Online Grocery Retailing - UK - March 2015
“The online sector is starting to mature – this way of shopping for food is not for everyone. That is good news for retailers as they have a vested interest in customers using their physical stores where they can market opportunistic buys more effectively and encourage impulse purchasing. In contrast passing trade is limited online. Customers tend to know what they are looking for and our consumer research shows that one in four agree that it’s easier to stick to a budget online.”
– Hilary Monk, Senior Retail Analyst
This report discusses the following key topics:
- Where next as the online market matures?
- How can grocers improve the shopping experience?
- Delivery is a key battleground
- Click-and-collect – Integration at its best
Our consumer research this year explored people’s attitudes towards possible innovations and improvement for online grocery shopping. The overarching themes of our findings were control and clarity. Customers want more say in how they like their goods, how and when they are delivered and a better two-way dialogue with retailers regarding their order.
Our other consumer questions this year asked:
- How much of their grocery shopping do they do online?
- Which retailers do they use for the majority of their grocery shopping, online or in-store?
- Where else do they do their grocery shopping, online or in-store?
- What are the advantages of shopping online for groceries?
- What are the disadvantages of shopping online for groceries?
Shopping for groceries online doesn’t meet everyone’s needs all of the time and as our consumer research shows people are clear about the disadvantages as well as the advantages. The important thing for retailers is that they continue to improve the online experience for those that choose to shop this way. Delivery, click-and-collect and product substitutions are clearly important areas where there is scope for further innovation and change. We estimate that click-and-collect accounted for 5.2% of all online grocery orders in 2014 and this will continue to rise as all the leading players have committed to further investment.
Online shopping is more complex in food than non-food categories – for instance keeping products at the correct temperature or holding bulky orders in small c-stores for customer collection can be challenging. But as consumers continue to demand greater convenience and more choice to fit with their particular lifestyles, supermarkets must look to meet these needs through further and better integration of their online and offline proposition in both food and non-foods.
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