Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Learn more
Accept & Close

Online Product Discovery - US - April 2018

Online sales growth is continuing to outpace overall retail sales growth in the US, as consumers spend more time online and subsequently become more accustomed to shopping online. This report will focus on how consumers are finding products, including a closer look at food and drink products and beauty products, where they think retailers are falling short, and what companies that sell online can do to convince shoppers to buy products online in the future that they have never tried before.

This report examines the following issues:

  • Three in 10 consumers don’t use online channels for product discovery
  • Word of mouth is leading consumers to add to cart
  • Online product discovery isn’t always intentional
  • Grocery stores can potentially turn online browsers into buyers
  • Rural consumers are learning about food and drink products on Amazon
  • Online food and drink retailers should be putting together family-friendly offerings
  • Beauty products retailers need to be clear about functionality
  • Make it easy and convenient for consumers to get what they want
  • Consumers want a better idea of what products look like
  • Consumers need to trust who they’re buying from and what they’re buying

What you get

What's included

Why buy from us?

Succeed

Our reports will provide you with market data, consumer research and competitive intelligence to succeed in your market.

Instant Access

Buy now and you'll have instant access to the information you need to make the right decisions.

Opportunities

Find out what's next in the markets that matter to you: where opportunities lie and what challenges you will face.

Trusted

A business Superbrand, Mintel is a source you can trust. We have been defining and refining the Market Intelligence mix since 1972.

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

          • Three in 10 consumers don’t use online channels for product discovery
            • Word of mouth is leading consumers to add to cart
              • Online product discovery isn’t always intentional
                • Grocery stores can potentially turn online browsers into buyers
                  • Rural consumers are learning about food and drink products on Amazon
                    • Online food and drink retailers should be putting together family-friendly offerings
                      • Beauty products retailers need to be clear about functionality
                        • Make it easy and convenient for consumers to get what they want
                          • Consumers want a better idea of what products look like
                            • Consumers need to trust who they’re buying from and what they’re buying
                            • Key Drivers – What You Need to Know

                              • Online shopping is becoming universal
                                • Proliferation of smartphones spurs mobile product discovery
                                  • Consumers are learning about new products through online ads
                                    • Social media’s impact on online product discovery
                                    • What’s Driving Online Product Discovery?

                                      • Nearly everyone is shopping online
                                        • Younger consumers are shopping online more frequently
                                          • Figure 1: Online Shopping frequency, by generation, March 2017
                                        • Proliferation of internet-connected smartphones
                                          • Apps, apps, everywhere
                                            • A quarter of consumers learning about new products from digital ads
                                              • Figure 2: Attitudes toward digital ads – mobile. social, video, June 2017
                                              • Figure 3: Attitudes toward mobile ads, by age, June 2017
                                            • More outlets are available to find product content than ever before
                                              • Social media’s impact on online product discovery
                                                • Figure 4: Social media usage – Facebook, by generation, February 2018
                                                • Figure 5: Social media usage – YouTube, by generation, February 2018
                                                • Figure 6: Social media usage – Instagram, by generation, February 2018
                                            • Overview of Motivators and Challenges for Online Product Discovery

                                              • Amazon and Walmart invest in online grocery
                                                • Subscription boxes introduce shoppers to unfamiliar products
                                                  • Consumers aren’t convinced they can find the freshest foods online
                                                    • Online food and drink and beauty products retailers will encourage sampling
                                                    • Motivators of Online Product Discovery

                                                      • Apps are making it easier for shoppers to find new products and quickly
                                                        • Subscription boxes and meal kits are making it easier to try new products
                                                          • Figure 7: Beauty subscription box, by age, February 2018
                                                          • Figure 8: Online food/drink subscription box usage, by generation and area, February 2018
                                                        • Amazon and Walmart expand online grocery efforts
                                                          • Ulta, Sephora lead the charge to reach new beauty products consumers
                                                            • Shoppable recipes
                                                            • Challenges of Online Product Discovery

                                                              • Consumers still aren’t convinced they can find the freshest food online
                                                                • Retailers aren’t providing consumers with enough images online
                                                                  • Figure 9: Attitudes toward online shopping, February 2018
                                                                • Consumers are having difficulty finding products online
                                                                  • Figure 10: Attitudes toward finding products online – difficult to find products, need more product images/videos, by generation, February 2018
                                                                • Online retailers haven’t yet fully earned consumers’ trust
                                                                  • Figure 11: Reasons for not adding a beauty or food and drink product to an online shopping cart, by age and area of residence, February 2018
                                                              • Future of Online Product Discovery

                                                                • Online shoppers will be able to see food products before completing a purchase
                                                                  • Voice-based online ordering
                                                                    • Brands and retailers will continue to invest in augmented and virtual reality technologies
                                                                      • More sampling to encourage product trial
                                                                        • Online visibility into local store inventory
                                                                        • The Consumer – What’s Happening

                                                                          • Consumers generally enjoy shopping online and trying new products
                                                                            • Younger consumers favor beauty subscription boxes
                                                                              • Consumers aren’t buying fresh food products online
                                                                                • Young adults consider themselves to be trendsetters
                                                                                  • Women are more likely to buy online to avoid going to the store
                                                                                    • Men are drawn to premium food and drink products, women tend to shop for need and value
                                                                                    • Attitudes Toward Online Shopping

                                                                                      • Consumers enjoy shopping online and trying new products
                                                                                        • Figure 12: Attitudes toward shopping, February 2018
                                                                                      • Younger consumers consider themselves to be trendsetters
                                                                                        • Figure 13: Attitudes toward online shopping – first among friends to try new products, by gender and age, February 2018
                                                                                      • Consumers have concerns about the safety and freshness of products purchased online
                                                                                        • Figure 14: Attitudes toward online shopping – concerns about freshness, safety, by gender and by age, February 2018
                                                                                    • Online Product Discovery – Food and Drink

                                                                                      • Grocery sites outpace Amazon for food/drink product discovery
                                                                                        • Figure 15: Channels for online food/drink discovery, February 2018
                                                                                      • Consumers are more likely to turn to grocery retailer websites than food shopping apps
                                                                                        • Figure 16: Channels for online food/drink discovery – Grocery retailer website, Amazon.com, and Food shopping app, by generation, February 2018
                                                                                      • Parents use a variety of online channels to learn about food/drink products
                                                                                        • Figure 17: Channels for online food/drink discovery, by parental status, February 2018
                                                                                      • Younger consumers are finding food and drink products on social media
                                                                                        • Figure 18: Social media channels used for food/drink product discovery, by age, February 2018
                                                                                      • Suburban, rural consumers are looking to Amazon to learn about food and drink products
                                                                                        • Figure 19: Channels used for food/drink product discovery, by area of residence, February 2018
                                                                                    • How Consumers Shop for Food and Drink

                                                                                      • In-store remains preferred method of food/drink shopping
                                                                                        • Figure 20: Method of shopping for food/drink products, February 2018
                                                                                      • Men, younger consumers, and urban residents are more likely to shop for food and drink online
                                                                                          • Figure 21: Method of shopping for food/drink products – fresh items, by gender, age, area, February 2018
                                                                                        • Shelf stable items see higher purchase incidence online
                                                                                          • Figure 22: Method of shopping for food/drink products – shelf stable items, by gender, age, area, February 2018
                                                                                        • Parents report shopping for food/drink products online more than non-parents
                                                                                          • Figure 23: Method of shopping for food/drink products, by parental status, February 2018
                                                                                        • Dads are more likely than others to shop for food and drink online
                                                                                            • Figure 24: Method of shopping for fresh food/drink products, by gender and parental status, February 2018
                                                                                            • Figure 25: Method of shopping for shelf stable food/drink products, by gender and parental status, February 2018
                                                                                          • Cost savings, convenience key
                                                                                              • Figure 26: Reasons for buying food or drink products online vs. in-store, February 2018
                                                                                            • Older, higher income consumers are more likely to buy online to find what they are looking for
                                                                                              • Figure 27: Reasons for buying food/drink online vs. in-store – to find a specific item, by household income, February 2018
                                                                                              • Figure 28: Reasons for buying food/drink online vs. in-store – to find a specific item, by age, February 2018
                                                                                            • Women are more motivated than men to buy online to avoid stores
                                                                                              • Figure 29: Reasons for buying food/drink online vs. in-store – to avoid going to a store, by gender and age, February 2018
                                                                                            • Moms buy online to save time, avoid going to the store
                                                                                              • Figure 30: Reasons for buying food/drink online vs. in-store – to save time, avoid going to a store, by gender and parental status, February 2018
                                                                                          • New Product Trial – Food and Drink

                                                                                            • Online is gaining ground when it comes to selling consumers on unfamiliar products
                                                                                              • Figure 31: Willingness to try new products by channel, February 2018
                                                                                            • Younger men report buying new products online more frequently than others
                                                                                              • Figure 32: Willingness to try new products online, by gender and age, February 2018
                                                                                            • Household income does not directly correlate to new product trial
                                                                                              • Figure 33: Willingness to try new products online, by household income, February 2018
                                                                                          • How Shoppers Learned About the Last Food/Drink Product They Bought Online

                                                                                            • Recommendations, being in a consumer’s online purchase path are key
                                                                                              • Figure 34: influencers of last online food/drink purchase, February 2018
                                                                                            • Traditional influences are still ultimately driving online food and drink purchases
                                                                                              • Figure 35: Influencers of last online food/drink purchase – recommendation, retailer website, brand website, by gender, by age, February 2018
                                                                                            • Younger consumers respond more favorably to ads on social media and recommendations from others
                                                                                              • Figure 36: Influencers of last online food/drink purchase – social media ad, recommendation from friend or family, by generation, February 2018
                                                                                            • Hispanic food and drink consumers are motivated by online product reviews, desire to try specific brands
                                                                                              • Figure 37: Influencers of last online food/drink purchase –recommendation from friend or family, online product review, interest in brand, by Hispanic origin, February 2018
                                                                                          • Online Shopping Cart Behavior – Food and Drink

                                                                                            • Reasons for adding new food/drink products to cart
                                                                                              • Make it look tasty
                                                                                                • Figure 38: Reasons for adding food/drink products to online shopping carts, February 2018
                                                                                              • Younger consumers are drawn to products that look fun and exciting
                                                                                                • Figure 39: Reasons for adding food/drink products to online shopping carts – exciting, fun, packaging, by age, February 2018
                                                                                              • Men seek premium and high quality products, while women are drawn to value, need
                                                                                                • Figure 40: Reasons for adding food/drink products to online shopping carts – good value, high quality, unique, need, premium, by gender, February 2018
                                                                                              • Rural consumers swayed by products perceived as good value, urbanites swayed by products signalling premium and high quality
                                                                                                • Figure 41: Reasons for adding food/drink products to online shopping carts – good value, high quality, need, premium, by area of residence, February 2018
                                                                                              • Reasons for not adding new food/drink products to carts
                                                                                                • Price, product quality rank as top online shopper concerns
                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Reasons for not adding food/drink products to online shopping carts, February 2018
                                                                                                • Higher-income consumers are deterred by concerns about shipping, product quality
                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Reasons for not adding food/drink products to online shopping carts – quality of products and shipping concerns, by household income, February 2018
                                                                                                • Women want more information about food and drink products
                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Reasons for not adding food/drink products to online shopping carts – price, lack of information, can’t sample, too many choices, by gender, February 2018
                                                                                              • Online Product Discovery – Beauty Products

                                                                                                • No one single online channel dominates overall
                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Online tools that beauty consumers use to discover products, February 2018
                                                                                                • Moms likely to learn about beauty products on Amazon and Facebook
                                                                                                  • Figure 46: Online tools that beauty consumers use to discover products – Amazon, Facebook, by parental status, February 2018
                                                                                                • YouTube, Instagram prove popular with younger consumers and Hispanic consumers
                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Social media tools used to discover beauty products – Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, by age, February 2018
                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Online retailers and social media tools used to discover beauty products, by Hispanic origin, February 2018
                                                                                                • Younger, urban consumers are actively reading articles about beauty
                                                                                                  • Figure 49: Online tools that beauty consumers use to discover products – beauty blog/vlog and beauty magazines, February 2018
                                                                                              • How Consumers Shop for Beauty Products

                                                                                                • Consumers are more likely to shop for beauty products online than food and drink products
                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Net method for shopping for beauty and food and drink products in-store vs. online, february 2018
                                                                                                  • Figure 51: method of shopping for beauty products, February 2018
                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Method of shopping for specific beauty products – online, by age and Hispanic origin, February 2018
                                                                                                • Beyond price, finding a specific product and better product selection are key to getting shoppers to buy online
                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Reasons for buying beauty products online vs. in-store, February 2018
                                                                                                • Suburban, rural consumers are more likely to go online to find a specific item
                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Reasons for buying beauty products online vs. in-store – to find a specific item, by area of residence, February 2018
                                                                                                • Subscription boxes appeal to younger women
                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Reasons for buying beauty products online vs. in-store – to try subscription box, saw product video, by age, February 2018
                                                                                                  • Moms place stock in product recommendations, product videos
                                                                                                    • Figure 56: Reasons for buying beauty products online vs. in-store – saw suggested product, saw product video, by parental status, February 2018
                                                                                                • New Product Trial - Beauty

                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Willingness to try new beauty products, by channel, February 2018
                                                                                                • How Shoppers Learned About the Last Beauty Product They Bought Online

                                                                                                  • Recommendations from friends and family, accidental product discovery are most common
                                                                                                    • Figure 58: influencers of last beauty product purchased online, February 2018
                                                                                                  • Online beauty consumers trust the recommendations of those they know
                                                                                                    • Figure 59: Influencers of last beauty product purchased online – recommendation from friends/family, retailer’s website, brand’s website, by age, February 2018
                                                                                                  • Younger consumers are more influenced by social media ads
                                                                                                    • Figure 60: influencers of last beauty product purchased online – brand’s website, social media ad, saw someone using it online, by age, February 2018
                                                                                                  • Hispanic beauty consumers are more likely to go directly to a site to find what they’re looking for
                                                                                                    • Figure 61: influencers of last beauty product purchased online – retailer’s website, social media ad, brand’s website, by Hispanic origin, February 2018
                                                                                                • Online Cart Behavior - Beauty

                                                                                                  • Need, value drive consumer behavior when it comes to beauty products
                                                                                                    • Figure 62: Reasons for adding a beauty product to an online shopping cart, February 2018
                                                                                                  • Quality packaging, trendy appearance entice younger consumers
                                                                                                    • Figure 63: Reasons for adding a beauty product to an online shopping cart – unique, exciting, trendy, good in the packaging, by age, February 2018
                                                                                                  • Hispanic beauty consumers value unique, trendy beauty products
                                                                                                    • Figure 64: Reasons for adding a beauty product to an online shopping cart – trendy. exciting, unique, by Hispanic origin, February 2018
                                                                                                  • Reasons for not adding beauty products to carts
                                                                                                    • Price, uncertainty about product functionality and quality deter online beauty consumers
                                                                                                      • Figure 65: Reasons for not adding a beauty product to an online shopping cart, February 2018
                                                                                                    • Price is more likely to be an online deal breaker for younger consumers
                                                                                                      • Figure 66: Reasons for not adding a beauty product to an online shopping cart – price, shipping concerns, trust, by age, February 2018
                                                                                                    • Consumers are turned off by low quality product images
                                                                                                      • Figure 67: Reasons for not adding a beauty product to an online shopping cart – unclear product images, by age and household income, February 2018
                                                                                                    • Rural, suburban consumers have more concerns about beauty product functionality
                                                                                                      • Figure 68: Reasons for not adding a beauty product to an online shopping cart – product efficacy, product quality, by area of residence, February 2018
                                                                                                  • Future Drivers of New Product Trial Online

                                                                                                    • Price isn’t everything when it comes to getting a consumer to buy a new product online
                                                                                                      • Figure 69: Factors influencing new product trial, February 2018
                                                                                                    • Women value free shipping, user reviews, refund policy when buying a new product online
                                                                                                      • Figure 70: Factors influencing new product trial, by gender, February 2018
                                                                                                    • Younger consumers want it fast, while older consumers need to trust where they are buying from
                                                                                                      • Figure 71: Factors influencing new product trial – user reviews, trust in retailer, refund policy, product guarantee, fast delivery, by age, February 2018
                                                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                    • Data sources
                                                                                                      • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                                                          • Terms

                                                                                                          Online Product Discovery - US - April 2018

                                                                                                          US $4,395.00 (Excl.Tax)