Consumers' purchasing decisions regarding environmentally friendly products: An empirical analysis of German consumers

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Research in the area of environmentally friendly purchasing behavior reports inconsistent findings. It is also unclear which factors determine real buying behavior. Therefore, the present study develops a model which identifies major factors forming self-reported purchasing behavior (SRB). A structural equation approach is used to integrate these measures and to test if they are able to predict actual purchasing behavior. Data was obtained from a nationwide panel (n=1760) and included survey data and retail scanner data for seven different product categories in the sector of goods for daily needs. Results show that consumers care for the environment and mirror environmental attitudes in their purchasing behavior (self-reported). Especially norms and willingness to pay are strong predictors of SRB. However, SRB is not transferred to actual purchasing behavior. Therefore, the findings corroborate the gap between stated and actual behavior. Implications for marketing are derived to encourage consumers to purchase environmentally friendly products. In the end, this not only produces benefits for the environment, but also creates opportunities for businesses.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Retailing and Consumer Services
Pages (from-to)389-397
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 01.07.2016