Study: Consumers expect businesses to support social issues
Nearly 89% of consumers support businesses that take stances related to the environment.
Shoppers expect businesses to demonstrate corporate social responsibility by taking stances on pertinent social issues. Some issues, however, are more divisive than others, according to a study by Clutch, Washington, D.C.
In fact, 89% of consumers support businesses that take stances related to the environment, human rights (80%), gender (74%) and politics (56%). Issues related to the environment and human rights are the least likely to cause controversy.
Businesses should avoid political stances
Political social issues are among the most divisive, as 15% of consumers are more likely to stop shopping with a company that supports movements related to politics, along with gender (10%), human rights (5%) and the environment (2%).
Silence can be best option for PR
Regardless if a business decides to speak up or stay silent on controversial social issues, it should be prepared for backlash.
Businesses that stay silent, however, run a lower chance of losing customers than those that take a stance.
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of consumers surveyed are likely to continue shopping at businesses that stay silent on issues they care about, while slightly fewer people (58%) say they would continue shopping at businesses that take stances on issues they disagree with.
Businesses can use social media to communicate stances
Most people (52%) say businesses should communicate stances on social issues through social media. However, businesses risk losing control of the intended message and need to have a well-planned crisis communications strategy in place.
Clutch’s 2019 PR and Corporate Social Responsibility Survey included 420 U.S. consumers who made a purchase within the last 6 months.