The effect of climate change on Durban Consumers' buying behaviour.
Punchee, Vijay Anand.
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The green market is now one of the biggest markets in the world and green marketing is one of the major trends in modern business. This is a chance for businesses to take advantage of this opportunity by providing environmental solutions whilst at the same time contributing towards reducing the carbon footprint. To effectively achieve this, green manufacturers and marketers need to understand the perceptions, attitudes and behaviours of consumers towards green products and the factors that encourage and discourage their green purchases. Hence this study attempts to understand Durban’s consumers in this regard to enable local businesses to develop strategies around green product design, development, marketing and sales. The research objectives and questions were answered by sampling 450 consumers in Durban. A convenience sampling design was used as an appropriate sample frame could not be identified. This imposed a limitation on the study in that the findings cannot be generalized to the total population. The study found that 96% of respondents believed that climate change existed and 87% believed that it was having a major impact on the planet. Nevertheless, environmental issues did not weigh heavily in the buying decisions of the respondents. Instead quality and cost were the main factors. However, the study identified a significant market for green cars whilst a significant number of respondents were willing to pay a premium for green products. Furthermore, the respondents indicated that eco-labeling of products would encourage them to buy more green products. Moreover, the study found that green marketers should target the White female segment of the market as they were most conscious of environmental issues. It was also recommended that the pricing of green products needs to be more competitive, green products need to be promoted as the norm and not the exception, and consumers need to be educated to go green. Government, consumers and industry all need to work together to ensure the sustainability of the planet.