News • 23.12.2019

The greenconsumption effect

Concordia research shows that using green products leads to a warm glow in shoppers

A man with glasses holding a bottle in his hands
Onur Bodur, Professor of Marketing at Concordia University
Source: Concordia University

Canadians spend a lot of money around this time of year, on gifts, food, entertainment and travel. In its annual study of holiday season spending habits, the accounting firm PwC estimates that the average Canadian consumer will drop close to $1,600 in 2019.

And while the holidays are associated almost as much with stress as they are with shopping, a new paper out of Concordia's John Molson School of Business suggests that spending some of that money on green products might make consumers feel quite a bit better about their purchases. The study looks at the so-called "greenconsumption effect" -- how using a green product creates a "warm glow" feeling in users -- and what it means for retailers in an increasingly eco-conscious marketplace. 

Onur Bodur, professor of marketing, and his now-former PhD student Ali Tezer, currently an assistant professor at HEC Montréal, published the paper in the Journal of Consumer Research. "The warm glow is a good overall feeling," Bodur says. "It is found in other literature relating to pro-social behaviour. You get the feeling when you help others and have a sense of accomplishment that gives you satisfaction." Bodur says Tezer approached him with the idea after watching a 3D movie and learning that the disposable glasses were made of recycled plastic. That knowledge led to a heightened sense of enjoyment while watching the movie, even though he had no say in choosing to use the product.

Feel green, feel good

To conduct their research, Bodur and Tezer set up five experiments using a variety of products. They were looking to test the conditions under which participants say they experienced a warm glow feeling. They looked at how green options affect product enjoyment, their perceived quality, the consumer's sense of social worth, how social exclusion affects green product enjoyment and whether the product's environmental impact mitigates the warm glow feeling. They found that green products do generally affect consumers in a positive way. Participants who listened to music on a set of green-labelled headphones reported enjoying the music more than listeners using conventional headphones and added that they would be more likely to purchase them. Participants also reported overcoming inherent, long-standing biases against the quality of certain green products, in this case cleaning fluids. Bodur notes that, fairly or not, green dish and laundry detergents are widely believed to be less efficient than their conventional counterparts. After using them, respondents felt that belief no longer applied.

They also reported a higher sense of self-worth and lower perception of social exclusion. Green product users said they experienced warm glow feelings and people who felt isolated from their communities reported feeling less so after using a green product. However, the researchers did note that the warm glow feeling was absent when consumers felt the environmental impact of the product was low. This was the case when participants were told the ink in a disposable Bic pen was supposedly environmentally friendly, but with negligible impact.

Live the green feeling

To someone who, like Bodur, studies marketing for a living, this greenconsumption effect has serious implications for retailers. Consumers obviously prefer using high-quality sustainable products -- but service providers can benefit by providing greener experiences. "Imagine that the chair you are sitting on is certified bamboo, or the tablecloth at a restaurant is made of recycled materials and the utensils are made of wood," he says. "You can opt to use sustainable, green products that are more likely to improve your customer's experience." He is also aware of the risk that unscrupulous businesses may see his research and decide to exaggerate or outright falsify their environmental credentials. Doing so, he believes, would be at their own peril. "I believe consumers are becoming a lot more conscious of green attributes, despite all the confusion with regard to certifications of sustainability," he says. "The risk will only be eliminated when there is some sort of regulation or standardization of certification." 

Quelle: Concordia University

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: First South Asian local food and grocery marketplace in U.S....
27.11.2020   #online platform #online food retailing

First South Asian local food and grocery marketplace in U.S.

Based in Chicago, Quicklly expands to San Francisco Bay Area

Quicklly, the first and only South Asian local food and grocery marketplace in the US, announced its first expansion city – the San Francisco Bay Area. Customers throughout the city of San Francisco extending south through to San Mateo have ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Shopping in social media streams?
16.11.2020   #e-commerce #app

Shopping in social media streams?

Further steps towards social commerce

The fact that retailers and brands offer their products online where consumers spend their free time – on social media channels as well as on image and video portals – is nothing new. There have been many advertising campaigns on these ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Consumer packaged goods purchases grew 19% in 2020...
27.01.2021   #coronavirus #customer retention

Consumer packaged goods purchases grew 19% in 2020

Fueled by the pandemic, half of Americans tried new brands

As consumers hunkered down at home during most of last year, their spending on consumer packaged goods (CPG) grew an average of 19% in 2020 compared to 2019 according to the latest data from NCSolutions. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Social commerce opportunities on TikTok for merchants...
31.10.2020   #online trading #social media

Social commerce opportunities on TikTok for merchants

Partnership between Shopify and TikTok

On TikTok, businesses of all sizes are empowered to grow their brands through creative content and storytelling. Since we launched the TikTok For Business platform, we've seen brands around the world make real connections with our users by ...

Thumbnail-Photo: How the industry thinks: The most important trends for 2021...
05.01.2021   #brick and mortar retail #digitization

How the industry thinks: The most important trends for 2021

What awaits retailers after the first Corona year?

2020 – most certainly not an easy year. But many agree: The only way forward is to look ahead. So we asked industry insiders – retailers, academics, manufacturers – what they expect for this year. How will changing customer ...

Thumbnail-Photo: A splash of lime for your returns management...
01.01.2021   #online trading #customer satisfaction

A splash of lime for your returns management

Our webtalk "retail salsa" at 4:00 pm on 2021/01/27

Cross-order e-commerce continues to boom and is no longer on the margins. Due to Corona Pandemic, but also due to action days such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday, the quantity of parcels is going through the roof and so is the return rate. Too ...

Thumbnail-Photo: The car’s the star
19.01.2021   #food retail #self service

The car’s the star

GB’s drive-thru grows in popularity

The trend for ordering food and drinks from our cars at Britain’s growing number of drive-thru restaurants soared from September to November 2020 according to global information company The NPD Group. There were 121 million visits to ...

Thumbnail-Photo: UK retailers still need to prepare for Brexit...
06.01.2021   #online trading #e-commerce

UK retailers still need to prepare for Brexit

Distribution, inventory, and customer satisfaction are main concerns

A new survey of UK online and omnichannel retailers conducted by PFS, the operations business unit of PFSweb, Inc., reveals that the majority of retailers are yet to adequately prepare themselves for the end of the Brexit transition period. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Fashion out of waste
04.12.2020   #sustainability #fashion

Fashion out of waste

H&M collection for upcycling

H&M Conscious Exclusive A/W20 collection introduces exquisite pieces crafted from sustainably sourced materials made from waste. What is normally thrown away is purposefully transformed into treasures to be loved and valued, allowing us to ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Swiss Brand Ons new flagship store
29.12.2020   #customer satisfaction #brick and mortar retail

Swiss Brand On's new flagship store

New standards for retail?

Swiss performance running brand On opens its global flagship store today, On NYC, located at 363 Lafayette Street in New York, NY. On has pioneered a design-centric and technologically driven approach to the in-store consumer experience. Centered ...

Supplier

Seven Senders GmbH
Schwedter Straße 36 A
10435 Berlin
EuroShop
EuroShop
Stockumer Kirchstraße 61
40474 Düsseldorf
iXtenso - Magazin für den Einzelhandel
iXtenso - Magazin für den Einzelhandel
Celsiusstraße 43
53125 Bonn