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Report reveals majority of grocery shopping still conducted in stores

30 April 2018 - 09:41 by Simon Crisp

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Although the rise of shopping online has seen consumers embrace the opportunity to order groceries from the web rather than visit their nearest supermarket, the latest figures from Nielsen show that this is still a service that a tiny portion of the population actually harnesses.

In 2017 just 6.4 per cent of all grocery sales were garnered through e-commerce outlets, meaning that bricks and mortar stores are still king of this segment.

Meanwhile various analysts agree that safe shopping online accounts for at least a fifth of the UK’s overall retail market at the moment, showing just how far grocery has to come to catch up with non-food sales.

Interestingly, this new report found that people are still far more willing to spend a lot of money on a grocery order when they are buying online, presumably because of the convenience that is offered by home delivery. Rather than having to push a heavy trolley around and haul bags to the door by hand, e-commerce services take a lot of the hard work out of this process.

Another factor to note is that people visit food stores an average of 21 times a month, buying little top-ups to add to their existing supplies. In comparison, most people place an online order for groceries much more sporadically, often going more than a month before their next purchase.

This shows that part of the reason that grocery shopping is growing more slowly in the e-commerce sphere is that consumer habits are changing. The ‘big shop’ that lots of families used to do in supermarkets in decades gone by has been replaced by more frequent trips to smaller convenience stores which, in turn, takes the onus out of making a comprehensive online order.