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Bain Research on Green Consumer Shopping Preferences

Both consumer awareness and the availability of green products have considerable room for growth.

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Online Green Retailer Trends

During the 2007 holiday season, Bain & Co. worked with Communispace, an online market research firm, to learn more about how consumers are responding to green retail choices.

The research pointed to a few factors retailers need to consider to bring "green" to more consumers:

Price has been a concern this holiday season. Consumers on the panel believed that higher eco-friendliness went hand in hand with higher prices. Said one: “I expect the eco-friendly stores to be more expensive, so I stay away from them.”

Consumers are seeking, but not finding, answers to their green searches

Several panelists commented that they haven’t "a clue which stores or merchants are eco-friendly for the holidays or otherwise." To get these consumers to change their behavior, retailers are going to have to do a better job of communicating and messaging.

Rural and Small Communities Turn to Internet

For some consumers, the issue has been access: “I am in a small rural community. . . . There really aren’t a ton of opportunities to buy eco-friendly.” These consumers will either have to purchase products online or wait for green products to become more mainstream.

There is a segment of consumers for whom eco-friendliness is a way of life. One characteristic that makes this segment attractive is that some level of price difference is not a barrier to buying.

In many other parts of the country, both consumer awareness and the availability of green products have considerable room for growth.

SOURCE: Reuters

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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