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Being local and ethical matters

Published 12/08/2021

Consumer research shows UK adults want to support those that support others and their local community.

Knowing what motivates your customers means you can position your business to best serve their needs and meet their expectations. Better still, you may discover you’re already doing what your customers favour without even trying.
In a nutshell, our research shows UK adults want to support those business that support others and that support their local community. So being local and caring about how you do business can give you an edge.
Elavon surveyed1 more than 1100 people in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland aged between 16 and 75. The majority (90%) of respondents said they want to purchase from business who are responsible and sustainable, and plan to increase buying from brands with ethical credentials.


The single biggest motivator for consumers, when it came to ethical business credentials, was providing safe working conditions (94%), followed by the business’ reputation (93%). Supporting local business and having a fair supply chain, with no use of child labour, was a main driver for 90% of consumers – nine out of ten. For only slightly fewer, at 89%, the environmental sustainability of the company and its provision of equal pay (also 89%) were also significant motivators for consumers when choosing where to buy. 

And what do business owners think?

Additional research2 from a business owners’ perspective was conducted on UK small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This revealed that 82% of businesses believe ethical and green credentials will become even more important to their customers in the future. 


Businesses are also focused on their roles within the local economy. Four out of five (80%) SMEs report that being recognised as a local business had become more important over the past year. In addition, almost three quarters (74%) of companies surveyed indicated that their local communities had stepped up to support them. 


1] Ipsos MORI online survey conducted in UK May 28-June 1, 2021 of 1129 respondents aged 16-75.
2]  Savanta survey conducted in UK April 15-April 30, 2021 of 160 SME retailers.