UK research finds strong growth potential for online grocery

Posted by Editorial on 19th January 2010

Online grocery sales are set to surge if forecasts from the UK are on the money, with researchers predicting the next five years will see sales almost double to £7.2bn (A$12.9b). In 2009, 13% of adults have shopped online for groceries – an increase of 63% on 2006.

Three out of five (61%) online grocery shoppers use more than one online store for their food shopping. And half (49%) would like to try other supermarket websites, but many are put off by the perceived effort involved.

Online Shopping 2009, just published by international grocery analysts IGD, also discovered that a third of online grocery shoppers purchase food online less often that once a month. Around a quarter would like to try an alternative online supermarket in the next three months while a third expect to shop only in a supermarket for their groceries.

“Our research shows there is a great opportunity for grocery retailers and manufacturers to encourage shoppers to try online food shopping,” Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD, said. “People are increasingly mixing the channels they use for their weekly or monthly shop. Many are choosing to visit their local store on a regular basis, while purchasing a number of bulk items, like tinned foods and toiletries, online less frequently.

“The future of grocery shopping is ‘multi-channel’, with people shopping in different ways and using various outlets – whether convenience stores, online or hypermarkets.”

The number of Australian shoppers who are buying groceries online lags their UK counterparts, with 1.2% or 212,000 people doing so in the year to June 2009.