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Disgruntled shoppers ditch online grocery services

06 December 2010 - 10:53 by Mike Price

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A survey has found that certain members of the public are not convinced that online grocery shopping is the way forward and, after trying it, have reverted to visiting the shops in person rather than buying online.

ConsumerIntelligence conducted a study in which it discovered that 27 per cent of people who have shopped online consequently chose to go back to the high street, after being dissatisfied with their experience. This news has emerged despite the fact that the number of people enjoying safe shopping online has consistently risen and the UK is one of the world leaders in this area.

Interestingly, brand loyalty is not a factor when many buy grocery products online, according to the survey. Instead it is service quality, costs and the availability of products which dictates whether or not consumers will return.

The interactive, tactile nature of shopping in store is seen as one of the main reasons that grocery shopping on the high street is preferred by some people over safe shopping online. The schemes by which online retailers substitute unavailable groceries for an equivalent product and potentially mismatch items or fail to meet consumer standards, are another bugbear for customers.

Around 32 per cent of people who buy groceries online shop via Tesco's e-commerce site, while Asda is in second place with 30 per cent and Sainsbury's sits in third with 25 per cent. Despite the fact that Waitrose holds the highest customer satisfaction it still has a smaller 22 per cent stake in the market.

ConsumerIntelligence's Ian Hughes, said that supermarkets who offer online shopping to customers need to address the concerns raised by this survey. The cost of delivery and inadequate substitution techniques are sending people back to the high street, according to Mr Hughes.