DigitalizationSustainable online shopping: 40 percent buy second-hand goods online

The digital association Bitkom today published new survey results on the issue of sustainability in online retail. According to the results, 40 percent of online shoppers already used platforms such as Vinted, Ebay Kleinanzeigen or Shpock to buy second-hand items online.

For this representative survey, Bitkom Research, on behalf of the digital association Bitkom, conducted online interviews with a total of 1,109 people in Germany aged 16 and above in October 2021, including 1,048 online shoppers, on the topic of climate protection, sustainability, and online retail.

These are further details:

  • 40 percent of online shoppers said they used Vinted, Ebay Classifieds, Shpock and comparable platforms to buy second-hand items online – at 52 percent, this was mainly done by younger people between 16 and 29 years.
  • Among 30- to 49-year-olds, 41 percent bought second-hand items online as well as 37 percent of the 50- to 59-year-olds and around a quarter of those over 60 years.
  • Some consumers indicated to already take steps toward more sustainability when shopping online by deliberately bundling several orders and placing them on the same delivery day (21 percent), using repair services from online retailers to have defective products repaired (13 percent), donating to environmental projects or planting trees when buying online (12 percent) or paying a small surcharge to offset the CO2 emissions of their parcel deliveries (eight percent). Far more consumers could imagine using these options in the future.
  • In addition, respondents felt that retailers should pack as many goods as possible in the same parcel (92 percent) and that they were responsible for making online retail more sustainable and climate-friendly (81 percent). In addition, the cartons were often regarded as far too large for the goods ordered (86 percent) and 61 percent would like to see parcel deliveries made by electric cars or bicycles to reduce the environmental impact.

Niklas Meyer-Breitkreutz, Digitalization and Sustainability Officer at Bitkom, commented: "The longer functioning products are used, the more sustainable they are – this applies to IT devices as well as furniture or clothing. Digital platforms are usually easy to use and help ensure that products can be reused and thus remain in use for as long as possible. With the help of digital technologies, we can avoid transport routes, reduce packaging materials and also make supply chains more transparent."

Source: Bitkom

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