Web Host 1&1 Announces Half of Shoppers Look for Green Practices When Choosing Online Retailers

December 22, 2009
December 22, 2009 – (HOSTSEARCH.COM) – According to research released by 1&1, the world's largest web host. The survey of 1500 consumers found that 59 per cent of consumers are more likely to buy if a retailer uses eco-friendly practices such as recycling and using renewable energy. The data reveals that 1 in 4 consumers now expect retailers to use eco-friendly services across their operation as well as recycling and reducing physical waste. The use of renewable electricity to power their website is viewed as important as using less polluting vehicles. The survey reveals that 37 per cent of Britons now expect online retailers to be reducing their environmental impact to the same degree as high-street stores.

Whilst many supermarkets and high-street stores loudly champion their eco-friendly policies, it would appear that consumers now have equivalent expectations for the online retailers they use. 1&1's 'Greener Shopping Survey'(1) reveals that most Christmas shoppers will consider the environment impact of their purchases. Over half of consumers (59 per cent) now consider a retailer's use of 'green' practices within their buying decision, and nearly three quarters (72 per cent) believe that online retailers have a responsibility to act. Whilst 37 per cent of shoppers expect online retailers to tackle the issue to the same degree as high street stores, 1 in 5 say they are more likely to buy from a retailer that explains its carbon usage on its website.

Consumers now expect online stores to adopt a wide range of environmentally responsible practices. As well as the more obvious efforts such as recycled packaging (44 per cent) and reduced packaging (43 per cent), and eco friendly vehicles (24 per cent), 1 in 4 (24 per cent) of online shoppers seek retailers who use green services across their operation such as renewable electricity. 1 in 4 is more likely to buy from a retailer which powers its website and servers with renewable energy, the same proportion that look for the use of eco-friendly vehicles. The use of renewable energy by online retailers is seen by 20 per cent of shoppers as equal in important to the use of recycled packaging.

Oliver Mauss, CEO 1&1 Internet Ltd. said, "As more of us think about our personal impact on the environment, there has been a surge in demand for greener practices in retail. A significant proportion of British consumers now expect all types of retailer to power their operations with renewable energy, and for online stores that should start with their website".

Interestingly, demand for 'greener' retailers appears to vary with gender, with women on average more concerned about retailers' efforts. For example, 46 per of women are more likely to buy from a retailer that uses recycled packaging compared to 36 per cent of men. Significantly, all age groups appear to be equally aware and committed on the issue of green credentials. Londoners are most influenced by eco-friendly practices (70 per cent), whilst residents of Yorkshire (49 per cent) are by far the least.

The research reveals that whilst online shopping is undoubtedly a pleasure for many, some shoppers struggle with "eco-guilt" concerning the impact of their online purchases. 1 in 10 Britons admit to weighing-up the environmental cost of each online purchase they make. Levels of guilt on the issue were once again highest in London (13 per cent) and lowest in Yorkshire (3 per cent).

The data lends weight to the theory that online retailers can financially benefit from using more eco-friendly services across their operation. For example, large web hosting providers such as 1&1 offer firms shared hosting and eCommerce packages (from £4.99/month+VAT) and dedicated servers (from £29.99/month) that are powered with renewable energy and leverage energy-saving technologies. In response to consumer attitudes, 1&1 now provides its business users with a logo they can display on their website to indicate that it uses 'green hosting'. In such a way, consumers can be made aware that an online retailer is committed to lowering their environmental impact from their technical infrastructure upwards.

Mauss added, "Green-IT is no longer just a concern for multi-national retailers. By implementing more eco-friendly technologies such as green-hosting, smart retailers of any size can demonstrate their effort to lower environmental impact and can bolster customer loyalty and spend in doing so".

About 1&1 Internet Ltd

1&1 Internet Ltd based in Slough, west of London, is Europe's No.1 web hosting and domain name registration company. 1&1 Internet Ltd is the UK arm of 1&1 Internet AG based in Germany (a subsidiary of United Internet Group, a public company with a market cap of more than 2 Billion GBP). 1&1 was established in 1988 and holds some 9 million British, German, French, Spanish, Austrian and US customer contracts and serves some 10 million domain names at its 70,000 server strong Data Centres. 1&1 prides itself on being the one-stop-shop for web solutions.

1&1 Internet Ltd entered the UK domain registration and web hosting market in June 2000. As a well funded profitable company, it is in a strong position to deliver a high quality service at low cost. 1&1 is an accredited Registrar with ICANN (.com), Nominet (.co.uk), Afilias (.info), NeuLevel (.biz) and PIR (.org).

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