What You Need to Know About Grocery E-commerce for 2018April 09, 2018
Why should you be concerned about online grocery shopping?
Currently, grocery ecommerce commands about 2% to 4.3% share of the $641 Billion U.S. grocery market. In 7 years, grocery ecommerce is projected to be a $100 Billion industry that takes up 20% of the overall grocery market.
Grocers who don’t get onboard with online grocery shopping are going to get left behind. We will examine who is buying groceries online, examine ecommerce frequency, what’s holding shoppers back from online shopping and look at what customers are actually buying online.
Who’s Shopping Online?
Consumers like shopping online because it saves time and money. Convenience is the #1 reason shoppers like to buy groceries online. Consumers also say online shopping makes it easier to find lower-price products.
46% of households report shopping for groceries online. In as few as 5 years, 7 in 10 consumers will buy food and beverages online. According to Nielsen’s The Digitally Engaged Food Shopper, released in January of 2018, here’s how prolific grocery ecommerce has been for the past 3 months per generation:
• 39% Greatest Gen
• 44% Boomers
• 55% Gen X
• 61% Millennials
1 in 3 Millennials say they shop for groceries online more than they were at this time last year and 57% say they will shop online more in the next year.
And online grocery shopping isn’t a one-time experience for most consumers. 85% of those who shopped for groceries online did so more than once, with 64% ordering online at least once a month.
62% of shoppers say that they want alternatives to traditional, in-store grocery shopping. 36% plan to order groceries online in 2018, which is up from the 22% who shopped online for groceries in 2017.
Where Customers Shop Online
If you don’t offer ecommerce, your customers will have to look elsewhere. 51% of those who didn’t shop with their local grocer said it was because their local grocer didn’t offer it.
• 42% local grocer
• 34% Amazon
• 32% Walmart
• 12% Instacart
• 8% Peapod
• 6% FreshDirect
The average customer spends $148 per online grocery transaction. Most of those transactions included produce, meat/seafood and deli. Almost 50% of those transactions also included bakery items.
Shoppers aren’t buying only fresh items. Packaged foods like beverages and snacks constitute most of Amazon’s U.S. online grocery sales.
A study released during last year detailed which products customers are likely to buy online:
• 74% toothpaste
• 72% feminine hygiene
• 70% OTC medication
• 50% chocolate
• 48% alcohol
• 35% bread
• 25% milk
• 24% ice cream
• 23% tomatoes
• 22% chicken breasts
Barriers to Online Shopping
Not everyone is on board with buying groceries online. The #1 barrier to online grocery shopping is the desire to see the food in person.
78% of consumers didn’t shop for online groceries in 2017 because:
• 41% enjoy weekly trip to the store
• 36% didn’t want to pay extra
• 33% don’t trust someone else picking up their food
• 25% local grocer didn’t offer it
• 11% didn’t find the time to do it
Customers’ primary concerns for shopping online include:
• 69% quality concerns
• 61% not seeing/touching before buying
• 58% not taking advantage of sales/promotions
• 51% minimum purchase requirements
• 50% need groceries immediately
• 40% ordering unavailable items
• 39% accuracy of orders
• 19% how long it takes to shop for groceries
• 13% lack of human assistance