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Retail Technology, Retail technology News

Online grocery shopping boom predicted

Friday January 22 2010

New research forecasts that £7.2 billion will be spent on food and grocery shopping online by 2014   The international grocery analysts, IGD today predicted that online food and grocery sales will nearly double compared to 2009 totals. It said that13% of adults have shopped online for groceries last year – an increase of 63% on 2006.  

New research forecasts that £7.2 billion will be spent on food and grocery shopping online by 2014

 

The international grocery analysts, IGD today predicted that online food and grocery sales will nearly double compared to 2009 totals. It said that13% of adults have shopped online for groceries last year – an increase of 63% on 2006.

 

The researcher also found three out of five (61%) online grocery shoppers used 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 the analyst, also found that 30% of online grocery shoppers purchase less often than once a month, but that a further 34% expect to only shop in a supermarket for everything and 7% expect to shop just online for food and groceries.

 

Opportunity looms large

 

Over a third (34%) of the 2,000-plus UK consumers IGD surveyed expected to shop in a variety of outlets, including online, in the next five to 10 years (compared to 27% in 2007). While nearly a quarter (24%) also intended to try an alternative online supermarket in three next three months, where 25% said they would like to but are put off by the effort involved.

 

Joanne Denney-Finch, IGD chief executive, said: “Our research shows there is a great opportunity for grocery retailers and manufacturers to encourage shoppers to try online food shopping.

 

“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 ‘multichannel’, with people shopping in different ways and using various outlets – whether convenience stores, online or hypermarkets,” she added.

 

According to the Office for National Statistics, 64% of people have shopped online at some point, but only 13% have bought food or groceries in the last year. More than six in ten (61%) current and potential online shoppers also said that removing delivery charges would be a key trigger for increasing online grocery shopping.

 

Product data accuracy advocate

 

Mark Thorpe, managing director of product data management vendor, Stibo Systems commented that, if retailers are really going to double their sales in the next five years, they still had a long way to go.

 

“Product returns are a nightmare for most retailers,” he said. “But the problem is exacerbated when dealing with perishable goods bought online.

 

“A surprising number of food retailers spend their IT and marketing budgets on website design and usability, but fail to provide the correct information about products or even put the wrong images online.

 

“If these basic errors were reduced, there would be fewer returns, consumer confidence would increase and grocery shopping would be as successful online as it is in store,” added Thorpe. “Then, and only then, would we see the level of online activity predicted by the IGD.”