Consumer Behaviour – An Eco friendly approach Maneesha Patel, Namita Raina, Raj Patel Maratha Mandir’s Babasaheb Gawde Institute Of Management, Mumbai University, India email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.comAbstract: (Key words: eco-friendly products, consumerObjective: The main objectives of the study behaviour, willingness to pay)are to investigate the consumer attractivenesstowards eco- friendly products in FMCG I. INTRODUCTIONsector and their impact of purchasing Consumer’s consumption has beendecision. Also to analyse if they are willing to changed due to rapid economic growthpay higher prices for the eco-friendly which has resulted in environmentalproducts and to make the necessary degradation through over consumption &recommendations based on the finding about utilisation of natural resources. If thetheir buying behaviour towards theseproducts. The Paper suggests that the current trend of economic growth &consumers who are highly concerned about irresponsible consumption patternsthe environmental issues and its deterioration continues the environment deteriorationare likely to pay higher price for such would be worsen. The consequences ofproducts. environmental degradation are globalMethodology: Data for this study was warming, depletion of stratospheric ozonecollected from all the segments of society, 70 layer, pollution of sea and rivers, noise andrespondents using a structured questionnaire. light pollution, acid rain and desertificationThe questionnaire contains questions to (Ramlogan, 1997).measure awareness of eco-friendly products, Hence, shift towards moreconsumers’ environmental concerns, trust in sustainable consumption patterns isthe quality of green products, & theirwillingness to pay higher for the same. required and it is also important to increaseResult: The results of the data analysis the environment awareness &indicate that few consumers are ready to pay consciousness among the people.higher prices for these products as they are Consumers can reduce their impact onmore environment conscious where as some environment by their purchasing decisions.consumers who are aware of environmental The rising number of consumers whodegradation are of opinion that if the same prefer and are willing to buy eco-friendlyproduct is available at lesser cost then why to products are creating opportunity forpay the higher cost for it. The survey findings businesses that are using “eco-friendly” ordisclose the consumers’ awareness about “environmentally friendly” as a componentgreen products and the impact of of their value proposition.environmental concerns on consumer’spurchases. Businesses that offer productsConclusion: Environmental concerns could which are manufactured & designed withemerge as one of the powerful drivers that an environmental marketing mix have ainfluence purchase, but it has actually not long term competitive advantage.resulted in the ability to command a Environmental issues are of importance tosustainable premium: consumers are willing consumers who are environmentallyto buy eco-friendly products, but not pay the conscious when making a purchase.higher price. If the consumer’s demands Hence, a better understanding of consumerincreases the costs of production of eco- preferences in this case will allowfriendly products will reduce. Awareness businesses to acquire more market-among consumers that their buying choices applicable approach to sustain in thecan make a difference to the environmentshould be promoted to accelerate the competitive market.consumption of eco-friendly products.
But first let us know what is Green There are lots of harmful effectsProduct- This is the product that will not associated with the usage of plastics,pollute the earth or deplore natural chemicals, non-biodegradable items,resources, and can be recycled or which is why, it is high time that we startconserved. It is a product that has more using eco-friendly products as soon asenvironmentally sound content or possible. Also, we should change ourpackaging in reducing the environmental lifestyle restricting the usage of coolersimpact (Elkington and Makower, 1988; only during their utmost need, replacingWasik, 1996). plastic covers with jute and paper bags, In other words, green product checking the carbon emission of ourrefers to product that incorporates the vehicles and servicing them regularly.strategies in recycling or with recycled Even the feminine products likecontent, reduced packaging or using less earrings, handbags, purses, chains, creams,toxic materials to reduce the impact on the body wash, and scrubs are available asnatural environment. Krause (1993), in his handmade and handcrafted natural itemsresearch found that consumers were which can easily replace the artificialbecoming more concerned about their plastics ones. There are also organiceveryday habits and the impact on the clothes available in the market made usingenvironment. The outcome of this is that natural cotton, environment friendly dyes.some of the consumers translated their These eco-friendly dresses and accessoriesenvironmental concern into actively are more appealing as they set new trendspurchasing green products commitment in the market and make one feel proud of(Martin and Simintiras, 1995). wearing it by helping in preventing Eco friendly products are readily damage to our surroundings.available nowadays. These include small One can only hope that change isarticles from handmade papers bags, jute the only thing that is constant, once webags, and recycled papers to Eco friendly decide protecting our nature therebyfuels and so on. However in spite of a ensuring our own safe future, and then theplethora of eco-friendly products being rest of it follows. Let’s start using eco-made available, majority of the people are friendly products for a start now and turnstill oblivious about the very existence of the vision of a lovely environment in thesuch products, which is rather unfortunate. future, a reality. The most important reason whyone should start using eco-friendly II. LITERATURE REVIEW:products is because of the devastating Green purchase behaviour refers toeffect of harmful gases, non-biodegradable the consumption of products that areplastics, dangerous gases which not only benevolent or beneficial to thepollutes the environment but also causes environment, recyclable or conservablerespiratory problems in human beings. and sensitive or responsive to ecologicalApart from humans, it could also lead to concerns (Mostafa, 2007). As publiccomplete extinction of various rare species environmental concern has increased overof animals and birds. It also increases the several decades, consumers who demandearth’s temperature, which in turn causes products for immediate benefits towardthe greenhouse effect. The excess of themselves and for the long term benefitsgreenhouse gases especially carbon toward the environment have emerged anddioxide in the atmosphere prevents the increased (Follows & Jobber, 2000)earth’s heat from escaping the atmosphere Following Berkowitz andand radiates it back to the earth’s surface, Lutterman’s (1968) study, Henion (1972)thereby increasing the global temperature. also thought that consumers with medium or high incomes would be more likely to
act in an ecologically compatible manner issues, there is an increase in the demanddue to their higher levels of education and for ecological products. This increasedtherefore to their increased sensitivity to awareness of and sensitivity towardssocial problems. environmental issues places certain Changes in the condition of natural demands on business functions to becomeresources and their long term negative greener.impact has led to some realization abouthuman responsibility towards nature. This III. OBJECTIVESrealization has led to development of eco- The Main objective of the study is,friendly consumption patterns among 1. To investigate the consumerconsumers. Grunert (1993) reported that attractiveness towards eco- friendlyabout 40% of environmental degradation products in FMCG sector and their impacthas been brought about by the of purchasing decision.consumption activities of privatehouseholds. The need for eco-friendly 2. To analyse if the consumers are willingproducts is gradually increasing on to pay higher prices for the eco-friendlyaccount of persistent raise in the concern products.for environment related issues.Fortunately, eco-friendly consumption and IV. RESEARCH METHODOLOGYspending patterns has led the marketers to 70 questionnaires were distributedunderstand the eco-friendly attitude of the to various educated segments of society.consumers and come up with the 63 total questionnaires were received backmarketing mix which preserves with a respond rate of 90 per cent. Afterenvironmental resources and at the same going through it we found only 50time deliver value added products and questionnaires usable of which 50 per centservices (Chitra, 2007). are males & 50 per cent are females with Belz & Peattie (2008) stated that mean age ranging from 20 to 38 years. Thegreen marketing and environmental questionnaire was structured as follows.marketing in the late 1980’s focused on The questionnaire contained 14 questions.green consumers who would be willing to All questions were close ended except thepay premium prices for more last one i.e. Q.14. where we had asked forenvironmentally friendly products. Many their comments. These questions measuredconsumers choose products that do not consumers’ awareness, knowledge aboutdamage the environment over less the environmental issues and eco-friendlyenvironmentally friendly products, even if products, trust in the performance of eco-they cost more. With green marketing, friendly products and their willingness toadvertisers focus on environmental pay more for those products. Thebenefits to sell products such as questionnaire also included generalbiodegradable diapers, energy-efficient demographic questions such as age,light bulbs, and environmentally safe gender, sex, qualification & occupationdetergents. Green marketing encourages etc.consumers to use eco-friendly productsand manufacturers to develop more V. DATA ANALYSIS &environmentally beneficial products. INTERPRETATION Clem (2008) adds that going green Table:1 Survey Questionnaires provided toreflects a social consciousness around respondents:saving and advancing the Earth’s natural Questions Number %resources, preserving and protecting them Have you heard of anyfor the sake of civilization. As customers FMCG eco-friendlybecome more aware of environmental products?
Yes 47 94% Going through these questions we No 3 6% came to know that people are aware thatName any eco-friendly their purchase decision will contribute toproducts. the sustainable future but still they don’t Answered 28 56% consider environment while making their Unanswered 22 44% day to day purchases. 60% respondents said that they don’t consider theirThrough these above questions we got to purchases friendly from the environmentalknow that 94% people have heard about point of view. But 76% respondentsthe eco-friendly product but when we admitted that if the product is labelled asasked them to name few products only eco-friendly so that information can56% respondents were aware about the change their purchase decision.eco-friendly products. Table: 3 Survey Questionnaires providedTable: 2 Survey Questionnaires provided to respondents:to respondents: Questions Number % Questions Number % Have you bought orAre you aware that considered buying eco-purchasing eco-friendly friendly productsproducts will available in the market?contribute to the Yes 36 72%sustainable future? No 14 28% Yes 42 84% Do you feel there is No enough information 8 16% about Eco-FriendlyDo you consider youreffect on the features while buyingenvironment as a the Products? Definitely Yes 1 2%consumer beforepurchasing general day Average 33 66%to day products? Definitely Not 12 24% Yes 27 54% Not sure 4 8% No 23 46% Do you trust the qualityDo you consider your of eco-friendlypurchase friendly from products?the environmental Definitely Yes 10 20%point of view? Average 29 58% Yes 30 60% Definitely Not 5 10% No 20 40% Not sure 6 12%Do you consider if the It can be stated that many i.e. 72%product and its package of buyers have bought eco-friendlyare designed to be products but there is lack of informationrecycled before making about eco-friendly products in the market.a purchase? Because only 68% people have agreed that Yes 27 54% there is enough information about those No 23 46% product. 78% population believe that theIf the product is labeled quality of eco-friendly product is supposedeco-friendly, would this to be high.information changeyour purchase? Table: 4 Survey Questionnaires provided Yes 38 76% to respondents: No 12 24%
Questions Number % eco-friendly products and 78% were foundDo you agree that the to trust the quality of eco-friendlyprice of eco-friendly products.products is supposed to It is also found that the segment ofbe higher? consumers who are willing to pay more for Yes 29 58% eco-friendly products may not be very No 21 42% large. Even the educated segment whichAre you willing to pay was chosen by us for this study has shownmore for eco-friendly underwhelms response for paying higherproducts? prices for these products. Thus, the Yes 31 62% environment concerns could come up as a No 19 38% powerful drive for influencing theIf Yes How much are consumers and changing their purchasingyou willing to pay behaviour.more for eco-friendlyproducts? VII. LIMITATIONS & FUTURE <5% 11 22% RESEARCH 5-10% 10 20% The sample size was very small 10-20% 7 14% and it was particularly collected from 20-30% 0 0% South Mumbai, India, so there was 42% of respondents believe that the geographical constraints too. Theprices of eco-friendly products should not questionnaires were distributed to highlybe higher whereas 62% people are willing educated respondents so they tend to beto pay more for those products which more eco-friendly as compare to others.shows that the consumers are more And also the present paper was conductedenvironment friendly and willing to using self-reporting questionnaire hencecontribute in its sustainable growth. the respondents may be biased especially in regard to the willingness to pay higher price for eco-friendly products. VI. KEY FINDINGS The study shows that majority of VIII. SUGGESTIONSsample respondents have heard of eco- The people are aware & concernfriendly products and have knowledge about the green products, so it creates anabout environmental issues. opportunity for developing green marketApproximately 94% respondents stated focusing on more educated consumers.that they had heard of eco- friendly Also consumers want eco-friendlyproducts & 84% were aware of the fact products from those companies whichthat purchasing eco-friendly products will have positioned themselves as Greencontribute to sustainable future. marketer or Eco-friendly Manufacturer. More than 46% of respondents The right combination of eco- friendlystated that they did not consider the effect products and service, sales, marketing, andon environment while purchasing general management expertise is needed to targetday to day products where as 60% and attract the consumers who may beconsidered that the purchases made by willing to buy eco- friendly products.them were correct from environment point Green marketers should identify suchof view. A relatively higher proportion of segment of consumers and accordinglyrespondents (76%) stated that labelling a design and market products at suitableproduct as eco-friendly would change their price levels. Since eco-friendly featureschoice of purchase. Further, 72% of the motivate consumers, hence companiessample respondents considered buying should focus on advertising eco-friendly
brand labels, in-store displays and http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/22/businhoardings. Advertisements campaigns may ess/energy-be used to further promote the use of eco- environment/22green.html?pagewanted=alfriendly products. Such campaigns can be l&_r=0directed at increasing concerns about http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-environmental issues among consumers homes/eco-friendly/green-products-and publicize the use of eco-friendly 460514products. The awareness about the productsshould be done through advertising so thatindividual buying behaviour can bechanged which can have an impact on thewelfare of the environment. It is alsoimportant that companies aiming atdeveloping new eco-friendly productsshould ensure that products performcompetitively. IX. CONCLUSION Environmental concern couldemerge as one of the powerful drivers thatinfluence eco-friendly purchases; it hasactually not resulted in the ability tocommand a sustainable premiumconsumers are willing to buy eco-friendlyproducts, but not to pay the higher price. It may be important to examine infuture studies the effect of disposableincome on willingness to pay premium.Increased consumer demand will helpreduce costs in production of eco-friendlyproducts. Awareness among consumersthat their buying choices can make adifference to the environment should bepromoted. There is a scope for eco-friendly marketers to capture this marketas it has long term scope & growth. X. REFERENCESBooks:1. Consumer Behaviour- M. Khan2. Consumer Behaviour- Atul K. Sharma3. Research Methodology- C.R. Kothari4. The New Rule of Green Marketing-Jacquelyn A. OttmanOnline:http://greenliving.nationalgeographic.com/going-green-home-products-2370.html