Green Shoppers: Just 12% of Italians Prioritize the Environment on Black Friday

 

This is a statistic that emerged from a recent survey carried out by UNGUESS and Scalapay, to investigate how Italians feel – compared to France and Spain – about this Shopping Day.

In all three countries, the age group least concerned with the ecological aspect of the issue is the Boomers, aged 59 and over. While the GenZ are the ones most concerned. 

Creating awareness around Buy Now Pay Later: 2/3rds of Italians consider it a valid tool for improving how they manage their budget.

The environmental issue is a familiar one that is thankfully being discussed a lot more nowadays. We are all, in our small way, trying to be more careful because the effects of global warming have now become all too obvious. Some opt for a more plant-based diet, others buy more local produce and some are careful not to overdo their use of heating and air conditioning. This would lead us to believe that there is a greater focus on how we shop, especially because online shopping generates as much as 7% of greenhouse gas emissions[1].

Unfortunately, however, that is not the case, as is clear from a recent survey conducted by UNGUESS (https://unguess.io/it/), a company involved in crowdsourcing for digital service tests, and Scalapay (https://www.scalapay.com/it), Southern Europe’s leading Fintech company in the Buy-Now-Pay-Later market.

Indeed, the survey revealed that only 12% of Italians seriously consider the environmental impact of purchases, a figure in line with Spain (11%) and France (17%). Overall, in all three countries, those most aware of the issue were the GenZ youngsters, while dragging behind were the Boomers from 59 upwards. It is regrettable to see people who, when shopping on Black Friday, do not even give the environment a thought: in all three countries, the figure was 9.98% of those who took the survey[2], a small but significant percentage.

1. Source.
2. The survey was conducted on 1,500 people: 500 in Italy, 500 in France, and 500 in Spain.

But focus on the environment was not the only issue: UNGUESS and Scalapay’s analysis also examined other parameters, aimed at taking a closer, more general look at how the Italians, Spanish, and French felt about this long-awaited Shopping Day. Particular focus was placed on Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), an innovative payment method that is becoming increasingly popular with consumers to make immediate purchases and pay in interest-free installments. A highly significant subject on which the research placed a specific focus.

Planned purchases or “if I see something I like, I’ll buy it”?

In 74% of cases, those interviewed said they preferred planned buying, with an average budget of 238 euros for Italy273 euros for Spain, and as much as 309 euros for France. Leading the way are Millennials who will spend the most: on average 272 euros per person.

Compared to other countries, Italians seem to be those who plan the least, and equally, don’t see Black Friday as an opportunity to buy Christmas presents early as much as their French neighbors do.

However, on the subject of available budget, not everyone wants to spend the same amount as last year, quite the opposite: 19% of Italians say they want to spend less, as do 31% of the French and 18% of the Spanish. “In short, with inflation and the increased cost of living, not everyone can dedicate the same resources to shopping as they have done in previous years, even though most of those interviewed said they hoped to spend more or less the same amount,” explains Alessandro Caliando, Head of UX at UNGUESS.

Buy Now Pay Later: Supporting Budget Management

The research also analyzed people’s habits and preferences about Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) as a tool for paying for one’s purchases in installments.

The interest shown in BNPL solutions for the up-and-coming Black Friday involves around half the Italians interviewed (52%), higher than the figure recorded in France (42%) and Spain (36%). Nevertheless, this figure reflects that 40% of Italians have already used BNPL in the past, a significantly higher figure compared to the French (28%) and Spanish (27%).

The survey also highlighted the convergence of opinions between the various countries involved, especially about the perception of BNPL which, according to two-thirds of those interviewed, is an effective method for better managing one’s budget. Furthermore, most of the consumers were in favor of using BNPL rather than the option of charging the purchases to their card or applying for any loan.

The analysis, also revealed that flexibility in the choice of frequency for paying installments, for example, monthly or weekly, is an important element in the adoption of BNPL solutions. This aspect is particularly important for about 3 out of 4 people, with no geographical differences.

And if in doubt about choosing BNPL? Its combination with an offer or specific promotion can prove to be a key decision-maker in the adoption of this payment method.

When are purchases mainly made? Morning, afternoon, or evening?

In this case, it is interesting to note how each country has different habits: in France, buying is mostly done in the morning (46.36%), in Italy the evening (37.53%), while in Spain it is in the afternoon (45.79%).

Online vs offline: the web wins hands down

The vast majority of those interviewed said they buy only online: we’re talking about 52.77% of the French people interviewed 71.72% of the Italians interviewed and 51.32% of the Spanish interviewed. From a generational point of view, GenZ tends to buy in shops (15.98%), together with Boomers (15.94%). We’re talking, however, about percentages which – if compared to the desire to buy online – are considerably lower.

The demise of the tablet as a navigation tool (49.50%) and in second place, the PC (47.38%)

The smartphone is favored by Millennials (52.97%) and GenX (49.26%); while Boomers (68.97%) and GenZ (50%) prefer using a PC.

“This research was very interesting as it brought to light data we didn’t expect. For example, we saw that the average user generally doesn’t pay much attention to the environment when purchasing online, in contrast with the last few years in which the issue of sustainability has become predominant in every industry,” explains Caliandro. “Another interesting piece of data was discarding the tablet for online purchases, which are made and planned mostly using a smartphone. Once again, this undoubtedly brings to light the importance of planning websites that are increasingly mobile-friendly, as everything is organized using this small screen. Furthermore, the survey revealed that each age group has its characteristics and needs, so when designing a service, it is crucial to have a clear image of your target market to create a buying experience completely in line with the end users.”

“On a constantly evolving landscape, it is essential that we continue to strive to further understand consumer preferences. This guides us to continuously offer innovative solutions in line with their changing needs, which contribute to redefining the shopping experience, especially in e-commerce. The data that emerged, clearly showed that awareness around Buy Now Pay Later has become central to purchasing decisions. It is now considered an effective tool for improving budget management by offering a flexible and convenient payment option. This option will be a key support to those wishing to take advantage of Black Friday offers, making the shopping experience even more sustainable and rewarding,” explains Simone Mancini, Scalapay’s CEO.

UNGUESS

Founded in 2015 as part of the “Mobile Lab” research center at the Politecnico di Milano, following an idea developed by three former students – Edoardo Vannutelli, Filippo Maria Renga, and Luca Manara, who is now the startup’s CEO – UNGUESS was the first company in Italy to use the crowd testing method to optimize the quality, safety, and user experience of the company’s digital products and services. Thanks to the crowd and integrated technological platform, UNGUESS manages to rapidly and effectively offer tests, detailed studies, and relevant feedback because it comes from fully involved real people and a wide variety of available digital devices and interfaces. UNGUESS’s commercial offer is based on three principles: 1. the support offered to the client throughout the entire development cycle and digital optimisation: from the quality and correct use of software, to the safety of digital solutions released, to the analysis of the User and Customer Experience; 2. a high level of engagement and support given both by the crowd and by professionals at UNGUESS; 3. a flexible and scaleable pricing model based on consumption tokens.

In January 2023, UNGUESS closed with capital growth of over 10 million Euro guided by Fondo Italiano d’Investimento SGR, via the Fondo Italiano Tecnologia e Crescita – “FITEC” with the involvement of P101 SGR with its two vehicles: Programma 102 and ITA500, managed in proxy by Azimut, Italian Angels for Growth (IAG), Club degli Investitori and Club Italia Investimenti 2.




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