consumer and how does the green movement impact the way people think, act and shop? To do this we partnered with Planet Ark to provide a green reveal.

This research provides insight into what consumers are thinking and doing when it comes to keeping green. Has the prevalence of green washing meant that customers no longer care about or believe in green initiatives? – Or has the GFC bumped the environment off the agenda for ever?

It was initially necessary to discover what is happening in the hearts and minds of Australian consumers. Are we really worried about the environment? Or are we too preoccupied with interest rates to think too much about Global Warming?

Read More »

Directional Insights undertook an online survey of n=1,000 Australians. The sample had quotas set by gender, age and location by state in order to be representative of the Australian population. The survey asked consumers – “what are you most concerned about in 2010 out of the following”?

  • Economic issues such as the Global Financial Crisis, rising interest rates, inflation and employment;
  • Environmental issues such as climate change, waste management, drought and other natural disasters; and
  • Social issues such as the aging population, racism, mental health, gambling and other addictions.

and the results were fairly evenly spread across all issues at 43%, 27% and 30% suggesting that the environment rates fairly well as a key concern for Australians. Download the full report here – Australia’s Triple Bottom Line.

Shopping centre customers (n=300) were then asked about what kind of green purchases they make – the top three being energy efficient light bulbs, water saving shower heads and ceiling insulation. This led Directional Insights to the conclusion that “free stuff leads to green stuff” or is it that we are more likely to make green purchases if we have an incentive such as a rebate.

But, actions speak louder than words so customers were also asked about their participation in green activities, revealing that nearly all of us recycle. We are then most likely to use green bags and mulch in the garden.

84% of customers interviewed said they use green bags; however we don’t always remember to take them on the day. Interviewers observed and recorded what kind of bags people were carrying – only 16% were carrying reusable or green bags.

Source: Planet Ark.

By asking which green events shoppers participate in, we discovered that people are far more likely to become involved in the symbolic event, Earth Hour than commit their time and effort to Clean Up Australia Day or National Tree Day.

Directional Insights also discovered what customers think about their own carbon footprint – finding that 91% are aware they have a carbon footprint and 61% actively doing something to reduce it..

The carbon footprint of a product or service is the total carbon dioxide emitted during its life cycle, including production, transport, use and disposal. Carbon Reduction Labels are labels that appear on products such as a loaf of bread or packet of chips to inform consumers about the carbon footprint of that product, so that consumers can make greener choices if they wish. Carbon Reduction Labelling currently exists in the UK and Planet Ark is working with their partners to introduce the labels in Australia by October this year.

We asked Australian shoppers about Carbon Reduction Labelling to help Planet Ark feel out the reception they may expect later this year. 71% of people said they would like Carbon Reduction Labelling on their products with 58% saying it would impact their choice of product.

Download the full Green Reveal Presentation here, and for more information contact us at info@directional.com.au

If anyone is interested in finding out more about Planet Ark or Carbon Reduction Labelling please contact Diane Mann, Program Manager, Carbon Reduction Label, Planet Ark 02 8484 7200 diane@planetark.org

Directional Insights Shortlisted for REA

We are very excited to announce that Directional Insights has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Australian Market & Social Research Society – Research Effectiveness Awards for 2010. Directional Insights was listed as a finalist, with winners to be announced on Thursday, 20th May for Shopping: A Consuming Passion. This research project was undertaken on behalf of AMP Capital Shopping Centres.

Check out www.rea2010.com.au for our entry details.

Shopping Intent Report February 2010

Shoppers remain “super careful, fragile and realistic”. The study reveals that across the major retail categories, more than a third of Australian women still intend to spend less on average than they did prior to the global financial crisis, pointing to a slower than anticipated retail recovery. The survey also shows a significant shift in the mindset of Australian shoppers in their willingness to embrace budgeting. Almost 50% of Australians said they now used a budget to manage their spending levels, with one in ten implementing a budget since the GFC hit and a further 14% planning to use one Click here to download the report.

The Buzz

Walmart’s Sustainability Index

Directional Insights began looking at what retailers around the world are doing in response to the increasing interest in sustainability and green issues. Walmart, one of the largest retailers in the U.S., has assessed their carbon footprint and found is made up of:

  • 4% bricks and mortar;
  • 4% fleet; and
  • 92% products sold.

Four years ago Walmart committed to improving energy efficiency, reducing waste and selling sustainable products. Walmart believes that responsibility falls to businesses when it comes to green initiatives and they endeavour to drive these concepts through their activities and the products sold.

Read More »

Walmart is reducing waste – in some stores such as those located in the U.S. and Japan, waste from their stores to landfill has been reduced to ZERO. Walmart has also improved the efficiency of their fleet – hybrid, diesel electric.

Walmart realises that sustainability in retail is all about the supply chain and they are focusing on green, sustainable products. They have developed a plan– the sustainability index – in order to assess and improve transparency regarding the sustainability of their products.

How does Walmart’s sustainability index work?

STEP ONE – Supplier Assessment

Last year Walmart distributed a survey to their top suppliers which focuses on discovering their energy use, green house gas emissions, water use, waste production etc.

STEP TWO – Lifecycle Analysis Database

Collaborate with universities, suppliers and retailers to develop a global database of information on the lifecycle of products.

STEP THREE – Tool for Consumers

Provide customers with simple and straightforward product information. Customers then make their own choices regarding the sustainability of the products they use.

Walmart endeavour to drive concepts of sustainability through the products they sell.

Note: only 23% of U.S. adults believe that a company can be green when they don’t have green products. Stocking shelves with green products is one of the best ways to communicate sustainability to consumers.

Source: Walmart Sustainability Product Index Fact Sheet, Walmart video POPAI Retail sustainability

NOTE: This is general information only and does not constitute advice nor take into account any individual’s or company’s specific requirements, and should not be relied upon as such. Readers are advised to seek specific advice. Directional Insights makes no representation nor gives any warranty as to the accuracy of future forecasts. This information is not intended as investment advice or other advice and must not be relied upon as such. You should make your own inquiries and take independent advice tailored to your specific circumstances prior to making any investment or other decision. To the fullest extent permitted by law, any conditions, warranties or liabilities implied by law into these conditions are hereby excluded. All copyright resides with Directional Insights Pty Ltd.

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