Sharing is caring: How non-financial incentives drive sustainable e-commerce delivery

Elsevier, Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, Volume 93, April 2021
Authors: 
Buldeo Rai H., Broekaert C., Verlinde S., Macharis C.

As more and more people are buying more and more items online, limiting the ecological footprint of e-commerce deliveries is pressing. Research suggests several initiatives for retailers and logistics service providers to take, but consumer-involvement is key. This research investigates how to encourage consumers’ sustainable decision-making in the web-shop's check-out page by using non-financial incentives only. To this end, we carry out an online experiment among Belgian consumers to assess and compare the impact of four incentives: (1) information, (2) options order, (3) social media share and (4) social norm. The experiment demonstrates that providing information on the ecological footprint of delivery options is the most decisive incentive. The impact of social media shares and social norms are positive, while reversing the order of delivery options has limited effects. This research highlights the potential of consumer behaviour in enhancing sustainability and encourages further exploration of this topic.