Empowering Consumers to Make Environmentally Sustainable Online Shopping Decisions: A Digital Nudging Approach

Michels, Leonard
Ochmann, Jessica
Günther, Sebastian A.
Laumer, Sven
Tiefenbeck, Verena
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An ever-increasing share of people is using online shopping to satisfy their consumer needs. This has led to a vivid discussion regarding the environmental sustainability of e-commerce that also emphasized the role that consumer's decisions can play in mitigating its negative impacts. However, while many individuals state that they are willing to act more sustainably, they often struggle to follow through with their `green' intentions. We propose digital nudging as an approach to encourage environmentally sustainable online shopping decisions and empower consumers to act in line with their intentions. In an online experiment with 323 participants, we evaluate the effectiveness of three different nudging interventions (defaults, active choice, and self-nudging) to promote environmentally sustainable shipping options in an online store and assess the consumers' ethics and empowerment perceptions of the nudges. We find that all nudges are effective in changing decisions, but default nudges lead to negative perceptions among consumers.
Human-centricity in a Sustainable Digital Economy, digital nudging, e-commerce, empowerment, green is, sustainability
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