Ethical brand behaviour and CSR is winning customers over

BY Australian Retailers Association
09 September 2019

New research from Salmat reveals CSR and ethical brand behaviour is winning over customers.

New research from Salmat, reveals a third of shoppers (34%) are willing to pay more for environmentally friendly products, while 31% admit to not purchasing a product because they don’t like a brand or product’s values, ethics or sustainability practices. Almost three quarters (72%) of Australian shoppers rank ethical brand behaviour in their top three priorities when it comes to purchasing products.

The findings, released from a joint Salmat and ACRS study, investigates the impact that ethical behaviour and corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices have on shoppers. The research finds that CSR practices are having an impact on purchase decisions and are, at times, sought after by consumers.

The environment is the most important social issue to consumers

Climate change and the environment (57%) rank as the most important issue to consumers, closely followed by data privacy & security (51%) and locally sourced products (49%).

Ethical brand behaviours most important for grocery brands

The research shows that shoppers care the most about ethical behaviour when it comes to groceries, with 50% of shoppers ranking it as the most important category and 75% of shoppers include it in their top three categories.

Health and beauty products rank in at second with 13% of shoppers listing these as their most important category when it comes to ethical brand behaviour.

Search outranks social media for ethical brand behaviour

When it comes to researching products, 36% of shoppers use Search engines to research a brand’s values, ethics, CSR and sustainability practices. This is followed by visiting brand’s website at 34%. Only 14% of consumers admit turning to social channels to learn more about a brand’s CSR approach, with a small percentage of shoppers relying on ambassador, influencer or celebrity endorsement (3%).

Consumers want brands to be advocates, but it needs to authentic

While 19% of consumers said they like it when brands take a stand on social issues, 21% said brands should only take a position if they can prove that it is actively trying to solve the problem, and 15% said a brand should only take a position on an issue if it has a good reason to.

About the research

The research was an online survey of 1000 Australian shoppers, collected between 7 May – 21 May 2019.

About Salmat

Salmat is a leading Australian marketing services provider. We help clients connect with their customers, week-in, week-out. Salmat's unique combination of data-driven, targeted letterbox and online marketing channels enables clients to Reach, Convert and Serve their customers. We also provide a wide range of back office solutions, through our Philippines-based Managed Services business.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Australian Retailers Association

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

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