Online Grocery Shopping poised for growth, Australian analysis, Nielsen findings

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 11th September 2012

Despite record numbers of Australians using the internet to seek product reviews, specials and grocery coupons, the number of consumers purchasing groceries online lags significantly behind the UK signaling even greater growth is to come, according to a new study from Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy.

When comparing Australian rates of consumer online shopping with other global markets, Nielsen found 35 percent of Australians had bought groceries online in the previous month, compared with 52 percent of consumers in the UK. However, 42 percent of Australian consumers had researched groceries online – such as checked the price or sourced product reviews.

Leigh Shaw, head of Nielsen’s Shopper Practice, said: “We are potentially seeing a real tipping point in consumer behaviour. We live in a country that has some of the highest levels of internet penetration, and there’s imminent growth with regards to national broadband.

“Nielsen’s latest insights highlight that two in every three adult Australians use the internet every week to check specials on retailer sites, review grocery specials on daily deal sites or to gather coupon offers. So we’d expect the progression to greater online purchase in the near future.”

For retailers, online grocery shopping not only increases sales but provides consumers with a newer, more relevant means of communication and engagement.

Nielsen information shows that by the end of 2012, two-thirds of Australians will own a smart phone, and nearly half will own a tablet computer. As such, consumers are increasingly engaging with online content in many places away from the home or workplace, as Shaw highlights.

“Nielsen has found that consumers use smart phones as their favoured form of news and entertainment while commuting, which opens up the pathway for smart retailer applications that allow convenient and tailored online shopping.

“However local retailers have yet to capture a reasonable share of this opportunity. For Australian grocery retailers this has two major imperatives – profitable growth built on convenience rather than lowest price, and consumer protection from the growth of other online sites,” added Shaw.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Grocery Shopping surveyed more than 28,000 internet* respondents in 56 countries to determine the factors that impact household grocery shopping worldwide.

[The findings were based on respondents with online access. While an online survey methodology allows for tremendous scale and global reach, it provides a perspective only on the habits of existing internet users, not total populations and results may over-report online usage. Responses are only indicative of respondents’ beliefs about their own online usage, rather than actual metered data].

About the Nielsen Global Survey
The Nielsen Global Survey of Grocery Shopping was conducted February 10-27, 2012 and polled more than 28,000 online consumers in 56 countries throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their internet users, and is weighted to be representative of internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based on the behaviour of respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60 percent internet penetration or 10M online population for survey inclusion. The Nielsen Global Survey was established in 2005.

About Nielsen
Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and related properties. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA, and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit