Online shopping was already popular before the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, the trend intensified and it seemed safer to have packages delivered to your home and avoid stores. Despite more packaging and logistics, this can also be an advantage for recycling companies - provided they know how to best use their websites.
Business models adhering to Circular Economy principles vary from vacation rental marketplace "Airbnb" to fashion rental giant "Rent-The-Runway" and also include recycling and upcycling aactivities. Some companies in these fields operate exclusively online,. Insights and data on online user behavior in the context of Circular Economy remains scarce. This is why Nicole Stein, Researcher in the Research Unit Material Loops in the Circular Economy Division at the Wuppertal Institute, Stefan Spinler from the WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management, Helga Vanthournout from Wealth of Flows Consulting Ltd and Vered Blass from the Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Tel Aviv University, investigated the issue. In their article "Consumer Perception of Online Attributes in Circular Economy Activities" they look at what customers experience with circular economy activities and business models and how they are influenced by corporate web shops.
For example, customer certifications and customer ratings are particularly relevant when choosing online stores. People who have no previous knowledge of circular economy would like more information about this business model. "It is recommended to consider the target group’s prior experiences and touchpoints with circular activities – or lack thereof – when planning online activities.", adds Nicole Stein.
The peer-reviewed article "Consumer Perception of Online Attributes in Circular Economy Activities" was published in the MDPI Open Access journal "Sustainability" (Volume 12, Issue 5) and is available under the link below.