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Shoppin' Where the Trees Ain't Droppin'

Green sites are sprouting up everywhere.

Consumers primarily shop online for convenience, product selection and price. But now another reason can be added to the list: environmental responsibility.

Fully 35% of respondents to a Shop.org survey believed that online shopping is better for the environment than store shopping.

Even better for online retailers, 60% of those who believed in the environmental merits of online shopping said they would shop online more as part of a greener lifestyle.

“A crop of green shopping sites has emerged to help consumers find eco-friendly products and get tips on how to incorporate green practices into their lives,” says Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, Green E-Commerce: Gaining Momentum. “In addition, savvy consumers use the Internet to evaluate the legitimacy of brands’ eco-friendly product claims, and social network sites are becoming hubs for a wide range of environmental causes.”

Surprisingly, the recession has not stymied consumers’ plans to buy green products.

In a Cone survey, over four times as many respondents said they were more likely to buy green products today than expected to buy fewer.

Overall, eight out of 10 respondents indicated they planned to spend at least as much on green products today as they did in the past.

“Brands are ramping up their green product launches in response to growing consumer demand,” says Mr. Grau.

According to Datamonitor, the number of eco-friendly product launches more than doubled in 2008 compared with the year before.

“For green consumerism to really take hold, marketers need to be creative in targeting people who are likely to benefit from their products,” says Mr. Grau. “Then they must explain how their products improve these people’s lives.”

And the Internet may be the perfect place to start the conversation.

To find out more about this important demographic, check out the new eMarketer report, Green E-Commerce: Gaining Momentum.

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