Fact: over a quarter (26%) of all British grocery shoppers say they shopped online for their groceries in January, which is a rise from just a fifth of shoppers four years ago.
Interest in online grocery shopping continues to grow
We’ve also seen a year-on-year increase in the number of shoppers claiming to buy most of their grocery shopping online – 11% now, compared to 6% in 2011. More than a third of those who claim they are online grocery shoppers are therefore using the channel to meet the majority of their needs.
Online will likely be the fastest growing part of the UK grocery market, more than doubling in value to £17bn by 2019. It will be worth 8% of the market over the same period, boosted by a surge in usage of not only home delivery, but also click and collect services.
We’ve seen a growing number of online grocery shoppers using click and collect grocery services, 26% claim to have used a click and collect service in the last month, versus 18% in 2013.
New delivery services such as click & collect could help shoppers find the ultimate convenient shopping solution
Innovations such as grocery click and collect lockers in selected tube stations, introduced by Ocado last year and more recently by Waitrose and Sainsbury’s, are helping to drive the popularity of this service. Retailers operating click and collect could be attracting new shoppers to the channel, as some people may find it a more convenient option than home delivery.
However, it’s interesting to note that just 6% of online grocery shoppers are using purely click and collect services. The majority of shoppers claiming to use click and collect are doing so in conjunction with home delivery, using a combination of the two services.
Mobile technology could also have a significant impact on the growth in online grocery shopping. With British online grocery shoppers stating screen size as the biggest barrier to using their smartphones for grocery shopping, could now very popular larger screen devices unlock even more growth potential?
People now have more options for grocery shopping available to them than ever before and are more willing to shop around across different formats. With significant investment underway in new and existing services, the online channel is particularly well placed to grow even further in the future. However, given its potential size and growth, a specific online management strategy, dedicated resource and service level targets are essential in order to ensure success. There is a clear rationale for suppliers to play in this channel and by developing capability, there is a real opportunity to gain above fair share growth for your brands, delivering incremental growth for your business. This will involve investing in online channel capability to provide the right skills, knowledge and experience to optimise the opportunity.