Majority of UK shoppers to Opt for Sustainable Retail Brands During Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas


Tug, a leading digital performance marketing agency, today (14 October) launched new research identifying UK consumer shopping preferences during the Golden Quarter. The study found that the majority (67%) of Brits pay attention to the sustainability and environmental efforts of retail brands, with over a third (37%) searching for more sustainable retail brands online - yet only 17% say it impacts where they choose to shop.

However, when it comes to the Golden Quarter, sustainability will impact purchasing decisions. In fact, the majority (78%) of consumers said that whether or not brands clearly communicate their sustainability efforts will have ‘somewhat’ of an impact over where they will shop on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, followed by almost two thirds (63%) over the Christmas period.

To discover what retail brands are doing in regards to sustainable practices, over a third (37%) of consumers are using online search via a search engine. This is especially true for those aged 67+ (Boomers), with two in five (42%) in this age range using search to source this information. Meanwhile, more than a quarter of Gen Z’s are using TikTok (28%) to identify sustainable brands, while over a quarter (26%) of Millennials are using Instagram. Additionally, two in five (21%) consumers are still relying on recommendations from friends or family to identify sustainable brands.

Older generations would be more likely to purchase directly from a brand for cheaper prices, including 61% of Gen X and 60% of Boomers, compared to just 40% of Gen Z. Meanwhile, almost two in five (19%) Millennials would be likely to shop directly from a brand’s website due to sustainable practices.

Finally, almost half (46%) of consumers confirmed that they pay attention to how brands use their personal data, with 17% confirming that they would only buy from brands that clearly communicate how they use this information. This is especially true for more than half (52%) of those aged between 41-56, Gen X, who pay close attention to how their personal data is used, compared to just 45% of millennials.

Faye Daffarn, managing director, UK, Tug: “Currently, “climate anxiety” is the top concern for UK customers. Our research shows that this is now being reflected in shopping preferences during the Golden Quarter, with the sustainability efforts of brands set to impact where 78% of UK consumers will shop. This means it is crucial that retailers are effectively delivering their environmental messaging during this key commercial period. An integrated, multi-channel approach that reaches consumers across multiple touchpoints - not only when they are in-market to purchase, but also when they are in browsing mode, will enable retailers to maximise sales during this key commercial period.

Esha Ahmed, founder of ethical fashion and homeware brand, Omi Na-Na: “In a world dominated by fast fashion and fast buying, it is definitely promising to see that a large proportion of people are now giving thought to brands’ eco and sustainability credentials and that almost 40% are actively searching for more sustainable brands online. This shows that we are beginning to see a shift in consumer preferences to more responsible production which is, of course, a welcomed change. With the Golden Quarter just around the corner, I hope that we see this change in trend result in greater support for smaller brands and businesses that have been working so hard to champion a different way of bringing fashion to the market. This is our next step and challenge!”