Sustainable Retailing, just a click away? Identifying the drivers and constraints of sustainable retailing comparing the in-store and online approach

University essay from Lunds universitet/Internationella miljöinstitutet

Abstract: Online shopping is becoming more common. Many consumers prefer to order their groceries online rather than visit an actual physical store, as online shopping is a lot more convenient. Another growing trend in the retailing industry is the increasing number of environmentally conscious consumers who are aware of the impact their actions have. Retailers such as ICA and Axfood are investing quite a lot into their online stores. This study looks into the drivers and barriers of sustainable retailing, focusing on the online sector. The study compares the results of what academia says are the drivers and barriers with what the retailer says. A framework was developed on the key findings from the literature as well as one from the findings from the retailers. These frameworks were compared with each other, in order to gain a better understanding. The key findings were the definition of sustainable retailing is subjective, it depends on how retailers interpret it. Another key finding was, the drivers of in-store and online sustainable retailing were similar. However, except for a couple of factors, the barriers were very different between online and sustainable retailing. The study also discusses the important role stakeholders, especially consumers have in driving sustainable change. The study concludes by discussing suggestions for future research. The suggestions include further researching the drivers of sustainable online retailing and studying the different communication techniques used by retailers to convey a message to consumers.

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