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Consumers ditch supermarkets in favour of online grocery shopping

16 September 2013 - 10:51 by Sarah Collinson

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A new report has confirmed previous suspicions, that a growing number of British consumers would rather buy their groceries online, than having to endure the hassle of heading to a bricks and mortar store.

The study comes from the Institute for Grocery Distribution (IGD), which found that many shoppers are dissatisfied with the experience they get at many of the UK's biggest supermarkets, which is leading to the rise in e-commerce activity.

Part of the problem is that going to the supermarket can take up quite a big chunk of time, particularly if you are having to look after an entire family in the process. So being able to order items via safe shopping online, while getting on with other, more enjoyable tasks, means that consumers get more time with the kids and avoid the crowds.

Over the next half-decade, the report estimates that annual online grocery spending in the UK will hit  14.6 billion, which is an increase of 126 per cent, according to the Daily Mail.

This puts even more pressure on Morrisons to join the e-commerce battle, because at the moment, it is being hammered by Tesco, Sainsburys, Ocado and Waitrose, as a result of lacking any online shopping outlet.

Mainstream supermarkets may be seeing less activity at their larger stores, but by embracing the convenience sector with more local outlets, spending is also likely to increase here, with the report predicting the market will be worth  46.2 billion by 2018.

The issue of emerging budget supermarkets, like Aldi and Lidl, is also becoming more prevalent, with middle class consumers turning to bargain basement outlets as they seek to save cash.

The convenience of online shopping, combined with lower prices, could make this shift more pronounced.